The Sweeney (2012)

Directed by Nick Love

Starring Ray Winstone, Ben Drew, Damian Lewis, Hayley Atwell, Steven Mackintosh


London. The Flying Squad is alive and well, headed by Regan (Winstone) and his protégé Carter (Drew). A jewel heist becomes a murder and Regan, chasing old leads, hunts the gang down.

Nick Love, trying desperately to raise his career from the English Geezah films he has become renowned, has made The Sweeney, aiming to be the London version of Heat, stylish and sexy. This, he has achieved. What he has forgotten is to write a plot any different to previous efforts. DI Jack Regan, the top cop in the top part of the Met police, is an awful policeman. He gets results by saying “fuck” a lot. That’s it. Winstone is a far better actor than he shows here, with his Regan an unlikeable moron, unable to detect, chase leads, follow rules or even have a moral compass. For some reason I couldn’t fathom, Hayley Atwell is in this film, purely to have sex with Winstone. I hope she got paid a lot as her role is purely window dressing. A shame, she deserves better. Fortunately Ben Drew (better known as Plan B) does provide a moral centre to this film, throwing himself in to the role and coming out well. Lewis and Mackintosh are solid as ever in supporting roles but not even they can drag The Sweeney from a misogynist’s wet dream, revolving around geezers killing geezers and Winstone telling everyone (even frightened members of the public!) to fuck off. What could have been an interesting take on a beloved British property is just fahkin bollocks.


The armed unit of the British police force cannot hit a single thing (these are the police entrusted with guns!). The car chases are not slow. The top cop has no redeeming qualities – I wanted him to fail at every turn – and the story is flawed. Don’t even get me started on the lack of extras while filming in a “busy” central London. See this only if you want to see how little the British crime film has progressed since Lock, Stock.


The FriedGold rating – 1/10 – fahk orf you schlag

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Just watch Heat. Cops ‘n’ robbers, stylish, clever…everything lacking from this film