This film is from the series of the same name, but with its new make-over it is almost unrecognisable. The new film is sleek, sharp, clean and full of action. It is set in London and in the year that gave us back our patriotism with the Jubilee and Olympics, it shows off all London has to offer and it easily matches any other major city in the world. (Or I feel very patriotic).
It is beautifully filmed. The action is clear and yet slow enough to actually see what is going on. The director and the cinematographer should be nominated for awards for this. It is really a beautiful piece of work. John Thaw made Jack Reagan a legend. Who can fill his boots in the 21st century? Ray Winstone is the only choice and is outstanding in the role. Ben Drew (who plays George Carter), is also excellent in his role as Regan’s partner and they work well together.
The opening scene is a great one with some humour with some of the Sweeney talking about only marrying someone who is a 3 (they are grateful) or a 9 (you are grateful). This dialogue as they are on their way to stop an armed robbery is almost reminiscent of Tarrantino. An excellent opening. Unfortunately there is not enough humour throughout the film.
The story overall is rather weak and predictable, which is a shame as the action is excellent. A lot of the scenes are filmed on location, including the amazing shoot out in Trafalgar square. I cannot get over how they shot each other (with silent bullets – sound was added afterwards for fear of 999 calls to police) inside of the National Gallery. I have been to the National Gallery on several occasions and know we are not even allowed to take flash photography there; so valuable are the paintings.
I did get a bit fed up with the love interest story (especially the earring- won’t tell more as spoilers). The language, violence and sex makes me feel there should be another rating between a 15 and 18 as it is a bit near the knuckle for 15 year olds.
Top Gear did the finale car chase scene and you can see their expertise in this as it is exciting and fast paced. Some of the car shots made me want to duck as if I was actually in the car.
I am very disappointed the original Sweeney theme tune (which is iconic) has been changed almost beyond recognition. When things are that iconic – they shouldn’t be touched.
My only other irritant is Damian Lewis who play Frank (Reagan and Carter’s boss) has over-plucked his eyebrows and this is very distracting to his role. His face doesn’t move much either and it looks like he is more bothered about his Botox than catching criminals.
Verdict: I feel a sequel or three coming on. Now get ya trousers on, ya nicked!