As a young lad I can remember being thrilled by the adventures of Jack Regan & George Carter as they fought against the criminals in the London underground, bringing them to justice with tactics that would be put down to police abuse nowadays. And now we have a remake of the classic hard hitting UK cop show. But is it any damn good (you slags)?
Flying Squad office Jack Regan is an old school Police officer. He and his team get the job don, even if their tactics are not much above those used by the criminals that they hunt.
After foiling a warehouse robbery, Regan & his squad come under the suspicion of Internal Affairs officer Ivan Lewis, who’s wife Nancy is one of the Flying Squads finest.
Getting wind of a bank robbery that is going to take place by a group of vicious criminals who think nothing of killing witnesses, Regan is convinced that an old foe of his is responsible.
Ignoring orders, he finds himself on the wrong side of the law and it is only the faith of the loyal George Carter that will see him able to bring the criminals to justice.
The first thing I have to say about the remake of The Sweeney is that there possibly wasn’t anyone better suited to bring the tough Jack Regan to the screen than British stalwart hardman Ray Winstone. He is a gruff, aggressive no nonsense character & Winstone more than brings him to life as he growls & kicks & punches his way across the screen. But you can also see why he is so loved by the members of the Sweeney that he works with. The loyalty being totally understandable.
And then there is Ben Drew. Possibly better known to the world as rapper Plan B, he is a true shining star as the loyal George Carter. The camaraderie between him & Regan is truly well played & I was very impressed with him in this – especially as when I first heard he was in it I thought he would probably be the week link! Shows what I know, eh?
I’m also happy to say that it doesn’t skimp on the action either. There are plenty of shootouts, punch-ups & car chases to satiate everyone and they are sprinkled with enough interesting plot developments & humor to make it seem a lot more than just a series of action scenes strung together.
It is gripping as well, with one sequence in particular being quite high in tension as you just know something bad is about to happen but you’re not sure what, which serves as the catalyst for the second half of the film.
The only weak link in all of this is the slightly stereotypical cock-er-knee bad guy that Regan & Carter are up against. It might have been a little more rewarding if he had been slightly less generic, however that is a small price to pay for what is a highly entertaining British crime thriller.
Yes, I enjoyed the hell out of The Sweeney. It is more foul mouthed than the original TV series (with more than a few F-bombs & two very well placed stronger words, which both made me chuckle – yes, I know swearing isn’t big & clever but these were brilliantly placed) but it is a fitting successor.
So if you are out for an entertaining thriller that shouts it’s British credentials from the highest point (I can’t imagine many films ending in Gravesend, after all) then this should be pretty damn high up your list & I for one would be very interested to see The Sweeney taking criminals down a second time.
Two other things – to whoever had the brilliant idea of Ray Winstone paying homage to one of the most famous scenes he has ever been in (you know the one – cue ball, sock, borstal from Scum) thank you – you made my night when I saw it (he’s still the Daddy).
However, whoever decided to replace the original iconic theme tune of The Sweeney with that horrid remixed version for the end credits deserves some Sweeney style justice! The original theme would have been fine & it is a blot (in my opinion) on what was otherwise a very good soundtrack.
Still, if that’s my one complaint, it shows how much I enjoyed the film I suppose!
Go get it now (you slags)!