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End of Watch (DQ)

5/10

Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peņa, Anna Kendrick, Natalie Martinez, David Harbour, America Ferrera, Frank Grillo, Jaime FitzSimons, Cody Horn

Director: David Ayer

If you don't suffer from vertigo, you surely will after watching the handheld camerawork in this seen-it-all-before portrait of the sleazier side of police work in LA's South Central ghetto district, where it seems every other denizen has his semi-automatic weapon.

The slim storyline has high-decibel officers Taylor and Zavala (Gyllenhaal, Peņa) wade through a morass of drug dealers, human traffickers, bank robbers and all-purpose criminals, all of them black or Hispanic.

The officers become heroes for rescuing three young children from a fire, but incur the wrath of a Hispanic gang whom they humiliate in a shakedown.

Filth, squalor and degradation are everywhere; there's no let-up, either from the sweaty depravity or the torrent of bad language. Performances are fine, especially from the ever-reliable Peņa, but this is a worn-out genre (just think, Fort Apache the Bronx was more than 30 years ago) and the film will surely attract comparatively few takers here outside of its DVD release.

David Quinlan

USA 2012. UK Distributor: StudioCanal. Colour by deluxe.
108 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 1, Swearing 3.

Review date: 18 Nov 2012