Shorta review – a racist cop’s redemption

In the aftermath of an inflammatory incident of police brutality, level-headed Danish cop Jens (Simon Sears) is partnered with boorish racist Mike (Jacob Lohmann) in the hope that he can keep the older officer’s worst impulses in check. But the two men find themselves trapped in the Svalegarden housing estate, just as tensions boil over. There’s a clear kinship with films such as Yann Demange’s ’71 and the French Oscar nominee Les Misérables. But while Shorta is certainly a propulsive piece of action cinema, which makes effective use of its acid yellow, cement grey and burnt umber palette and warren-of-concrete location, there’s a crudely schematic quality to the writing. Mike’s gradual redemption comes at the expense of seemingly expendable young Arab characters, and as the film staggers to its overwrought conclusion, we’re left with the question of whether the story of the bigoted cop is really the one that needed to be told.

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