Wednesday, 4 May 2011



Another big screen outing for the Flying Squad, which despite coming after an underwhelming original (the excitingly exclamatory Sweeney!) manages to still be a bit of a duffer. How difficult can it have been to make a cracking 90-minute cop action movie in London in the 70s? Sadly, this doesn't make the grade either: it's padded out with irrelevant bits and makes the big mistake that so many TV shows make when seeking to expand their horizons: they take the characters out of their familiar surroundings and send them on a package trip abroad. It didn't work for Only Fools And Horses (Miami), it didn't work for Are You Being Served (the Costa Plonka) and it doesn't work for Regan and Carter (scooting over to Malta for no good reason).

Sweeney 2 has a bunch of blaggers (bank robbers) flying into Heathrow, pulling bank heists and jetting back to Malta immediately afterwards, before the police can track them down. It's up to Regan and Carter, the iconic John Thaw and Dennis Waterman, and the rest of the plain-clothed boys to nab them, particularly when a hostage is killed in the getaway car's collision with the police roadblock. The best lead would appear to be some kind of neo-Nazi slut whose husband was one of the gang before they shot him. After a tip from their former guvnor (now in the Scrubs on corruption charges), maybe a trip to Malta to question some suspects might help?

It doesn't, and it's largely a waste of time. In addition, there's a long segment involving a bomb in a London hotel which is pure padding and a distraction from the main plot, and more damagingly it's dull. It's quite violent in places, with shotgun blasts and car smashes, and there are a few F-words sprinkled about as well as entirely gratuitous nudity, most notably and most shamelessly shoehorned in with a screening of the neo-Nazi's softcore porn film in which she writhes around on top of a luxury car. Elsewhere there are the always welcome sightings of familiar faces like Nigel Hawthorne, Georgina Hale and Denholm Elliott, a fine array of 1978s finest cars, and a funky music score by Tony Hatch, composer of the Crossroads theme. Sweeney 2 is rubbish, and no better or worse than Sweeney 1: mildly interesting as a bit of nostalgia but badly paced, charmless and not much fun.



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