The Coen Brothers get folky in Cannes.
Review: The Sweeney
Release date: 12th September
Starring: Ray Winstone, Ben Drew, Hayley Atwell, Steven Mackintosh, Damian Lewis
Director: Nick Love
What's the story? The 70s TV show gets a makeover in this gritty new cops'n'robbers story. Hard-nosed London Flying Squad cop Jack Regan (Ray Winstone) and his team investigate an armed robbery, making a mess in the process, and get into hot water with the boss (Steven Mackintosh).
What did we think? The action's tons of fun but the story doesn't stand up to close inspection. With the exception of Ben Drew's cop (aka singer Plan B), the tough cluster of characters are often hard to like.
Ray Winstone can play a hard man in his sleep so he's a natural choice for this blokey actioner from The Football Factory director Nick Love. His character Jack Regan is a mouthy sort; rude to pretty much everyone apart from - occasionally - colleague Nancy (Atwell), with whom he's having an implausible affair.
As he and his team tackle the case of a robbery-gone-wrong in a jewellers' store, his character allows for a few laughs but there's a problem: he's just not a hero you can root for. He's also not the brightest bulb in the box: audiences will likely be streets ahead of him in solving the crime in question.
But - and it's a big but - The Sweeney is still a fun ride, mainly thanks to the well-choreographed action in and around the streets of London. There's a nail-biting shoot-out around Trafalgar Square that could be destined for classic-scene status. And props should also go to Ben Drew, aka Plan B, who puts in a solid performance as Winstone's slightly more sympathetic colleague. Steven Mackintosh is also good as the boss clamping down on Regan's constant rule-breaking.
The plot still resembles a standard Sunday night police procedural, but then again, this is The Sweeney.
Verdict: Enjoyable in parts - decent rainy day viewing for fans of Nick Love's testosterone-fuelled fare
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