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Tuesday, 22 January 2013

The Sweeney (2012)

Sweeney MK II - Almost but not quite
To catch a criminal, you must act like a criminal...

I'm a big fan of the original TV series which I rate as the best UK cop show ever produced, so I was eager to see the 2012 movie version. However one too many bad reviews and a limited big screen showing in my area resulted in me not seeing the film at the cinema and not getting around to catching up with the adventures of the flying squad until the DVD hit the stores.

The original Sweeney starred John Thaw and Dennis Waterman as flying squad officers Regan and Carter and taking the roles for this big screen remake we have Ray Winstone as Regan and Ben Drew as Carter. Both actors had incredibly big shoes to fill and although Winstone gives us a great Regan, Ben Drew often seems uninterested as Carter.

In fact the casting of Ray Winstone is the best thing about this film, which often feels and looks like a TV movie, only with added spice. The film with its plot of violent bank robbers against even more violent cops is entertaining enough but it feels nothing like the classic TV series it claims to be based on. The only elements carried over from the original are the main character names and the odd catchphrase. And perhaps that is why it is so disappointing - I can't help feeling it would have been far better as a period piece set during the grimy 1970's, but then all those opportunities for product placement would have been lost. The Apple logo, for instance,seems to pop up on every computer seen in this movie where much of the action takes place around the hi-tech world of modern banking.

Ahh well, just as well I waited for the DVD. For me this movie represents a missed opportunity.


Brian Drake said...

Top Gear did a segment with the actors during the filming of a car chase and Clarkson mucked it up really good. I was hoping for a US release but it didn't make it over here.

Gary Dobbs/Jack Martin said...

Brian - you ain't missing much.Stick to the original series

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

Loved the original series, which I got turned onto after being a huge fan of Inspector Morse and John Thaw. I agree, it would have been better for the revised version to be set in the 70's Thanks for the review.

Rayzer Sharpie said...

I think that I'm in agreement with you on this. Just put up my own take on this.