DVD Review: The Sweeney (15)

The Sweeney

The Sweeney - Credit: Archant

Review by Matthew Hearn

The Sweeney (15)

Ray Winstone stars alongside Ben ‘Plan B’ Drew in Nick Love’s new crime blockbuster The Sweeney, based on the 70s TV series of the same name.

Detective Inspector Jack Regan (Winstone) is the head of the Flying Squad, which doesn’t often play by the rules, but gets the results.

The Sweeney – called after the Cockney rhyming slang Sweeny Todd for Flying Squad - are after a group of jewel thieves and bank robbers, while an internal affairs officer Ivan Lewis (Steven Mackintosh) starts to investigate the Sweeney’s unsubtle methods and tries to stop them.


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Having never watched the TV series I’m not sure how faithful the film is to its origin so we’ll just judge it on its own merits.

One of the biggest flaws of the film for me is that you feel no empathy for the characters especially Regan. Winstone does a fine job acting the part, but you never want to sympathise with him. At times the film is clearly prompting you to feel a bit sorry for him, but he’s just such an unlikeable character you find it hard to.

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At some points you’re rooting for Lewis - who you’re supposed to be hating - because he’s the only one bringing some common sense into the film.

Another problem with the film is that it tries too hard to be taken seriously. Some scenes are just silly and unrealistic, which would be OK if the film didn’t try to make out that it could all really happen.

Singer Plan B aka Ben Drew’s performance is a bit dull and lacking in emotion, which is a shame because you can tell he is really trying, but I just don’t think he suits the role.

To the film’s credit however there are some wonderful shots of London all throughout the film and a soundtrack which seems very reminiscent to that of the Dark Knight Rises, which is in no way a bad thing.

Even though, like lots of blockbusters, it can get a bit silly at times and there is no emotion for the characters.

Perhaps if you’ve been stuck indoors with all the snow and fancy a police-based flight of fantasy where you don’t want to use your brain then The Sweeney would be good to rent.

*The Sweeney, rated 15, came out on DVD on January 21, 2013.

Rating: 2/5

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