The Sweeney (2012 film)
UK theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Nick Love|
|Screenplay by||Nick Love|
|Based on||The Sweeney
by Ian Kennedy Martin
|Music by||Lorne Balfe|
|Edited by||James Herbert|
|Distributed by||Entertainment One|
|Box office||$7.7 million|
The Sweeney is a 2012 British action drama film, inspired by the 1970s The Sweeney, the British television police drama of the same name, but set in contemporary London. Directed and written by Nick Love, and co-written by John Hodge, it is based on the characters created by Ian Kennedy Martin. It stars Ray Winstone as Jack Regan, Plan B (credited as Ben Drew) as George Carter, and Damian Lewis as Frank Haskins, with Allen Leech and Hayley Atwell.
The story focuses on two members of the Flying Squad, a branch of the Metropolitan Police. The Squad's purpose is to investigate commercial armed robberies, along with the prevention and investigation of other serious armed crime. The title is derived from Sweeney Todd, which is Cockney rhyming slang for "Flying Squad". The film was released on 12 September 2012.
Flying Squad officers Detective Inspector Jack Regan (Ray Winstone) and Detective Constable George Carter (Ben Drew) arrive at the scene of a warehouse robbery; four armed men are attempting to steal gold bars. After Regan and Carter capture the robbers, Regan takes some of the gold bars to give to his informant Harry (Alan Ford). Detective Chief Inspector Ivan Lewis (Steven Mackintosh) from Internal Affairs starts to scrutinise Regan's activities, unaware that Regan is having an affair with his estranged wife, Flying Squad officer Nancy Lewis (Hayley Atwell).
Regan receives information about a planned robbery on a private bank, but he has to cease surveillance when an armed robbery at an insignificant jewellers places £200,000 of jewellery in the hands of a dangerous criminal, and one civilian dead. Regan suspects that his long-time adversary Francis Allen (Paul Anderson) is responsible, but cannot contradict Allen's alibi that he was out of the country. After evidence links violent Serbian criminal Makin Trebolt (Kevin Michaels) to the crime Regan is forced to release Allen.
When the private bank is robbed the Flying Squad arrives in time to confront the heavily armed robbers, against the orders of their boss Detective Chief Inspector Frank Haskins (Damian Lewis). After a long chase and shootout the robbers escape, with Makin deliberately shooting Nancy dead in front of an incapacitated Regan. A grieving Inspector Lewis uses the shootout as justification to suspend the entire Flying Squad. Determined, Regan obtains a fake badge and illegal weapon and interrogates a local thug, who unexpectedly confesses that Allen paid him to fake his alibi. Before he can share this information with Carter, Regan is arrested and jailed.
Working separately, Carter tracks down and interrogates a robber wounded in the shootout, who reveals that Makin is planning to escape via a boat named Pegasus. Shortly after the armed Carter is arrested at gunpoint, only for Haskins to intervene in the hopes of saving Carter's career. Despite this, Haskins is unwilling to hear what Carter discovered until the latter spots the name "Pegasus" in the Flying Squad's notes: the name of Allen's boat.
With a firm connection between Allen and the crimes, Haskins arranges for Regan's release, and Regan and Carter head to the docks to intercept Makin and Allen. Allen and Makin manage to escape via car, the two cops pursuing; the chase eventually leads to a trailer park where both vehicles crash. Carter exits the vehicle and tries to fire on Makin and Allen as they attempt to flee, only to be struck by their vehicle. Makin points his weapon at the wounded Carter, but is fatally shot by Regan. Regan then points the gun point blank at a heavily injured Allen, telling him "you're nicked," before lowering the gun.
Some time later, Regan returns to the now reactivated Flying Squad offices, reinstated. He and the rest of the Squad leave on a case, with Inspector Lewis watching Carter and Regan as they go.
- Ray Winstone as Detective Inspector Jack Regan
- Ben Drew as Detective Constable George Carter
- Hayley Atwell as Detective Constable Nancy Lewis
- Steven Mackintosh as Detective Chief Inspector Ivan Lewis
- Paul Anderson as Francis Allen
- Alan Ford as Harry
- Damian Lewis as Detective Chief Inspector Frank Haskins
- Allen Leech as Detective Constable Simon Ellis
- Steven Waddington as Detective Constable Nathan Miller
- Caroline Chikezie as Detective Constable Kara Clarke
- Kara Tointon as Megan Barret
- Nick Nevern as Freddie
- Ed Skrein as David
- Allan Corduner as a doctor
A film version of the television series was first announced in 2008. The film was to be produced by DNA Films, and to be written and directed by Nick Love. Love was asked to write the film alongside Ian Kennedy Martin, the creator of the original series. Filming was originally planned for Spring 2009, with Ray Winstone's name confirmed for the role of Jack Regan, and Ewan McGregor and Daniel Craig being suggested as possibilities for the lead role of George Carter. Orlando Bloom and Tom Hardy were other names linked to the remake. At the time, it was not revealed whether the film would be set in the 1970s, or remade for the present day. Sponsor Fox Searchlight withdrew support just a few weeks before filming was due to start, and the project soon looked to be on hold, until July 2010, when the budget on the project was announced to be £3 million.
In April 2011, the participation of Winstone was confirmed, for the role of Jack Regan. One of Winstone's earliest roles had been in the TV series of the same name as an unnamed youth. Ben Drew, alias rapper Plan B, took the role of George Carter. It was confirmed by the film's director, Nick Love, that the budget was around £3 million. The film was completed in mid-2012, and released on 12 September 2012. The final spend on the production was actually less than £2 million, coming in more than £1 million under budget.
BBC's Top Gear filmed a car chase for the production in Series 18, Episode 3. The car chase scenes filmed with Top Gear were filmed on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent in Queenborough and Sheerness and the presenters and production team from Top Gear assisted with planning and filming. Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May were reported to have driven but their names do not appear in the film credits. In the episode only Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson are shown.
The film received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 47% score based on 60 reviews, with an average rating of 5/10. The site's consensus states: "Ray Winstone exudes tough-guy bravado, but this cop thriller otherwise feels thoroughly generic."
The New York Times wrote "Marred by an overbearing musical score and an undercooked plot (by the director, Nick Love, and John Hodge), “The Sweeney” nevertheless looks a lot classier than its characters. Simon Dennis’s photography is glossy and crisp, and a lengthy foot chase — making excellent use of the National Gallery — is inventively choreographed."
- "THE SWEENEY (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 23 July 2012. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
- "The Sweeney (2013) - International Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. 7 July 2013. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
- "Craig, McGregor Want The Sweeney Remake". Sky Movies. Retrieved 2010-07-08.
- Sweeney halts production, filmstalker.co.uk
- Plan B joins Ray Winstone in Sweeney film BBC, 4 April 2011
- The Sweeney on IMDb
- Kent Film Office The Sweeney Film Focus
- Lewis, Simon (18 August 2012). "'I nearly pulled out. I didn't want to be a Batman and Robin sidekick': Plan B joins Ray Winstone in the big-screen remake of The Sweeney". Daily Mail.
- "The Sweeney (2012)". Kent Film office.
- "The Sweeney (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
- Catsoulis, Jeannette (February 28, 2013). "This London Police Unit Will Do Anything". The New York Times.
- "The Sweeney reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
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