The Sweeney: Paris

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Reviewed by: Richard Mowe

The gang’s all here: Jean Reno takes on the baddies in The Sweeney: Paris
"It suffers from an air of deja vu."

Not sure the world needs another cops versus bad guys shoot-out splurge even if the premise sounds a mite more intriguing than the reality.

Director Benjamin Rocher admits that this is a Parisian remake of Nick Love’s film The Sweeney from 2012 (itself inspired by the TV series from the Seventies). A rather creaky Jean Reno (shades of Sylvester Stallone) strides in as Serge Buren, the leader of a new squad set up to take on the might of a gang of robbers targeting banks and jewellers by any means necessary.

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Buren is surrounded by a team of younger police officers who do not always play it by the book, preferring instead to take a more creative attitude to law enforcement - and, it has to be admitted, the police power is quite impressive as they make their way to a bust in a warehouse, a jewellery store robbery or a heist at a private bank locked in the basement of France’s National Library.

The criminals are no match for this lot (known as Antigang, the film’s original French title) who are prepared to bend the rules as long as they get results - methods include dangling suspects from rooftops and using baseball bats as useful props. There is conflict with the department’s new boss Becker (Thierry Neuvic) who necessarily does not approve such tactics while the Russian villain Kasper (Swedish actor Jakob Sedergren) exudes a world-weary resignation that his days are numbered.

The trouble is that it suffers from an air of deja vu - compare the Lethal Weapon or Die Hard series which Rocher admits to have been an influence in terms of tone and comedic banter.

Rocher clearly knows how to marshall his forces, showcasing his talents as a director with a visual flair and an ability to create impressive set pieces on a budget even if most of it follows tried and tested formulae. Give me an episode of the French TV series Spiral any time.

Reviewed on: 05 Apr 2016
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The Sweeney: Paris packshot
French remake sees the squad try to catch a gang of jewel thieves.
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Director: Benjamin Rocher

Writer: François Loubeyre, Tristan Schulmann, based on an original story by Nick Love and John Hodge

Starring: Jean Reno, Alban Lenoir, Caterina Murino, Oumar Diaw, Stefi Celma, Sébastien Lalanne, Thierry Neuvic, Jean-Toussaint Bernard, Jakob Cedergren, Sabrina Ouazani, Féodor Atkine, Stephen Scardicchio, Michaël Troude, Karl Amoussou, Frédéric Dessains

Year: 2015

Runtime: 92 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: UK, France

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