The Sweeney (2012)

Action, Crime, Drama
Ray Winstone, Ben Drew, Hayley Atwell, Steven Mackintosh
A hardened detective in the Flying Squad of London's Metropolitan police. Based on the '70s UK TV show.
Ray Winstone exudes tough-guy bravado, but this cop thriller otherwise feels thoroughly generic.
  • Entertianment One Films Company:
  • R Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 01 Mar 2013 Released:
  • 02 Apr 2013 DVD Release:
  • $26.3k Box office:

All subtitles:


Ten good reasons to see this film1/10
Here I have ten good reasons why you might want to see this movie.

1) If you want to see members of the police break the law, assault suspects and any one else they feel like just to get answers to questions and get away with it.

2) If you want to see someone who looks and talks like a fifteen year old kid taking out a room full of 15 stone 6ft 4in Serbian gangsters on his own without getting a scratch.

3) If you want to see a fat, bald, middle aged policeman having sex with a girl his daughters age.

4) If you want to see a policeman almost kill a superior officer and nothing is done about it.

5) If you want to see talent like Damien Lewis wasting his time in this role.

6} If you want to see total disregard for authority and the law that they carry on pursuing and killing the villains even after they have orders from the top to cease all operations.

7) If you want to see the direct ripped off cut and pasted version of the bank heist shoot out from Michael Mann's Heat transposed to Trafalgar Square.

8) If you want to see police officers living in places merchant bankers would struggle to pay for.

9) If you want to finally appreciate how good John Thaw and Dennis waterman were as Regan and Carter.

10) If you want to hear the line "I want your gun and your badge". Nick Love was obviously watching Dirty Harry on video when he wrote this line into the script.

Those are the ten reasons someone might possibly want to watch this excuse for a movie but only if you are male, over 40, still living with your parents, on benefits, have no girlfriend, no job and collect DVD box sets for a hobby. I am none of those things but I didn't have the benefit of reading this review before I watched it. So if you still want to watch it after reading this then you maybe need to evaluate your life.

One reason why you certainly wont want to see this movie

1) All 10 reasons above (and a dozen more besides but I don't have the time or the word limit).

Don't waste your money or your time on this like I did, you will walk away feeling very empty inside.
Would Have Made a Decent TV Special4/10
The style of the movie largely relies on sweeping glass and steel shots of London, while they're beautifully done and almost futuristic, you'd be forgiven for thinking it was the opening scenes of The Apprentice they're so disjointed from the film itself.

The Sweeney are The Flying Squad of London's Metropolitan Police, tasked with cracking down on violent crime and armed robberies. They're loud, cocky, and vicious and, if the cases we're shown are anything to go by, very, very bad at their job.

Regan (Winston) is head man and a law unto himself, his sidekick Carter (Drew) and the rest of his special ops team are housed in a swish crow's nest of Scotland Yard with all mod cons. While Winston and Drew have an unmistakable chemistry on screen they really didn't have much to work with. Drew delivers his lines painfully slow, as if inebriated but you have to give it to the guy, he's not bad when it comes to fisticuffs. The gung ho ways and abysmal record of their squad attracts the attention of Internal Affairs, who are just waiting for a reason to shut them down. The wait isn't very long.

England's capital is largely deserted for the duration, which again beggars belief. There's a monumental hot pursuit and shoot out on an almost empty Trafalgar Square with just enough passers by to be pushed violently to the ground by both the fleeing criminals and the cops themselves, by the third time, it was comically so. It would appear that The Sweeney have been trained at the Storm Trooper Shooting Range as London town is shot up in relentless gunfire but not one bullet reaches its target. Think Hot Fuzz not Miami Vice.

The plot is convoluted, the cases needlessly complicated and for the life of me I couldn't get excited about a Serbian Georgie Burgess as the bad guy. While Nick Love is renowned for his cockney gangster offerings, unfortunately this time round he didn't think to bring either a decent story or a coherent script to the table.

The Sweeney is somewhat enjoyable but it borders on parody far too often. It's outdated and overplayed with enough product placement have an accompanying catalog. It would have made a decent TV special but for a big screen outing it's a meh from me.
Dire, in every sense3/10
I had limited expectations for this film. I was to be let down, abysmally so.

From the start to the end credits this film is cliche on top of formulaic, unbelievable, over-the-top drama. I found my ability to suspend my disbelief sorely tested and, after 20 minutes unable to cope. Far fetched does not do it justice.

The characters were cardboard and again, straight out of a comic book. Drew, Carter in the film, simply cannot act. Or, if he can, chose not to in this film. His delivery is wooden. His lines devoid of feeling and overall, I found myself wishing him to shut up.

The same with most of the characters. In the end I found that I could not feel any empathy with the characters so when some inevitably fell off the screen, I could not care less.

Every line is plagued with an over the top cockney hard man thread. The film tried too hard to be hard. Imagine Lock Stock that takes itself seriously.

Considering this was the elite squad of the Met, famed for cracking cases and bringing the fight to the criminals, it failed miserably. No one could handle a firearm, the A-Team had clearly schooled them on the range (10,000 rounds expended, no hits claimed)and tactics appeared to be go on your own so you can be abducted, shot or otherwise incapacitated.

In short, this should be watched on your TV. Indeed, where it should have been released. Save your money and rent it one evening when you have nothing else to do.
Another Stolen Title1/10
I remember the original TV series with fondness, a low budget but gutsy, urban, gritty cop show. If you've ever seen The Shield or Life on Mars you have an idea of the kind of show it show it was.

What the makers thought they were getting from this show I do not know. The title is the only thing this movie has in common with the original. This is a very slickly affair with cinematography befitting a sic-fi movie. The musical score is straight from Nolan's Batman, and most of the action seems to happen in country lanes and yacht docks when it should have been happening on the streets of London. The scenes that do happen on the streets of London show a bizarre deserted version of London I've never seen, not even at 3 in the morning. The story and the acting are not worth mentioning.

The plot to the movie is straight out of an American action movie which is a real shame. If you've never seen the original or even heard of it then you probably think it's a passable action movie. However as there was such an opportunity to do something uniquely British and original here it is a huge disappointment. It just goes to show that Hollywood are not the only ones that produce hackneyed crap.
Unrealistic immoral claptrap.1/10
Wow, how bad was this. How did this nonsense ever get funding.

You have a policeman that actually acts more like a criminal than anyone else, he is cruel, nasty, a bully and a murderer yet is somehow portrayed as the hero of the piece.

He wouldn't have lasted a minute and would have been arrested, shamed and put in prison. You cannot just drive a car into a crime scene, without identifying yourself clearly or actually reading people their rights. Anyone arrested by this ragtag bunch of thugs would have got off in 10 second and sued the police station for brutality.

The arrest of the chap at his farmhouse, for doing nothing wrong, was ridiculous, wrongful arrest, police harassment and brutality, totally unbelievable.

At the end I was so appalled by the actions of Regan/Carter I wanted them and his whole crew to be killed. I was routing for the criminals, which were more victims than any of the police were.

Oh and apparently if you don't like a colleague in the police, you just verbally abuse him and then try to strangle him, which is acceptable behaviour.

On top of this claptrap, you then have gun fights where no one hits anyone and apparently wood has the same strength as steel.