If you’ve never heard of The Sweeney, or the character Jack Regan, don’t worry; You’re not alone. Debuting as a television show in the mid-70s, The Sweeney was a London-based crime-drama focused on the above-the-law antics of D.I. Jack Regan. His methods were unorthodox and oftentimes illegal, and the subsequent films sprouting from the show’s popularity were hugely popular in Great Britain. Late last year Europe saw the release of The Sweeney, the newest entry in the long-running detective series, and soon North American audiences will get a chance to see what all the fuss is about.
D.I. Jack Regan, played by Ray Winstone (The Departed), is the head of London’s “Fly Squad,” the special investigations unit of the London Police Force. These street-hardened officers deal with violent crimes like armed robbery, making them an easy choice for a television show or movie focused on action and thrills. In the most recent release, The Sweeney, Regan finds himself on the other end of the law after it is discovered that he pilfered several gold bars while cleaning up a bank heist attempt in London’s mid-town. His loyal partner and protégé, George Carter (Ben Drew), pulls some strings to release his boss from prison, but the story does not stop there. How could it? Early plot indicators suggest there will be sexual tension, deception, violence, and plenty of foul play — what more could moviegoers want?
With the help of his superior officer, Frank Haskins (played by Homeland star Damian Lewis), Regan is back on the street to investigate an old friend, whose connection with a criminal underworld could threaten those he cares about. Also starring in the film are Steven Mackintosh (Underworld) and Hayley Atwell, who you may remember from the recent Captain America. The film is set to release on March 1st of this year, and it is sure to satisfy those moviegoers expecting the grittiness of such films as The Departed and the British antics of Mr. Bean … okay, I won’t go that far, but it is nice to see a film that is not set in New York City or L.A.
The Sweeney was already released overseas and has received generally mixed reviews. Many of the reviewers’ problems with the film seemed related to The Sweeney’s lack of character development and the fact that it sticks to a set of action movie standards that many feel are dated. Still, if you are looking to sate your appetite for a dark, violent crime thriller, The Sweeney should not disappoint.
The Sweeney was directed by Nick Love, a British director with relatively few past notables, and was produced by Vertigo Films and Embargo Films. The movie carries an MPAA rating of R for violence and language through and some sexual content. Check out the trailer above if you are looking for a more visual taste of what to expect.
For more information on this and other films, check back here at newmovielaunches.com for latest news, inside reports, trailers, pictures, and videos.