Viewed – 09 March 2013 DVD
My American readers may not be aware of 70s Brit TV show The Sweeney, starring John Thaw and Dennis Waterman, and to be honest neither am I really. Yet I understand it had quite a following and had a reputation for being hard-hitting (for the time). So a modern interpretation, albeit for the big screen seemed a good idea.
Hard man Brit actor Ray Winstone plays Regen, a tough cop who takes no s*** and calls everyone a slag. He is joined by younger side kick Carter (Rapper Plan B) an equally tough talking cop with a troubled background. After a jewelry store robbery leaves an innocent woman dead, these tough cops begin an investigation, whilst the suits of their department breathe down their neck over their questionable methods of law enforcement.
I was skeptical going into this. I like Winstone but have found many of his appearances disappointing – he’s everyone’s favorite cockney geezer but sometimes he’s not let off the leash. That couldn’t be further from the truth here, with him in full throttle A special mention must go to Plan B (stupid name aside) who makes for a worthy co-star and has some great moments. Plot-wise this is basically a story of cops, car chases and geezers but some developments really struck a cord – giving Winstone more to do than just crack skulls.
My only real negative is that the villains were little more than stereotypes, and I found their motives somewhat unclear. Yet along with a sharp, tinted and stylish sheen and expertly handled action sequences (with a Heat-like shoot out in Trafalgar Square) … this was still much more than your usual Brit thriller.
Verdict: 4 /5
- ‘The Sweeney’ review: Words hard to crack (sfgate.com)
- ‘The Sweeney’: Grim, glowering Ray Winstone a standout in cop drama (seattletimes.com)
- The Sweeney (myfilmsandbooks.wordpress.com)