Film Review – The Sweeney (2012)

The Sweeney

Title – The Sweeney (2012)

Director – Nick Love (Outlaw)

Cast – Ray Winstone, Ben Drew (Plan B), Hayley Atwell, Damian Lewis

Plot – Based on the cult UK TV show of the same name The Sweeney centres upon a group of cops who are tasked with taking down armed robbery crews and operate by a set of their own rules. On the busy streets of London DI Jack Regan (Winstone), his best and only real friend DC George Carter (Drew) and love interest DC Nancy Lewis (Atwell) get caught up investigating a robbery in which a seemingly innocent lady was killed. The investigation lead’s them on a dangerous and twisting path.

“He’s either done all his beans and gone skint or an opportunity came his way and he simply just couldn’t say no.”

Review by Eddie on 20/08/2013

I must confess to not being privy to the TV show in which The Sweeney is rift from so it is hard to compare quality or to recommend to fans of the old show. What The Sweeney does though is offer up a thoroughly entertaining and fast paced ride into the wild side of these law keepers who aren’t afraid to rock up with baseball bats at the ready. This is not to say the movie is sailing on smooth waters though.

About 30 – 40 minutes into The Sweeney the only thing worth noting was the typical stoic performance from Ray Winstone as the grizzled Jack who really is like a British version of Dirty Harry. The other noteworthy feat was how well the film rift of production cues from Heat and somewhat surprisingly The Dark Knight – seriously just listen to those musical cues. After these minutes had meandered by all of a sudden like a jolt to the heart comes the standout set piece in Trafalgar Square. From this point onwards The Sweeney becomes a very decent action beast.

Nick Love who is most famous for his over the top and profanity laden British gangster pictures and soccer hooligan jaunts directs the movie with a very keen eye and in post-production obviously wanted to keep tension ramped up and blood levels high. Credit must be given to Love for making this film feel somewhat fresh and adding his own touch to the well-worn anti-hero cop genre.

The Sweeney is a sight bit better than the average action movie released of late. It’s clear the movie aims high and agreeably doesn’t reach the lofty heights it set out to do. The movie never comes close to the technical or storytelling brilliance of the movies it aspires to be like and the performances of everyone else bar Winstone are a little lacklustre. The Sweeney is a rollicking good 100 minutes of popcorn eating fun and action entertainment and sometimes that’s exactly what the doctor ordered.

3 and a half nuts out of 5

7 responses to “Film Review – The Sweeney (2012)

  1. I agree with some of your points and, while I am not familiar with the original Sweeney TV Show, I feel the movie felt empty, lacking direction and serious plot lines. I’m doing a review on this soon, having only watched it recently. Have a look when it comes out and see if you can see my point of view. Still, good review though.

      • Hey Eddie. Sure thing, I will let you know as soon as it is up, which will probably be next week sometime. I’m trying to get into regularity of posts, so maybe once a week or something like that. I’ve posted my The World’s End review so hopefully that’ll tide you over until my review of The Sweeney! Thanks for reading my reviews by the way!

  2. Pingback: The Sweeney – Criminally Crap | The Chronic Chronicler·

    • Thanks mate – it was not as you say original but I found it a lot more entertaining in an old school action film sense than most other realeases. Winstone being a major plus for it.

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