Here’s the deal with this film and you can decide if you want to give it your undivided attention…
1. It’s a pretty good movie.
2. I really like the characters.
3. Everyone in it is top notch.
4. It’s got a hellacious soundtrack.
5. It’s pretty intense in several spots.
What NOT to like? Shaky cam. And lots of it.
Look…I’m not saying using the shaky cam effect is a bad thing. Lots of movies have used it and it has its place. But in this movie, much like “Chronicle”, which was another excellent movie that was ruined by this particular style of camera operation, there is no reason for it! Despite a decent beginning idea (Jake Gyllenhall’s character, Brian, is making a documentary), the use of his videocamera becomes a hindrance once the movie gets moving and really serves absolutely no purpose after a while. And it sucks because this is a very well done police movie about cops on their beat in the rough parts of Los Angeles!
So…other than that, I’m thinking you could do much worst than this movie. Gyllenhall is a great choice for the lead character (he even gained a few pounds and shaved his head for the role), Michael Pena is perfect as his partner/best friend and Anna Kendrick is a decent choice for Brian’s girlfriend. There are a lot of action sequences, some really intense gunplay, and the interaction between the police officers and the other levels of justice is interesting and fun to watch. Overall, I really enjoyed this movie…but it loses points for the shaky cam choice. Seriously…enough with that stuff already…
Overall Rating: B