The Sweeney: Paris
Jean Reno, Alban Lenoir, Caterina Murino
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Upon hearing the title, The Sweeney: Paris, questions are immediately raised as to whether this is a spin-off or sequel to Nick Love’s reboot of the classic ‘70s TV series, which saw Ray Winstone barking and punching everyone. The answer is that its neither; originally titled AntiThug in its native France, this is a remake of the aforementioned 2012 British film.
Jean Reno plays Serge, who, along with his partner, Cartier (Alban Lenoir), tackles the crime bosses of the Parisian streets with a team of rock t-shirt wearing, red wine drinking, heavy smoking uncompromising cops…who also appear to all know martial arts. Decidedly less gruff and gritty than Love’s original treatment, director, Benjamin Rocher (Goal Of The Dead), has fashioned the original John Thaw and Dennis Waterman procedural drama into a day-glo coloured punch-up.
As Love’s The Sweeney didn’t receive much love when it first came out, the questions of why you would remake it are valid. The problems of the original still hold fast with everyone unnecessarily beating their chests every chance they get. In addition, Jakob Cedergren’s arrival as Kasper, Serge’s mortal enemy, is too late into the proceedings and ultimately comes to nothing, whilst Serge’s affair with his boss’s wife, Margeux (Caterina Murino), is nothing more than an excuse to move the plot along in the final act.
But filtered through Rocher’s lens – where The Sweeney universe becomes a colourful comic book filled with seemingly invincible police officers – it all becomes a bit more bearable and indeed enjoyable. The Sweeney: Paris is certainly not in the same league as Jan Kounen’s Dobermann, but the same cartoon aesthetic is there. Perhaps it’s the only way to digest a film that sees people getting hit with baseball bats repeatedly and not falling down.