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A brainless succession of predictable set pieces that retains none of the magic of the original 1970s TV show
on 16 November 2015
A word of warning. If, like me, you have an affection for the classic 1970s show then under no circumstances succumb to the temptation to watch this film. How bad could it be? The answer is "Very". Unlike successful film adaptations of classic TV shows (e.g. The Brady Bunch Movie, The Adams Family, Starsky and Hutch) this adaptation of The Sweeney has virtually nothing common with the original show, apart from retaining the names of Jack Regan and George Carter. Where John Thaw and Dennis Waterman brought dark humour, chemistry, world weariness and humanity to their hard cop roles, Ray Winstone's Regan (and I'm a Winstone fan) is a boorish, swaggering, sweary, thug - a repulsive individual. Ben 'Plan B' Drew is even worse as Carter. He sleepwalks through the film and is one of the least convincing cops I've ever seen. The plot, such as it is, is ludicrous. A great shame, as an updated version of The Sweeney had the potential to be something special. This film is a brainless succession of predictable set pieces. The only surprising thing about it is that The Sweeney work out of a spacious, hi-tech corporate office in the City and not a police station.