Ben Drew

review sweeney

The Sweeney is a celebration of shoddy police work. Not that it’s different from many other cop movies in that respect. If you think about it, the amount of collateral damage that piles up in the genre should get most of the silver screen’s badge-carrying heroes fired. Cars fly into buildings, public spaces get blown to bits, and innocent civilians get drawn into the fray. Usually we don’t even think about it. The Sweeney, to its credit, is often about its own indulgent and bombastic style. The cops in question are London’s Flying Squad, known as ‘The Sweeney’ by way of some Cockney rhyming slang (Flying Squad sounds like Sweeney Todd). They are lovingly adapted by writer/director Nick Love from the classic British television show of the same name, which ran from 1975 to 1979. Ray Winstone takes on the role of the head of the squad, hot-heated Jack Regan. His second in command is George Carter (Ben Drew), an up-and-coming young detective whose ambition is only matched by his loyalty to Regan. The Sweeney’s job, ostensibly, is to prevent armed robberies. They accomplish this by interrupting crimes in progress, always out of uniform, and usually brandishing baseball bats.

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