THE SWEENEY -- starring everyone's favorite, fat British bad boy, Ray Winstone (whatever else you do, check out his underseen-but-terrific 44 Inch Chest) and a good rest-of-the-cast -- manages about half an hour of fast fun before degenerating into standard, stupid stuff. Which is too bad, given that cast and the subject matter at hand: the tribulations of a division of London's police department that seems to exist somewhat above-the-law.
John Hodge, who often collaborates with Danny Boyle) and directed by Nick Love (shown at left), the movie begins with a good, slightly violent action set piece that gives way to the setting up of various relationships involving love, lust, power and the like. With dialog that's short 'n sharp -- "He's a bit of a cunt," notes one fellow; "I like him," counters another. "He's got panache" -- the plot moves to the robbery of a jewelry store in which a bystander is, it would seem, pointlessly and ruthlessly murdered.
The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight look like prize-winning marksmen. (I'm not saying that every bullet must hit its target, but, really, a couple of 'em should.)
eOne and running 112 long minutes, gets a brief theatrical play here in New York City at the AMC Empire 25, beginning this Friday, March 1, while making its simultaneous VOD debut, too.