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The Sweeney Reviews

Page 1 of 27
Dean !

Super Reviewer

April 13, 2013
An ok English crime action film based on the old TV series. It looked very good from the trailer, but unfortunately that is quite misleading in the terms of the film as a whole. There are some good chase scenes and action set pieces, although not quite up to Heat (Which one scene is very similar to) but it does have the iconic London landmarks in there. Overall not bad but a bit more action would have been great.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

June 6, 2013
I was never a fan of the original Sweeney so I'm not upset at them for remaking and ruining the characters, I'm just upset that I've wasted time and money on watching it. The story is crap and the acting is worse. Plan B is an idiot, I hate him and anyone that likes him. I saw one of his gigs around 7 years ago and I think many of his 'fans' would be shocked at his old material. He's a nasty little idiot. I saw him in an interview claiming it was, and I paraphrase "Hard to act as a copper, seeing as I've never really seen eye to eye with them in the past". What a tool. He can't act either. Ray Winstone I'm afraid is now in 'overrated' territory with more misses under his belt than there are hits. Nick Love is the chav godfather, he's gone downhill as well. If you're happy to believe a 12 year old drug dealer could be chief of the Flying Squad then you might be stupid enough to enjoy it.
Al S

Super Reviewer

April 18, 2012
An awesome and wickedly entertaining film. I loved this movie. An extremely tough, stylish, exhilarating and utterly brilliant action-thriller. One of the most gripping and intense British cop movies made in years. An explosive, cool and hard-boiled action flick that's right on the money and hits the jackpot. A powerful and enthralling film. Director, Nick Love scores with dark humor, gritty action and strong characters in his fierce and compelling movie that just rocks. A razor-sharp and cool as hell adrenaline-rush that keeps you on the edge of your seat right till the very finish. It serves up some heavy and red-hot car chases, gun-battles and fight sequences as well as some strong character development that adds more than enough meat to the characters. A sizzling re-vamp of the classic series, urbanizing it for today's audiences and showing old-school with a mix of new blood works well. A must-see. A stellar all-star cast. Ray Winstone is electrifying. Ben Drew is explosive. Drew and Winstone have great chemistry, they work very well together and add the right amount of strength and humor to their compelling characters. Damian Lewis is terrific. Hayley Atwell is excellent. Steven Mackintosh is wonderful.
garyX
garyX

Super Reviewer

April 12, 2013
An armed response unit attached to the Metropolitan Police targets a gang of international armed robber whilst being investigated by Internal Affairs for their extreme methods. The 1970s TV show upon which this film was based was in fact an extremely gritty, no-nonsense cop show that attempted to show life on the crime riddled streets of London in a warts and all, believable way. Of course, anyone completely devoid of imagination will not be able to see past the flares, side burns, casual sexist and racist attitudes and hopelessly out dated motors that were the hallmark of the time in which it was made. One such individual is no doubt the script writer of the big screen version we see here. No cliche is left unturned as an absurdly stereotypical collection of coppers, grasses, lags and geezers do porridge, get on the blower and bellow "Leave it aht, you slaaaaag!!" at each other throughout a plot that is so devoid of imagination it beggars belief. Ray Winstone is capable of some great performances but saddled with a character and dialogue of an obnoxious East End thug he has nowhere to turn except soon-to-be-forgotten pop star Plan B whose performance akin to a mumbling, stoned hoodie renders every scene he appears in nigh on unwatchable. The production value is TV standard at best, the car chases about as exciting as a Top Gear road test and the big set piece that features a running shoot out through the more tourist-friendly parts of London is so obviously a cheap knock off of Heat that it serves only to remind you how second rate it is in comparison. If it's a witty pastiche of 70s cop shows you want, I'd watch BBC TV drama Life On Mars instead as The Sweeney is as cheap and nasty as it is low brow.
TomBowler
TomBowler

Super Reviewer

February 16, 2013
A great lead performance from Ray Winstone brings this up a peg or two but a tired plot and an uninspiring script are glaringly obvious. Full review later.
Stuart B

Super Reviewer

January 9, 2013
Pretty damn good, maybe not as good as the original series but well worth a watch.
FiLmCrAzY
FiLmCrAzY

Super Reviewer

September 26, 2012
Its an average movie that may be better left to buy on dvd if neccessary, certainly not worth the cost of a cinema ticket!
A remake of the classic and with a great british cast just not a great british movie!
Harlequin68
Harlequin68

Super Reviewer

July 17, 2014
In "The Sweeney," London Police's Flying Squad under the command of Jack Regan(Ray Winstone) makes another stunning bust, interrupting an armed robbery in progress. Only to find out that DCI Ivan Lewis(Stephen Mackintosh) of internal affairs has issues with their use of violence. In any case, DCI Frank Haskins(Damian Lewis) covers for Regan, even as Regan is carrying on an affair with Lewis' wife, Nancy(Hayley Atwell), who is also in Regan's unit. Well, maybe it's a good thing there is a case to distract them all, a jewelry robbery gone wrong.

As befitting a movie based on a television series, "The Sweeney" feels like a cliched extended episode of a police procedural, and one whose complicated resolution I still don't understand. But what separates this from mediocrity is the excellent Ray Winstone, simultaneously tough and sensitive, whose throwback look contrasts with the shining towers of modern London which is also well photographed. And as a bonus there is the thrilling ten minute open air shootout which is probably in the top ten all-time.
themoviewaffler.com
themoviewaffler.com

Super Reviewer

September 13, 2012
Those outside the British isles likely won't be familiar with the original Sweeney, a gritty U.K series from the seventies which played like an episode of "Starsky & Hutch" directed by Ken Loach. The show was very much of it's time, all dolly-birds and chases down fire escapes. One would expect the comic approach of the "21 Jump Street" remake to be employed here but director Love has opted to play it straight (or should that be crooked?).
The plot is as standard as they come. The Sweeney, London's Flying Squad, are after a group of armed robbers who are terrorizing the city. If the police in London are really as dumb as these guys it's no wonder they had to turn to Sherlock Holmes for help. Anyone who has seen a couple of episodes of a cop show will have things figured out a lot sooner than it takes Winstone. As a cop he's a disaster, overlooking obvious clues and causing the deaths of several other officers with his reckless behavior. He's also an unbelievably lucky git as he's somehow conducting an affair with Atwell. To both actors' credit, they manage to pull off such a far-fetched idea.
The movie does have one impressive set-piece, a "Heat" style shoot-out in Trafalgar Square. It's always fun to watch some large scale mayhem in an iconic setting but it's rarely seen in modern cinema. The car chase scenes though are terrible, shot by the crew behind BBC's "Top Gear". They even use a lower resolution camera which gives a jarring effect. Presumably this was done for some cheap publicity but it's a bit like a big budget Sci-Fi movie asking the crew from "Doctor Who" to handle set-pieces.
Love and co-writer John Hodge could use a refresher course in keeping audiences on their toes. You can see every plot point about ten minutes before it happens. Everyone knows that when a character gives one of their possessions to another character they're not going to last much longer.
Marcus W

Super Reviewer

April 11, 2013
Absolute, cracking stuff, Guv'nor!
David S

Super Reviewer

December 15, 2012
I've never really watched the original British TV series so I can't compare it to that. I realise that Love has tried to update the original premise and kept the two main characters (Regan and Carter) but apart from that I suspect that not much else is the same. However as a stand alone British crime thriller there are some good things here, not least a great shoot out/chase sequence through Trafalgar Square. Winstone is, as always, a very watchable screen presence as Regan (although I didn't buy his relationship with Atwell) and Drew is fine as Carter but there was nothing here I hadn't seen before and I wasn't particularly keen on the tactics and attitude of the Sweeney team. Love seems to suggest that we need coppers like this to get the job done but that doesn't sit well with me. If I just few it as a straightforward thriller though I found it quite enjoyable.
diapolical
August 20, 2014
What an age we live in, one tedious formulaic film after another from England and America justifying police brutality and self-righteous "coppers" taking the law into their own hands and getting away with it. Here's another dose of charmless, deviant psychopathic cops from the conveyor belt.
At least the characters in the original series were human, and often humane, but in this film they are reduced to the single and inexplicable dimension of menace. Reagan and Carter should not be policing our society, they should be under psychiatric observation.
The stark sets of glass sheet and featureless wall panels, and the doom laden and bloated (Batman-ripoff) sound track add to the apocalyptic feel, creating the justification presumably for the suspension of normal life and the delivery of summary justice by our unbalanced "heroes".
This ugly and essentially provincial film tries to raise itself to international stature by setting some of the action scenes among the most recognizable tourist attractions of London town. Once that's done the characters return to their inhuman industrial landscapes and comfortless post-modern interiors, which are a perfect setting for the bullish and bloated Winstone and his affected throaty, mashed up delivery.
I guess these British film-makers wanted to show that they were harder than the Americans - but they don't seem to have been anymore ambitious than that.
Harlequin68
Harlequin68

Super Reviewer

July 17, 2014
In "The Sweeney," London Police's Flying Squad under the command of Jack Regan(Ray Winstone) makes another stunning bust, interrupting an armed robbery in progress. Only to find out that DCI Ivan Lewis(Stephen Mackintosh) of internal affairs has issues with their use of violence. In any case, DCI Frank Haskins(Damian Lewis) covers for Regan, even as Regan is carrying on an affair with Lewis' wife, Nancy(Hayley Atwell), who is also in Regan's unit. Well, maybe it's a good thing there is a case to distract them all, a jewelry robbery gone wrong.

As befitting a movie based on a television series, "The Sweeney" feels like a cliched extended episode of a police procedural, and one whose complicated resolution I still don't understand. But what separates this from mediocrity is the excellent Ray Winstone, simultaneously tough and sensitive, whose throwback look contrasts with the shining towers of modern London which is also well photographed. And as a bonus there is the thrilling ten minute open air shootout which is probably in the top ten all-time.
Angelo Dean
July 6, 2014
Action-packed film, I really enjoyed watching it. Poor cars, Ray Winstone and Ben Drew nice roles!

3.5 Stars!
May 28, 2014
I usually really enjoy Nick Love's films, he has a creative way of working within his budget and always brings something fresh to the table. This film is so generic and bland that it doesn't feel like a Nick Love film. The pacing is ridiculously bad, the film isn't even 2 hours long and it dragged so much. Ben Drew is always enjoyable to watch on screen but he is squandered on this film. Ray Winstone is doing his usual i'm hard, come and have a fucking go routine and it just makes the film bland. Not a bad film, but not a good one either.
April 17, 2014
Whilst the dialogue is so riddled with clichés it essentially becomes a giant, lone cliché, and some of the actors appear almost embarrassed at times, it is scored to near perfection by Lorne Balfe, and some of the characterisation is likeable. Just such a waste of potential. At least John Thaw wasn't here to see it.
Sgt. Cockstrain
September 22, 2012
(47%)
Taking a TV series that is 1970's to a tee and recreating it in a modern setting hasn't really worked here, as beyond the title this is hardly anything like the TV programme. The show was mainly about cops pushing their power to breaking point to get the job done and reaping the consequence afterwards, even if they were indeed successful. While here it's about the more clear cut elements from the show like shoot outs and car chases as the interesting ideas of the show play second fiddle to sub "Heat" style action. So forget the Sweeney tag on as it is a gimmick, and just try to enjoy this low-budget cop show for what it's worth.
February 17, 2014
Very good British action cop film. Usually watch comedies but gave this a watch as have seen some good action films in the past as well. Great acting by Winstone and Drew in particular with some great one-liners and witty remarks. I'm personally not that bothered with swearing and think it adds to the entertainment of the film. Superb pace of narrative, doesn't seen rushed or prolonged. Very good film, would highly recommend it
shakercoola
January 20, 2014
Hugely stylistic with enough growl, menace and fortissimo to keep it plodding along, but it's empty of any real dramatic suspense.
Jake
November 30, 2013
Decent enough. Has a good cast, decent score/soundtrack, decent action and looks good but is thoroughly generic and pretty forgettable.
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