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Review The Sweeney (2012): You're nicked!

genre: action, crime

The Sweeney is an adaptation of a TV Show that according to many had revolutionized British police drama with it’s hard hitting action, grittiness, politically incorrectness and strong characterization. I myself haven’t had the pleasure to see this series yet but I did put it down on my watch list. This adaptation surely is hard hitting, gritty and full of splendid action. But plot wise it’s average to plain bad. It’s a simple story constructed in a way that it becomes too complicated for it’s own good. Not that I really need that much story in an film where it is all about the action. Still it should not distract or even halt the events. And that is exactly what happens sometimes. In the quiet non action scenes too much focus is put on Regan (Ray Winstone) and him getting dirty with one of his female colleagues. Who happens to be married to a cop from Internal Affairs or Investigations (whatever it is called). In a certain event it makes sense. But exactly at this pivotal moment Regan barely seems affected or bothered. One of the most dramatic moments in the film and it has no impact at all. That is just sloppy acting, writing and directing. Then there is sidekick Ben Drew who draws attention to himself but who we never really get to know that well. Same goes for Regan. There is no depth to them at all. Sure the characters are likable enough. But in this case the audience needs to be informed why The Sweeney exists and why Regan and co are the only ones suitable for the job. Damian Lewis who is a magnificent actor is severely underused. You can see in his eyes that he is asking himself “what am I doing here?”. That is just criminal. Overall though The Sweeney is a flawed action flick that is very enjoyable and entertaining while it lasts. Only don't expect more than that.

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