The-Sweeney-DI
2012 Running time: 112 Certificate: 15 Rating: 3
The-Sweeney-KA

Synopsis

The classic British TV cop drama gets a slick contemporary spin with geezer nonpareil Ray Winstone and rapper Ben Drew stepping into the scuffed shoes of John Thaw and Dennis Waterman as the no-nonsense Flying Squad cops doling out their own brand of justice. A brutal shooting during a jewellery shop heist is linked to the activity of a ruthless East European crime gang. To muddy the case, Regan (Winstone) is also being investigated by Steven Mackintosh's internal affairs officer as the Sweeney's uncompromising methods are called into question. The Football Factory's Nick Love directs a fast-moving ride. Knock yerself aht.

Director

  • Nick Love

Cast

  • Ray Winstone

  • Ben Drew

  • Hayley Attwell

  • Damian Lewis

  • Stephen MacKintosh

  • Paul Anderson

Review

It takes about 45 minutes to get there but it's worth the wait for that classic line from the gritty old school cop drama.

"Git yer trahsers on...you're nicked."

Elsewhere, though, the contemporary take on the bone-crunching ends-justify-the-means actions of the infamous Flying Squad bear little resemblance to the 1970s TV series.

Regan (Winstone) and Carter (Drew) operate from a hi-tech, steel-and-glass eyrie above the city, shaking down wrong 'uns with the help of a bank of Apple Macs and chasing them into the ground in a, erm, Ford Escort (which replaces the cardboard box-upending Ford Cortina of the TV show).

They're backed up by a baseball bat-wielding crew of likely lads and lasses, including Nancy (Atwell) a feisty broad who's bonking Regan while unhappily married to Steven Mackintosh's pompous internal affairs spook.

Infamous for their thump first, ask questions afterwards philosophy, they're being leaned on to rein it in by sympathetic boss Haskins (Lewis) but - as Regan bluntly points out: "We're doing the things you can only dream of..."

Their dodgy tactics move up a notch when Regan suspects an old crimmo from way back (Paul Anderson) of carrying out a cold-blooded, execution-style killing during a jewellery shop raid.

But he's wrong...and his skull-bashing insistence on pursuing the slaaag puts him on collision course with Mackintosh and even his protégé Carter.

The Football Factory's Nick Love's flat, formulaic direction - shallow characters spouting rhyming slang and shoot-outs in an almost deserted London - makes for a serviceable thriller albeit one lacking in real adrenaline.

Winstone - who appeared as an extra in the orginal TV series - is always watchable but there's a certain ickiness about his relationship with a girl 25 years his junior (think Robert De Niro and Carla Gugino in Righteous Kill).

John Thaw and Dennis Waterman's Regan and Carter, with their father-son dynamic, had a richer, more complex relationship in the TV series while Winstone and Drew basically fill the roles of geezer and geezer-in-waiting.

Still, fanboys will appreciate the bish-bosh head-bangin' even if the rest of us will never want to see Ray Winstone in his underpants ever again.