13 September 2012 | Theo Robertson
Ignore The Plot Holes . This Is Commercial Entertainment
Nick Love is a man with a lot of baggage . His OUTLAW DVD commentary with Danny Dyer has passed in to legend and that's not meant as a compliment . In short if Love made something of the standard of GONE WITH THE WIND or CITIZEN KANE the critics would still hate him and his movies. Of course there's very little danger of Nick Love ever making a movie masterpiece , he's not Godard or Wyler or Welles or even Danny Boyle but as someone who makes movies for British lads he's more than competent . Indeed there's a bizarre irony that this might qualify him as an autuer of sorts . Who better then to bring a classic Brit TV show to the screen ?
Well THE SWEENEY was and remains one of the greatest TV shows Britain has ever produced . Unfortunately despite having protagonists called Regan , Carter and Haskins who work for - Sweeney Todd - The Flying Squad they're not really the people we know from the TV series . Regan and Carter are a couple of detectives who are rough diamondswho bend the rules but the incisive blackly comical aspects to their characters is conspicous by its absence . They're not the same people and it's not just down to their not being played by John Thaw and Dennis Waterman
That said the film is carried by the cast . Ray Winstone has made a career of playing the same cockney hardman for over 30 years and who better to play a violent anti hero than Winstone ? There's even a post modernist scene where he puts a bunch of battaries in to a sock mirroring his breakthrough role in SCUM . Ben Drew effectively resurrects his role from HARRY BROWN except this time he's working for the law and he's very good as Winstone's sidekick . Somewhat disappointing is Damien Lewis as Frank Haskins because he's given very little to do but since Lewis is a relatively big name in American television you can understand he's cast as a selling point to a US market
If there's a serious problem to the movie then it's to do with plot holes . Several times you'll be falling out of your chair saying " Wait a minute don't criminals have access to lawyers ? " or " Don't you appear before a judge if you're remanded in custody ? " but in fairness to Love you don't really notice these deficences as the director ratches up the action and violence . Ignore the plot holes and you'll have a good time at the cinema watching an enthralling and involving British action thriller which is all too rare these days