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The Sweeney (2012)
Posted by Solomon
on 2/24/2017, 5:37 am
"The Sweeney" (2012) is a neo-noir that's like "The French Connection" (1971), says one reviewer; and this is an acute observation. Ray Winstone heads a rough plain clothes, but movie fancy, unit whose objective is to apprehend the most violent robbers and criminals. They let nothing stand in their way, including civilian collateral damage and shooting up the National Gallery. Themselves using a bit of loot on the sly to pay informers is par for the course. The formidable opposition justifies their tactics, says their head, Ray Winstone, as he fends off a formal inquiry led by the behind-a-desk type whom he despises. What's more, Winstone is punching his wife and she's ready to leave the wimp behind. Taking the main assistant's role is Ben Drew, renamed Plan B, a juvenile criminal who has seen a light and now gets his rush from the dangers faced by "the Sweeney", which is the Flying Squad's nickname. "You're nicked" is Winstone's favorite line.
The critics have this action-crime drama pegged as underplotted, generic, but well photographed with decent extended chases. The unit misses an obvious clue or thought until the 54-minute mark, and a degree of predictability creeps in. Ray Winstone makes the movie; I'm a fan of his tenacity and accent. Plan B holds his own in the later part of the movie that finds Winstone grounded for a spell. A bit of humor is woven into the fabric of this movie that could become a watch and watch again favorite but suffers from not developing the antagonists enough.