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The Sweeney – review

This is the first big-screen version of the classic 1970s cop series since the highly efficient 1978 Sweeney 2 in which John Thaw and Dennis Waterman reprised their TV roles as the boozy, violent Flying Squad Inspector Jack Regan (very obviously a British "Dirty" Harry Callahan) and his dedicated sidekick George Carter. In Love's pretty ordinary updating, Ray Winstone's overweight, fascistic Regan makes Thaw's original look like Lord Peter Wimsey, while rapper Ben Drew (alias Plan B) is a pale copy of Waterman's Carter. The plotting is weak with paid-for informants replacing any kind of investigation. There is a spectacularly staged, if ultimately absurd gunfight and chase following a bank robbery in Trafalgar Square that is superior to anything I recall from the TV series or the other theatrical spin-offs.

CrimeThrillerAction and adventureRay WinstonePlan BDamian LewisPhilip French © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.

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