Michael Peña deserves better. This is one talented actor, who can do drama and action, who can play comedy and touch your heart (sometimes at the same time). And last year should have been his year: in a single twelve-month period, he was featured in The Lincoln Lawyer (which, despite decent reviews, sank without a trace last spring), the alien-invasion epic Battlefield: Los Angeles (which made a ton of money but didn’t do a damn thing for anyone’s career), and he was funny as hell as part of the ensemble in Tower Heist (which was supposed to be Eddie Murphy’s big comeback picture, and–despite heavy promotion–was forgotten in a matter of weeks), and in a strangely similar turn as a funny-dumb criminal in 30 Second or Less. In total, five separate movies with Peña in a prominent role were released in 2011…and he still isn’t nearly as well-known as he should be.
End of Watch should change that. His role as a tough–even arrogant–L.A. beat cop on a hot streak is very impressive, and throughout he’s teamed up–and shares almost every scene–with the already established screen presence of Jake Gyllenhaal. And America Ferrera and Natalie Martinez (Detroit 1-8-7) are in the mix, too. Judging by the powerful trailer that was just released, this is the one that’s going to get people talking about Michael Peña, once and for all. And it’s way overdue.
Enjoy the trailer. End of Watch hits theaters on September 28.