- Director: Nick Love
- Genre: Action, Crime
- Details: UK/112mins 15A
Nick Love has rarely ventured outside of his cockney crime flicks, so adapting a cult cop TV series set in London seems like a natural fit for the director. Channelling Michael Mann's visceral execution was also a wise move; forgetting to write an engaging plot, however, was not. At points The Sweeney borders on Eastenders with shootouts; but Winstone and Drew do make for a fun pairing, despite the sometimes cringe-worthy exchanges.
Winstone and popular crooner/rapper Drew are tough bastard detectives at the higher end of the food chain in the titular elite police unit, The Sweeney, located at a swish Scotland Yard office. Their methods might not always be conventional, but damn it they get results. We don't really see them get results, just mess up the current case continually, but they have apparently gotten results a lot in the past - we know this because they say it a lot - so why wouldn't we believe them? Winstone's hard-living Jack Regan is also having an affair with the inexplicably attractive wife (Atwell) of a superior officer who, naturally enough, wants his badge. Investigating a murder/robbery our two heroes get in deep, but "there's deep and there's which way is up." If you get that quote then you catch my drift.
Off the bat, the casting for The Sweeney is spot on. Winstone may have been a conventional choice for the tough cockney cop role, but Drew pulls off an underwritten role with much aplomb. Granted, you don't get to see much of that here (acting, that is), but they at least look like two guys who'd drink in the same boozer. There's also huge potential for strong imagery and gritty action; that's two things - surprisingly for a British feature - that it does well.
By definition a testosterone fuelled couple of hours, it steals liberally from the likes of the recent Miami Vice feature adaptation. The feel is the same, the look is the same; in fact both films could exist within the same world, which Love may take as a compliment. It just doesn't gel the way Mann's underrated crime flick did; the cops are so bad at their jobs you almost side with the suit trying to shut them down.
Lacks likeable, remotely believable characters but there are enough thrills and testosterone fuelled action sequences to keep the undemanding cinema goer entertained.
Review by Mike Sheridan | 15:28 | Wednesday 12th September 2012 | Movie Review
Somewhat enjoyable alright but borders on parody far too often. Seems outdated and underplayed with enough product placement have an accompanying catalogue. Would have made a decent TV special but for a big screen outing it's a meh from me.Posted 10:28 | Fri 7th Sep 2012
This was a load of crap. Everything is just completely unbelievable. Im sick of Winstone faffing about playing the menacing cockney, fat and bent out of shape. The script is an embarrassment. Ben Drew is completely miscast and we are expected to accept that the boys would get two girls like that! Not in this lifetime. This flick is an insult to the viewer really, and in the right hands and in the right tone it could have been pretty cool. Go see Lawless instead.Posted 11:01 | Thu 13th Sep 2012
I personally have not seen it, and won't. It looks like a dramatic episode of Eastenders with Phil Mitchel and some newbie tween gettin' booked innit. Avoid. Avoid. Avoid.Posted 17:43 | Thu 13th Sep 2012
I went with low expectations and came out feeling something strange!! i came out feeling like i had wasted nearly 2 hours of my life watching this rubbish!! i actually felt like walking out during the film. ray winston is laughable! lost count of the amount of times he said he "slaaaags" or "faaaaacking slaaags" gun fights take me back to the Arnie and Sly days when you have a whole army firing at one guy but missing, the plot is a joke!! they run into several gun fights with baseball bats and always with not cover or back up, take cover behind pieces of woods or other materials you would expect bullets to penetrate. loved the special unit offices with the big glass windows and all the boards and screens with the investigation material facing the windows for all to see. There are too many to mention. Please for the love of god avoid this film at all costs use you money for anything else but thisPosted 02:51 | Wed 26th Sep 2012
Pretty poor. Like a poor man's "Heat" but the only thing getting stolen are the cockney crime cliches. Was dying for this to end when I was watching it. Much, much worse than "The Business"Posted 14:37 | Tue 13th Nov 2012
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