by Katy Embling
The Sweeney is shiny.
Let’s start with that, shall we? Focus on the good stuff. It looks great. A bright, Hollywood action blockbuster vibe, all modern white walls and glass offices. None of the grimy, run-down council estates that usually define British cinema. And maybe that’s the way we need to go. With the disbanding of the UK Film Council, and a huge lack of funding, the British film industry needs to find a way to keep up with our friends across the pond....
… Or maybe not. If the Sweeney is anything to go by, we should keep to the character-based real life dramas that we are so good at. Because this? This does not work. At all. A no-holds-barred, in-your-face, cliched, and quite frankly, misogynistic failure.
From the very first moment, The Sweeney sets it’s tone, with the men of the Flying Squard, otherwise known as the Sweeney, rating the girlfriend of one of their members on a scale of one to ten. From then on, a cliched story line mixed with ridiculous set pieces, very little character development and all the rhyming slang in the world is told in the brashest, crudest way it possibly can. Ray Winstone, it seems, is still stuck in the seventies, and I can’t help agreeing as Regan is told his kind is ‘extinct’. His tough, hard man attitude does not work anymore, and cannot attract an audience outside the people who saw the original. It’s simply embarrassing.
(FREE @ Glos Guildhall in October!)