TV cops get a new beat
THE SWEENEY (MA)
Hoyts Belconnen and Woden, Limelight, Dendy
Reviewer: SIMON WEAVING
Fans of 1970s Brit-television will no doubt remember John Thaw and Dennis Waterman in the original version of The Sweeney - a long-running cops and robbers series about London's Flying Squad, a heavy-hitting branch of the Metropolitan Police that smashed doors and banged heads, arresting violent crims with classic lines like "get your trousers on son, you're nicked".
Writer-director Nick Love sets this reboot in contemporary London, with Ray Winstone as Detective Inspector Jack Regan and Ben Drew his sidekick George Carter. The film opens with Regan and crew crashing a robbery of gold bars in a London warehouse.
After a violent fight, the lads from the Sweeney prevail and Regan pockets one of the gold bars to give to his informant. When authorities in the force notice the loot is missing, a formal investigation of Regan gets under way - led by Chief Inspector Lewis (Steven Macintosh).
Lewis has good reason to loathe Regan on account of the steamy affair going on between his missus (Hayley Atwell) and Regan. Meanwhile, Regan and his team are trying try to work out who's behind a jewellery robbery that left an innocent civilian dead.
Slick and gritty, and loaded with plenty of hard-edged dialogue, Love has much more success with the look and feel of this film than the contrived plot, turning the chance of a big reprise into a standard police action film.