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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.
For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for End of Watch can be found here.
"Harder Than You Think" by Public Enemy. The complete list of songs can be found here with their corresponding scene descriptions.
Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) can be construed as being a very reckless police officer in terms of safety and precaution though his background in the movie as a former Marine would help to explain his demeanor as more militaristic and fearless when dealing with dangerous situations compared to his partner. Police officers in general though cornering a suspect in that scene would have a great deal of adrenaline running through their body and might not stop to think that there's an ambush waiting for them in the apartment building. The two main characters might have thought that it was just another gang member evading police capture by running into his apartment building.
Yes, here's why:
The weapon used against the two main characters is a battlefield weapon, the AK-47 designed by Russian gunsmith Mikhail Kalashnikov. The gas-operated, rotating bolt, weapon fires a 7.62x39mm round at about 715 meters per second at an effective range of more than 320 meters. The penetrating power can be stopped by National Institute of Justice (NIJ)-compliant level III body armor. The angle of the shot is critical. If the shot was straight on, in line with the 4 pieces of ballistic material, the round would not have penetrated through each piece and the two officers, and exited. Due to the nature of concealable body armor however, we can not be sure what level the two officers were wearing; if they were wearing their front and back panels or if they had a trauma plate which can provide additional protection against "special threats". Most likely the armor worn by Zavala and Taylor was level II, IIA or IIIA, all soft body armor. While it is possible NIJ level IIIA body armor could stop a ricochet, it is highly unlikely it would stop the direct impact of a 7.62x39mm round from such a relatively close distance without a special threats trauma plate.
Unfortunately the movie does not address where the other vehicles were at the time the two main characters were in their fire-fight with the gang members. Police officers patrol different RDs (reporting districts) which means that the other officers could be miles away from them on different radio calls or just driving around in a different part of the city. The amount of time it took for the backup units to get to them from the time they called was about right, a radio broadcast from dispatch regarding officers pinned down in a shooting would cause a fair amount of chaos over the radio as everyone would be scrambling to get details such as location, suspect description, officer status, etc. In the worst case scenario, the other members of the street gang may have intentionally made fake calls to 9-1-1 to report crimes in other areas of the city in order to tie up resources and single out the two main characters.
Van Hauser is not just an angry dude, he's very impatient. But in this case he's a training officer, and most of the time training officers get so stressed out training young boots (rookie officers) mostly because boots make a lot of rookie mistakes and training officers look at rookie mistakes as very stupid common sense mistakes and when rookies make mistakes, it's on the training officer. But in Sook's case she was very shaky and nervous and Van Hauser looks at that as a sign of weakness and very annoying. When Zavala asked Sarge why Van Hauser is such a bitter dude and Sarge's answer is have some empathy for him. What he means is "you have to understand how stressful it is being a training officer with a very shaky nervous rookie, so cut the man some slack". But just the same it's very wrong of Van Hauser to take his anger out on his fellow officers and especially Sook, because not only is she a rookie but she's also his partner which is his life line.
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