10 May 2014 4:05 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Arnie's acting hasn't improved with age, but he isn't helped by the crass plot of this bloody double-cross drama

Reviewing David Ayer's critically feted End of Watch, I complained that the film struggled to reconcile its "induced documentary" aesthetic with an increasingly contrived melodramatic narrative. No such problems beset this brutally ugly actioner, which opts to solve any and all structural issues by blowing things up, nailing bodies to ceilings, and splashing severed intestines around in ever-widening pools of blood. The plot is preposterous; a team of DEA agents with names that make them sound like a militarised version of the Spice Girls (Grinder, Monster, Pyro, Smoke) are double-crossed out of $10m, after which bodies start to pile up. Head of the pack is Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose acting has worsened with age to the point that it's now impossible to tell if his facial expressions represent angst, grief, joy, »

- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic

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