The Sweeney (UK, 2012)

DVBKfKyRlZwWFK_1_lDirected by: Nick Love. And again, I ask myself, why did you watch this one? And the answer?…Ray Winstone? British cop drama? Bad judgment? Basically, if it’s a British cop drama set in London with Ray Winstone, I figured it’d be pretty sick. Dumb, sure, but super enjoyable anyway. But I was wrong. It was just dumb, and too dumb to be actually enjoyable. The characters are all sexist, macho idiot scumbags, crooked cops who steal money, and the world of the film is a world where the rules of police decorum, due process, law and order, are all just stuffed-shirt red tape to be trodden over by the “real men” who unthinkingly brutalize their suspects, act on hunches (which the film always validates), and use brutal violence to set the world right from criminals who are slightly more violent than they are. The film makes this distinction explicit, making Ray Winstone’s idiotic, apelike, temper-tantrum patriarchal shitbag into a womanizer, spending a lot of screen time showing us how sexually virile he is with his younger woman, and how much she prefers him to her husband, who happens to be the stuffed-shirt, by-the-book desk cop who can’t perform in bed and who wants to shut down the tough guy and his unit of tough guys, not because he’s actually justified in wanting to investigate police corruption—even though the movie shows us that these meathead cops are actually corrupt cops and are actually brutally violent—but because he’s a wet blanket who just loves to harsh everyone’s buzz because he’s an impotent desk jockey. Like, wow, this film’s take on the world makes Dirty Harry look sophisticated. I haven’t seen the TV show from the 70’s but it’s pretty fucked that this exact same gangster-cop motif is thriving enough to make a movie. Although, apparently the movie didn’t do that well, so hopefully audiences in the UK are smart enough to see through this garbage. This movie was like Filth but without the critique of the shitbag main character. It was cool seeing some supporting characters I recognized, including Damien Lewis, Alan Ford, Steven Mackintosh (whose performance as Winston in Lock Stock was burned into my brain), Paul Anderson (from Peaky Blinders) and the amazing Ray Winstone in the main role, but all of them were underused, all of them playing characters that I would classify on the low end of a particularly bad season of Murphy’s Law (say, season 5). I can’t believe that John Hodge co-wrote this turd. This makes Harry Brown look like Taxi Driver. If you’re interested in a dumb action spectacle, do yourself a fucking favour: skip this one, go see Liam Neeson instead.

3 responses to “The Sweeney (UK, 2012)

  1. Pingback: Legend (UK, 2015) | Offhand Reviews·

  2. Pingback: List of Judgements, Anno Domini 2015 | Offhand Reviews·

  3. Pingback: List of Judgements, Anno Domini 2015 | Offhand Reviews·

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