25 February 2013

Guilty Pleasure?

 photo 3fb3eaa6-1741-40d2-9033-9c8ff21131cb_zps40cb8b1c.jpg Ok, so I'm still debating whether this film is one to rave about or not. It certainly does have its highlights (including supporting actors, pace- to name a few) but it also has its fair share of cringe-worthy moments (dialogue, plot, predictability, etc). I first saw this film in the cinema and later purchased it on blu-ray as a means to watch it without having to worry about giving my brain a workout. It certainly is a lot more enjoyable than the previous film I wrote about but it does have its moments where you're left thinking 'I saw that coming'. The Sweeney is a remake of the classic TV series of the same name from the 1970s starring John Thaw and Dennis Waterman. I know I'm not normally a fan of remakes but considering I had never watched the original series (though I had heard of it), I thought I'd give it a go. Plus, the fact that they weren't making it into a comedy in the vein of Starsky and Hutch and Charlie's Angels was a bonus. It follows Ray Winstone as Regan, (the character that John Thaw made famous) and his partner George Carter as portrayed by Ben Drew (a role originated by Dennis Waterman). Ray Winstone is his usual cockney, larger-than-life self, something that works well as a hardened cop but no real surprises there. It is Drew's Carter that is the pleasant surprise here; I came into the film only knowing him as his rap persona - Plan B, I left the film satisfied that Drew isn't just another singer  who think they can act when really it is just an excuse for another paycheque. His laid-back style in this film is a nice contrast to Winstone's fired-up angry cop but Drew holds his own in the scenes that require emotion (as seen when defending his partner) yet, instead of over-acting, he is able to calmly act through the scene without hamming it up. Damian Lewis also makes a notable appearance as Carter and Regan's boss, giving the film an almost sense of credibility.
I guess this film's downfall is the development of the female characters, in which there doesn't seem to be much. The main female character as portrayed by Hayley Atwell is, at first glance, a modern 21st Century girl-a member of the notorious Flying Squad, she can kick ass and still get the guy. Of course, when the guy happens to be middle-aged, gruff Winstone, I don't know if that can be ruled as a good thing. And looking closer still, yes she is one of the few females to be a part of the Cop Crew but, aside from doling out a little slap here and there, she still has to hide behind Winstone's Regan and stand aside while the men save the day. But, I guess this is a typical testosterone-filled action, and given its predictability, shouldn't be taken too seriously.
The pace is what stops this film from becoming too dull and stale. The action is constant, even if the storyline was one I had seen before in previous films. Although, having it set in a glamorous-styled London is a nice change of scenery from typical British films (drab, constantly raining, poverty are just some connotations that spring up when I think of a British film). It is still obviously British though, so no need to worry that the British Film Industry has turned Hollywood.
  All in all, an enjoyable film with some predictable bits here and there. A film to watch when lazing around, I give it 3 out of 5 ***

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