[EDITORS' NOTE: This Region 4 DVD from Australia will not play in a standard U.S. DVD player; watching it requires a (very affordable) international player.]
The recent Madman Entertainment DVD release of the 1978 theatrical release "Sweeney 2" exceeds the usual Madman practice of showing that never-released in the U.S. fare is far better than most American films and television series. "2" is a rare example of the sequel being better than the original. Like the perfectly good (and recently reviewed) "Sweeney," "2" is a continuation of the raucous exploits of the Flying Squad of the London Metropolitan Police in the classic '70s gritty British police drama "The Sweeney."
On a larger level, "Sweeney" and "2" are part of the Madman Britannia film collection. This catalog largely consists of films based on classic British comedies and dramas and also includes "shoouldabeen a series" made-for-TV films. Examples of the latter include the reviewed Leonard Nimoy atmospheric thriller "Baffled!" and the also covered late '60slicious caper show "Mister Jerico."
The following YouTube clip of the "2" trailer does an exceptional job conveying the grit, humor, and overall late '70s look of the film. Watching it provides a good sense of what the film offers.
The central story of squad leader Detective Inspector Jack Regan, impeccably played by John "Inspector Morse" Thaw taking on a gang of bank robbers in honor of the last official request of his commanding officer before said official leaves his job in disgrace simply is lighter and has more humor than the central case in "Sweeney." That earlier investigation revolves around the murder of a "professional" woman as part of a blackmail scheme.
Great humor in "2" includes Regan speaking in a manner that clearly seems metaphorically but turns out to be literal, a new member of the squad quickly becoming (and remaining) the odd man out, and the squad breaking in on a very intimate (and equally kinky) moment. We further witness an awesome "courtship" between Regan and a woman who may be his equal (and possible soulmate.) One "key" scene between the two is one of the more memorable moments in the film.
There additional is a highly auto-erotic moment and plenty of quirky individuals on both sides of the law to highly entertain the audience.
Things become personal for the squad when one of their own is harmed while trying to apprehend the aforementioned gang. This not being the only collateral damage during that escape attempt further motivates the squad to bring the gang to justice.
"2" adds other regular "Sweeney" themes into mix by adding in a dash of police corruption and a cops v. robbers rumble, These hard boiled elements are part of what makes "Sweeeney" a classic from an era of generally kinder and gentler fare.
As oft-stated regarding Britannia titles, they do not make 'em like this anymore but certainly should. These DVDs provide great nostalgia for those of us who remember rotary phones and a fun history lesson for the keyboard kids out there.
Anyone with questions or comments regarding "2" is encouraged to either email me or to connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy,