Detective Inspector Jack Regan (John Thaw), Detective Sergeant George Carter (Dennis Waterman) and the rest of the Flying Squad were always at their best when dealing with armed robbers – and the blaggers here are a top-of-the-range bunch.
They employ a ‘shock and awe’ approach when turning over banks, blasting holes in the ceiling, and if one of their team is injured in the escape they turn their shotguns on him to make sure he can’t live to turn Queen’s evidence.
The gang – led by Hill (the underrated Ken Hutchison who raped Susan George in Straw Dogs) – are based in Malta, where they lead a communal lifestyle with their wives and children, and just fly in to England top up their funds from time to time, nicking the exact amount of £60,000 on each excursion (the amount they need to pay off the loan on their Maltese property).
Jack and George take a boozy all-expenses-paid trip to Malta to track down the villains.
A sub-plot involves Denholm Elliott as crooked Detective Superintendent Jupp who was once Regan’s boss – Regan commented that Jupp could hardly straighten the pictures on his office wall – and is now about to be sent down for corruption.
Jack refuses to perjure himself to help Jupp as a character witness, but a later visit to see him in Wormwood Scrubs gives Jack a vital clue to identifying the bank robbers.
The film ends with a well-choreographed London shootout with the fleeing bad guys crashing a Cortina through a shop window.
Filmed a month after the final episode of the TV series, this was the swansong for The Sweeney and the last time we’d ever see these characters.
DI Jack Regan
DS George Carter
DS Tom Daniels
Bank Manager (Logan)
Michael J. Jackson