If The Sweeney has a very 70’s-cop-drama-feel that’s for good reason – it was based on the 70’s British TV show of the same name. This updated version gives a nod to greats of the genre like Serpico and French Connection, but also owes a debt to more modern classics like Layer Cake and even Reservoir Dogs (minus the gore).
The movie follows a group of London detectives that are part of the cloistered Flying Squad that investigates large-ring armed robberies. Yes there are some reliable cop movie crutches that are leaned on in this one (rock star cops isolated from the rest of the police department; a charismatic, “I don’t follow your rules” leader; and questionable police tactics), but clichés aside, the movie is wonderfully acted and highly entertaining.
And because this is a British movie, there is no need to fear an endless series of watered down sequels that would tarnish the original – an obvious fate The Sweeney would suffer if it had originated from Hollywood.
The Sweeney/1 DVD/112 Mins./eOne/2013