The Sweeney Finally Hits US Screens

Beware of Spoilers!

It’s already hit store shelves on DVD in the UK, but today The Sweeney takes its bow on US screens for the first time. Based on the 70s classic cop drama of the same name, The Sweeney stars Ray Winstone as Jack Regan, a no-nonsense cop who leads the most productive department of London’s Metropolitan Police Department. There’s just one problem. You know that age old adage that you sometimes have to be a criminal to catch a criminal?

Meet Jack Regan and his team.

They get the job done, but with questionable methods that mean a lot of gun shooting, chasing criminals, and other wild and crazy stunts. Basically perfect fodder for a cop film. And there are some very entertaining action sequences. My personal favorites are the gun fight through Trafalgar Square, and the car chase through a mobile home park – which I knew looked familiar, but it took me a few minutes to remember the Top Gear sketch from Series 18 (the actual car chase in the film went a bit better than Clarkson & Hammond’s version):

When it comes to action, The Sweeney is good clean fun. Its problems come when you look beyond the action, and try to find some substance. There’s an attempt to throw some in with stories of infidelity, and one character having been saved from a life of crime. But there’s no point where you feel a real connection to the characters on screen. As someone who tends to cry at the drop of a hat, I hardly batted an eyelash when tragedy befell the team. In the end, I was left feeling as though this story was likely served much better with its original television format, where characters could be properly developed and an audience had time to connect to them. At the end of this film, I honestly just didn’t care about any of them.

In the end, The Sweeney is a lot of flash, with not much behind it. If you’re the kind of person who just wants a bit of action, this might quench your thirst. If you’re looking for some depth to go with your action, I’m afraid you’d do better looking for something else.

The Sweeney opens in the US on March 1st, 2013, and stars Ray Winstone and Damian Lewis.