The Sweeney film review: Ray Winstone"s Sweeney isn"t much cop


CHRIS TOOKEY: The Sweeney: An idiot plot mean Winstone's Sweeney isn't much cop

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UPDATED:

09:04 GMT, 14 September 2012

The Sweeney (15)

Verdict: Shut it!

Nick Love, the destitute man’s Guy
Ritchie, prides himself on being the hard man of British cinema with a
long series of cliched, simplistic films glamorising gangsters, crime
and hooliganism.

Here he turns his evidently limited attention span to updating the Seventies TV hit The Sweeney to the 21st century.

The results are hilariously stupid — a
police procedural without the foggiest idea of what constitutes police
procedure. Ray Winstone runs amok in John Thaw’s old role of Regan,
removing any trace of the character’s intelligence, charm or sex
appeal.

Nick Love turns his attention to updating the Seventies TV hit The Sweeney to the 21st century, putting Ray Winstone in the lead role

Nick Love turns his attention to updating the Seventies TV hit The Sweeney to the 21st century, putting Ray Winstone in the lead role

In a way that would make Gene Hunt
from Life On Mars stretch out a hand and say ‘Steady on, old boy!’, Ray
sets about beating up suspects, stealing from crime scenes and
assaulting senior officers in such an uninhibited fashion that,
naturally, he makes the most glamorous copper in the Flying Squad
(Hayley Atwell) fall for him, massive gut and all.

Ben Drew (alias Plan B), painfully feeble in the Dennis Waterman role of Carter, struggles to create a believable character.

But so does the far abler, more
experienced Damian Lewis (Homeland), having to trot out unspeakable
lines as Regan’s boss, appalled yet secretly attracted by his crazed
underling’s sheer manliness: ‘The world’s running out of men like you,
Jack!’

The underpopulated action scenes are
done on the cheap — the glamorous climax takes place, as trailed on Top
Gear, on a Gravesend caravan site — and it’s hard to believe Love can
spell subtlety, let alone achieve it.

But the film has a primitive energy
and creates an alternative universe where sexist dinosaurs not only roam
the Earth, but run the place.

It can safely be recommended to anyone who signed the online petition to make Jeremy Clarkson prime minister.