There is obviously a hierarchy of vendettas in London’s Metropolitan Police Force, and with Jack Regan as head of the Sweeney, one can expect that no own is safe from his warped sense of justice. The thing is, with a right hand man like John, better known as Carter and a hot, not so available, but we’ll have sex anyway partner like Nancy, make for quite a tryst of loyalty. With a subplot of anarchy’s role in generating fear in the justice system The Sweeney is an engaging film, once you get past the thick British accents.
Viewers will quickly realize that no one is safe from the twisted plans of criminals, and the chase for justice and retribution is relentless. With a psychotic main character as vigilante, Regan personifies the troubled antagonist, with perhaps a chip on his shoulder. We don’t get enough back story to fully understand his behavior or beginnings but his angst makes for a compelling subtext. But it’s hard to believe that he’s a police officer at all, when he honors nothing but hardness and loyalty to himself.
There are quite a few layers to this film, and thus the details are not to be ignored. So when you see a wedding ring, a hidden photo or a reluctant accomplice pay attention. The array of characters are merely to distract you from the central clues. The structure of the film resembles the search for the main suspects in a ruthless armed robbery in a small jewelry store in West London. It is only a small piece in the bigger puzzle. There are bigger players in the winding plot. If you blink you might miss the obvious. One could argue that this is the strongest element of the film. It forces you to pay attention to the things that one would otherwise overlook. It forces you to become invested in the outcome of the characters. Will Carter give into Inspector Lewis’ offers, and betray his mentor? Will Regan get his message to Carter in time? Will Regan pay the price for his indiscretions? Will Inspector Lewis get his man? Will Regan solve the case? Will the film’s main characters fall from grace? Who will die, and when?
Of course this film leaves much to be desired with regard to character development and plot build up but if you are looking forward to the inevitable police chase, and the adrenaline rush of the pursuit, this movie is good for a Friday night rush. Many of the plot twists are predictable, but only to a point, so buckle up, and brace yourself. Regan is offensive, and despicable, but you’ll find yourself rooting for a guy like him against a criminal like Allan. The only unsettling thing about this action, detective film based on the 1970s English detective drama is that amidst a world of uncertainty and cruelty perhaps Regan and Carter are in fact the good guys. You’ll be thrown into the world of Regan and the Sweeney team, and they are not to be underestimated.