The Sweeney

Film

The Sweeney

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Sep 11 2012

Nick Love, British cinema’s leading chronicler of hardnut Londoners (‘The Football Factory’, ‘Outlaw’), gives the 1970s TV series ‘The Sweeney’ a clip round the ear and orders it to pull its socks up. Ray Winstone assumes the John Thaw role as Jack Regan, a Flying Squad dinosaur squaring up to bureaucracy, while Ben Drew (aka musician Plan B) steps into Dennis Waterman’s shoes as Carter, his younger, more compromising sidekick.

Love’s last movie was a period reboot of Alan Clarke’s 1989 film ‘The Firm’, but here he pointedly avoids a retro, ‘Life on Mars’ approach to dramatising unconventional policing. Instead, Love and his co-writer John Hodge (‘Trainspotting’) indulge the modernity of London in 2012, even putting Regan in a glass-walled, open-plan office, presumably as way of a stressing how his habits of bashing criminals round the nut or chasing them through the West End firing semi-automatic weapons are a little out of touch. There are enough aerial shots of Canary Wharf and the city’s skyline to keep helicopter cameramen in pocket until next Christmas.

Reality goes out the window as Love drowns out logic in favour of bluff, noise and testosterone. Events exist in no known legal or judicial system, and it feels like police advisers were actively avoided or ignored. The story sees Regan increasingly at odds with his superior, Haskins (Damian Lewis, not entirely comfortable with dodgy lines like: ‘The world’s running out of men like you, Jack’), and internal affairs boss, Lewis (Steven Mackintosh), whose wife, Nancy (Hayley Atwell), gives Winstone some unexpectedly saucy scenes.

Regan is hauled out of service when his methods switch from being merely neolithic to positively paleolithic. But this ageing bruiser refuses to sit back and watch ‘Top Gear’ repeats, convinced as he is that he’s on the trail of a man behind a series of brutal robberies and a murder. There are some distracting car chases and there’s a frankly bonkers – but so delirious it’s welcome – shoot out in the National Gallery.It’s Winstone who keeps ‘The Sweeney’ on the right side of duff. The actor is at his feral best, and plays gamely with an unlikely role as a gruff lothario in scenes with Atwell. Plan B doesn’t really have the acting chops for this, but Winstone’s more effective co-stars are the city and the film’s honest, unembarrassed embrace of Hollywood-style action on the unlikely streets of London.

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Release details

UK release:

Wed Sep 12, 2012

Cast and crew

Screenwriter:

John Hodge, Nick Love

Director:

Nick Love

Cast:

Hayley Atwell, Damian Lewis, Ray Winstone, Steven Mackintosh

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

2.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:11
  • 4 star:6
  • 3 star:8
  • 2 star:3
  • 1 star:15
LiveReviews|54
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Billy Paton

This film was tosh of the highest calibre ..Ray Winstone and that other young un ..Over acting what kind of Police were these ...Just let's do our own rebel things guys ,we won't bother with the law..Oh and the shootouts Let's run away from the police they have 9mm pistols..we have state of the art Assault rifles..who will win..ridiculous .

Jim

It's difficult to explain the utter banality and garbage that this film is. It is without the humour or class of the tv series and it is without any form of class to make it a credible update. It is by far the worst film from a major studio that I have ever seen. No plot, no humour, no anything except complete and utter drivel masquerading as a film remake. Don't waste your time watching this because your time would be better used sticking drawing pins in your face- it would be a whole lot less painful doing that than watching this.

cowley

Complete crap winston too old and fat for Reagan,plan b can't act nothing like carter.Phillip glenister as Reagan would have been better choice.Kevin whatley as carter.they ruined what should have been a good movie.I thought it was a comedy.really bad.

villardi

Sorry Kevin the film is very average and I was being kind when I gave it 3 stars in my review. Comared to Looper and Skyfall it's just a DVD on a wet Sunday afternoon.

Darren

Boring and waste of hype. Could of easily been on the box as a three part E4 Brit season. Pants

Merrittpr

Despite the reviews I went to watch it last Tuesday with an open mind. I didn't really expect it to bare much resemblence with the original Sweeney, and it did not. It tried to compare with the use of the pick axe handles but was all a bit cameo. As a film it was entertaining and reasonably well full of action, however, have to admit with a previous blogger that the whole Trafalgar Square shoot out that extended through most of central London was not that convincing. Ray Winstone was good at playing Ray Winstone, well he is pretty good at that these days. As for good old Plan B, or Plan C for the purpose of the film, he was too mumbly and lacked any real purpose. Top line of the film for me was 'Jack being a better f*ck'....... As action films go this was ok but, to be honest, it could have been better.

villardi

Martin Scorcese it ain't and the shootouts in London are faintly ridiculous, making the city seem like 1930's Chicago, so why did I quite enjoy it. Probaly because apart from the names it had no connection to the original Sweemey. You gotta like Winstone who parodies his hard man act in just the right way for this mildly entertaining and fast moving tosh. An OK way to spend two hours but only just, I've seen better.

Terry

Thought this was great entertainment.Great Britflick competing with the big guns.Cant wait to see it again as its full of energy.

Terry

Thought this was great entertainment.Great Britflick competing with the big guns.Cant wait to see it again as its full of energy.

Movie Fan

Great movie!! great acting from Ray, however Ben needs some more acting lessons! Good film all in all.

Dave U

In this film Ray Winstone plays.......well Ray Winstone and I didn't find Winstone as Jack Regan that convincing, a bit one dimensional. The original Regan, John Thaw, managed to combine menace with intelligence a mix which Winstone failed to capture in my view. You really have to suspend reality from the start as macho style of policing MIGHT just have been possible with a fair degree of poetic licence 40 years ago but for 2012 it's more unlikely than Robocop. Might have been better set in the 70s as was the original series but if you like action movies still worth a look.

Bobby

Yeah understand what your saying. Ray Winstone seems to over act these days. Gone to his head. Becoming an old ham like Brian Blessed. Tragic.

critique

Crisply presented cops n robbers caper. Best to enjoy it on its own merits and not to compare it with the TV classic to which it bears little resemblance. 3 and a half stars.

Phil

Poor. Very dissapointing adaptation of the superb series/film from 70s. Whole thing felt very conrtived. Weak plot. Terrible directing. No natural feel or pace to the film as films from yesteryear (French connection, ronin, goodfellas). Great opportunity that failed in a big way. Heartless souless drivle that you would expect from a pants BBC series. Ben Drew simply can't act and even the normally excellent Ray Winstone hammed is role up in a major way. What a FAIL.

MikeT

Having chuckled at the trailer for several weeks, I wondered if the film would live up to the hype. I was pleasantly surprised to find it does. The first thing to strike me is how well this movie is cast. I appreciate the John Thaw fan club will want to stone me for this, but I think Winston’s far better than Thaw. The second thing was the good storyline – enough twists to keep it interesting and thrilling without getting too far up its own arse and losing the viewer. I thought the action sequences excellent - particularly the bank heist/Trafalgar Sq/National Gallery, and the photography superb. This film isn’t quite last year’s “Drive�, but it comes very close. It'd be a crime if there wasn't a sequel. 7/10 or nearly 4 stars.

the cub

What a disappointment. Ever since I saw the cast and remake of a classic, I couldn't wait til last Friday. Now i'm thinking, what a waste of 7 quid! Poor storyline, not a believable real copper amongst them. Winstone trying to be a hard nut all the time and Drew is not an actor, period! The Sweeney bent the rules to get results, they never broke the law as this lot think is acceptable. Shocking attempt at a past master! Why not get a modern Flying Squad member to advise and make the police realistic. Everybody watch Heat and see how a gritty police film should be made!

colin

Loved it.Pure entertainment and i have to say to the previous comment what on earth are you on? Lazy racism making the villain a serb?.GET A LIFE YOU MUG!

colin

Loved it.Pure entertainment and i have to say to the previous comment what on earth are you on? Lazy racism making the villain a serb?.GET A LIFE YOU MUG!

philsee

Predictable plot, including the lazy racism of having a Serbian gunman as the prime villain. Only notable for the routing law-breaking of the police. Violent action for dull boys. Otherwise rubbish.

Ian

Forget the 5* reviews by mates of those involved with the film you have to ask one question. Is it any good? Well it is OK it isn't great and despite the best efforts of Ray Winstone and Damian Lewis it struggles to be more than average. The plot is full of cliches and the villains rather too stereotypical. All around it seems everyone is in cruise control mode. Drew was obviously brought in to try to access a younger generation of fans but doesn't quite carry it off. Its a bit like going to watch a Beatles tribute band, you know the songs and you have a good time but you know the original was much better. A reasonable attempt at updating a tv classic. Better than 2 stars but ony just worth 3.

scrumpyjack

Nick Love has only managed one good film before this.........and STILL has just one under his belt because this is VERY good. Forget "police can't do that" bollocks, this ain't a fly on the wall documentary, it's ballsy, gun blazing, scum busting entertainment...& the Trafalgar Sq. shoot out is THRILLING! The worlds running out of good unpretentious shit like this, Jack. 7+/10

Gary

Went to see this movie last night , thought it was a fantastic evenings entertainment , the movie rolled along at a rollicking pace , I never once found myself wishing any part would finish , the acting was pretty good , unless your looking for an Oscar , you won't be disappointed , at the end you will wish it wasn't over , brill

Gary

Went to see this movie last night , thought it was a fantastic evenings entertainment , the movie rolled along at a rollicking pace , I never once found myself wishing any part would finish , the acting was pretty good , unless your looking for an Oscar , you won't be disappointed , at the end you will wish it wasn't over , brill

Ollie

Was reminded of the Lee Mack routine where it must be painful to be a Cockney!Ray Winstone good as you expect and the film is entertaining for a limited budget, Bit of a low rent Heat shootout and interrogations ever so slightly of yesteryear but overall enjoyed it. Plan B looks like he couldn't knock the skin off a rice pudding, but hey, its makebelieve!

Truth Goblin

Saw this last night. I couldn't shake off the feeling that it was a little like a made for TV production. It's common knowledge that finaces were limited though and with that in mind it's not a bad effort. I'm a fan of Winstone anyway so that colours my view but he does a good job with a sometimes poor script. A lot of us older folk (ok ok I know you can see repeats) still have the magnificent John Thaw associations to shake off but Winstone carries it off. The Trafalgar Square shoot-out is good but a different director may have made this into a more edge of seat experience as it felt a bit staged. Sorry if I'm sounding harsh but I won't be as stinging as reviewer Stan Fus, although I agree with his verdict on the final car chase, what a lost opportunty indeed. In between all the effin and ceeing (it's a long time since I heard the 'C' word in a movie), the story moves quite briskly although it's a bit simplistic. Damian Lewis lends some gravitas to proceedings but is really just going through the motions. I like the extension of the Carter character and I think Drew does a decent job although he does mumble a bit, but he's not an actor of great experience and put alongside a big character like Winstone he must have known it would be a challenge, good on him I say. The chemistry works very well though and Drew's solo violence scene is to me one of the best scenes in the entire film. The Top Gear film crew do a good job with the car chase scenes but they should take back the Focus RS as the airbag function is obviously crap ha ha. They wanted to bring Sweeney into the modern era but I noticed 1970's sexism and smoking in the workplace was transplanted into 2012.

Stan Fus

A disappointment, with Police methods from the 70's supposedly in use today? A miscast, mumbling Plan B stumbles around like a lost method actor, the shoot out in Trafalgar Square tries to emulate Michael Mann's 'Heat;, and is not a bad try - the interior is at The Royal Society of Surgeons, NOT The National Gallery, as TO's reviewer suggests, and finishing the climactic car chase in a Caravan Park? A wasted opportunity!

RussellF

I have just seen it on its opening day and l give it 4 stars. It's tough, gritty and pacey and there's quite a lot of humour in it. It's not the John Thaw-Dennis Waterman Sweeney but a 21st Century update and no bad thing for that. OK there are some cliches in it but overall it's excellent.

Marjk Bridges

Didn't have high expectations for this film given the director's previous films, but I'm a fan of Ray Winstone and thought I'd give it a go. A good decision as it turns out, because this film is a blast. London has never looked sharper and it's a proper twisty crime thriller. The chemistry between Plan B (Ben Drew) and Ray Winstone is sparky and believable and the film sprints along at a cracking pace. London looks modern and never sharper the cinematography by Simon Dennis is beautiful), and despite a couple of the usual crime/thriller turns it manged to keep me hooked for the duration. I fancy seeing another instalment of this if they make another. Just can't get enough of Ray.

Marjk Bridges

Didn't have high expectations for this film given the director's previous films, but I'm a fan of Ray Winstone and thought I'd give it a go. A good decision as it turns out, because this film is a blast. London has never looked sharper and it's a proper twisty crime thriller. The chemistry between Plan B (Ben Drew) and Ray Winstone is sparky and believable and the film sprints along at a cracking pace. London looks modern and never sharper the cinematography by Simon Dennis is beautiful), and despite a couple of the usual crime/thriller turns it manged to keep me hooked for the duration. I fancy seeing another instalment of this if they make another. Just can't get enough of Ray.

Terry Swinton

The best thing has been the comments in here a little war between reviewer and reviewee's(is that a word?) gonna see the film and think it will be as someone has already said not brain food but escapist entertainment (after all that's what films are supposed to be) and stop the Nick Love Bashing it's not about hating it's about entertaining

Rob

I saw the movie last night with my wife (a Ben Drew fan) and have to say we both thoroughly enjoyed it. Sure it's not brain food and it was a bit predicatable in places (ok alot of place) but the action was great and I thought the movie moved along at a good pace. Much much better that we both expected.

Rob Turner

despite some early career promise for mr love, after outlaw and the firm you dont have to watch this film to know it will be pant-shittingly bad

Kevin

Well Dave why did you rate a film you haven't seen?Secondly I do not know who Kerry London is.Thirdly Dudley is someone who watched the film with me and was appalled by the false reviews put on here by people who hadn't seen the film and put his own review on here..We have seen the film,are not part of the production and gave our honest review of a film that we HAVE watched!

Kevin

Well Dave why did you rate a film you haven't seen?Secondly I do not know who Kerry London is.Thirdly Dudley is someone who watched the film with me and was appalled by the false reviews put on here by people who hadn't seen the film and put his own review on here..We have seen the film,are not part of the production and gave our honest review of a film that we HAVE watched!

Kevin

I am not press but I have seen the film along with friends who were also invited to a screening a month ago.I am giving my honest review of the film as someone who has actually seen it and not someone who has an axe to grind and quite clearly hasn't seen it. The film is terrific and I am sure when people genuinely see it they will agree not some twisted troll who can't wait to dish the dirt

Kevin

I am not press but I have seen the film along with friends who were also invited to a screening a month ago.I am giving my honest review of the film as someone who has actually seen it and not someone who has an axe to grind and quite clearly hasn't seen it. The film is terrific and I am sure when people genuinely see it they will agree not some twisted troll who can't wait to dish the dirt

Kevin

The last 3 reviews quite clearly havent seen the movie and are working to their own agenda.It was a press screening and they certainly were not there

Kevin

The last 3 reviews quite clearly havent seen the movie and are working to their own agenda.It was a press screening and they certainly were not there

Kim

As a female Sweeney fan I know the score, it's mainly a mans world. Except the t.v. series did it's misogyny-lite with brains and good writing. I wasn't expecting much from the flick but I was hoping for something with a slightly more modern sensibility. Its not a man's world anymore. In Sweenyland 2012 it's a lad's world in the worst possible sense. It ain't 'alf boring guv.

Nick Gormless

There is now no longer any doubt that Nick Love is the worst film maker in the UK. As for this film - I wish there was a movie Sweeney who'd go to Love's house, kick his door in, and arrest him for stealing my time and the £15 I spent watching this utter crap. As for the 5star reviews on here - the other poster got it right - they look like plants - desperate stuff for a truly desparate film AVOID AT ALL COSTS

real dave

ah, I see the production company/ distributor/ director's mate has been posting. Notice the lack of a space after the full-stop in the below two reviews. A rare grammatical error that is repeated in two posts by, apparently, two different people within a few minutes. One * for sham reviews.

Kerry London

Really enjoyed it.Great shoot out through Trafalgar square .Ray was great and plan b was so fresh as Carter.Villains were awesome.

Kerry London

Really enjoyed it.Great shoot out through Trafalgar square .Ray was great and plan b was so fresh as Carter.Villains were awesome.

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