Monday, 17 September 2012

219, The Sweeney

If your a young man (like me) then remembering back to 1975 and a young John Thaw and Dennis Waterman acting out the roles of Regan and Cater for 53 episodes on your brown box TV's is just a thing that our parents spoke about.

But in 2012, Ben Drew (Plan B) and the 'Daddy' Ray Winstone don their leather jackets and arm themselves up with baseball bats and clubs to portray the classic coppers who believe that beating a confession out of a criminal is far more ethical than discussing one which ends themselves and their team in a whole heap of trouble with the ever watchful internal affairs.

I wont deny - I thought this movie was going to be a little cheesy, probably over acted and quite lame but how wrong could I be. 

Ben & Ray play the hardened cops with a great level of satisfaction and it has well and truly established Drew as a great actor along with music genius, writer, director etc - the list goes on.  Winstone on the other hand was born for this role - as Regan, he leads The Sweeney (Sweeney Todd - Flying Squad) into a ring of deceit with a plot that sees our London cops on the hunt for a murderous gang of robbers.  

Faced with an almost impossible mix of doing whats right against doing whats legal, Regan and Carter have to bend the rules (ever so slightly) to track down their suspect who is hell bent on wreaking havoc across the streets of London before escaping to a life of luxury, somewhere in the Sun.

This movie doesn't take a genius to keep up with it - not exactly billed as a dirty cop, Regan (Winstone) is definitely looking out for number 1 with a few side deals and most importantly - the Internal Affairs cop's wife spending more time in his bed than her at her desk - and as a member of The Sweeney herself - makes for some great office scenes.

Carter on the other hand is the new(ish) recruit, bathed in adoration for his elder but at the same time, carrying the clout of a seasoned officer and certainly not one to take things lying down - the pair of them combined make a formidable partnership and really set this movie off to a fine start.

There are as many laughs in this are there are beatings and its Winstone's comedic persona that gets a majority of the chuckles with any restriction on foul language being thrown out of the window and even a couple of "C"-bombs being launched along the way.  Winstone even manages to get a few love scenes that made me chuckle - especially as the "Sexy Beast" yellow pants manage to get another airing! 

The car chases are fast and furious, the gun battles and fights are well done (even if they all are worse shots than the A-Team) and the camaraderie of The Sweeney themselves is unrivalled, making for a fantastic buddy cop movie.

Its got the language, the violence and the comedy of any great British movie - and with the TV history, makes this one remake I'm glad I got to see.