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The Sweeper
The Sweeper
Actors: C. Thomas Howell, Jeff Fahey, Ed Lauter, Kristen Dalton, Janet Gunn
Director: Joseph Merhi
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2004     1hr 30min


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Movie Details

Actors: C. Thomas Howell, Jeff Fahey, Ed Lauter, Kristen Dalton, Janet Gunn
Director: Joseph Merhi
Creators: Jeff Fahey, Joseph Merhi, Marta Merrifield, Richard Pepin, Jacobsen Hart, Karen McCoy, William Applegate Jr.
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Trinity Home Ent
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 05/04/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 30min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

A good action film
Jimmy Quijada | Anaheim, CA USA | 07/28/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Story: After a little boy witnesses his family getting murdered, he manages to survive the attack from brutal people. Now as he is an adult, he is a good cop who sometimes his rage dominates him. He is asked to join a secret police organization where he is given the chance to kill criminals as well as get payed for it.
Review: This film has a very simple formula to it which consists of a storyline that is very simple and straight. The movie is well paced with the action sequences. Rated R for violence and some sexual content this movie is intended for mature audiences. Overall this movie is worth buying."
Cute... But unfortunately I was not swept away.
One World | Denver, CO USA | 10/11/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)

"Starring C. Thomas Howell who had his first hit with Francis Coppola's The Outsiders.
Unfortunately, this movie does not even seem to have the umph of even a TV show like Cops or NYPD let alone a feature movie - even if it was a "straight to video" release. First of all, the movie itself is very lacking in how it's plot unfolds, climaxes and ultimately concludes.
In the beginning Howell's character Mark Goodard sees his entire family wiped out (rather, he is there when it takes place...hiding in a bathroom). One of the perpetrators confronts him and shoots him but failed to kill him...or something like that. Flash 15 years later, we find Howell as a cop who is divorced from his wife and doing his shoot 'em up thing. He received an offer to join an elite group of warriors for justice called JI or Justice Incorporated, reluctantly he joins hoping they can tell him about who killed his family -- so they promised. He carries out his assignments in administrating justice with ease...too much ease that is. Everything falls into his proverbial lap. I figured this was just filler unto he came to the ultimate fight, taking out the killers of his family.
Ok so he find out that JI is actually the culprit when one of the people he is sent out to knockoff is a cop who was his father's partner. It seems that something is missing in how Howell becomes convinced that the JI people had a hand in his family's death. Anyway, he simply and I mean simply knocks the entire group off without so much as a fight...However the boss gets away. There is a car chase(oh really?) and then an airplane getaway. Goodard actually manages to get on the plane as it is taking off by jumping from his car. A rather lame and tame fight takes place once Goddard is on the wing. There is no erratic flying in order to try to knock the cop off as he hangs on the landing gear and climbs up, no gun fire, no nothing. It's almost as if the plane's occupant's are oblivious to what's going on. Ok the boss falls to his death and well that's it! No real dramatic climax, no getting wounded shot etc. Sort of like James Bond but even though he comes out unscathed it ain't without a fight.
The movie ends rather abruptly leaving no real resolution. One question I have was why Mark Goodard was recruited by a people who knew he was the one whose family they killed. I guess one could conclude it was hopefully to knock him off but that did not seem to be the case. What about after the boss was knocked of the plane? Goodard yells to the pilot "put us down of your next! On the ground. He then sits back exhausted. I guess the pilot landed without any resistance. OH PULLLLEASE!
Here is some resolution: Goodard and his wife get back together.
As for Howell's character, Howell does not make a convincing tough guy any more than Britney Spears makes a convincing version of "I Love Rock n Roll". His voice even seems to give him away here as well as all of his oohs and uhhs and yelps as he chases his enemies.
Tommy if you read this please don't be mad."
Short on plot, long on action!
Jeffrey Leach | Omaha, NE USA | 11/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In "The Sweeper," C. Thomas Howell of "Red Dawn" and "The Outsiders" fame turns in an Oscar winning performance as a vacuum cleaner looking for love in Los Angeles. Sorry, I couldn't resist. I see this Joseph Merhi actioner listed here as "Sweeper," leaving out the all important "The." Not that it matters. ANYWAY, we've got another low budget action film starring C. Thomas Howell. You should hear alarm bells and see red flags all over the place! What happened to Howell, anyway? How do you go from schmoozing with Patrick Swayze, Matt Dillon, and Tom Cruise to having your name mentioned in the same sentence with Dean Cain and Lorenzo Lamas? Not good. There was that brief reemergence when he made that volleyball flick with Peter Horton, a movie that played on a perpetual loop on pay cable outlets a decade ago, but the subsequent years have marked a serious reversal of fortune for this once promising actor. I still get a kick out of watching him, but he's definitely not A-list material. No Hollywood mover and shaker would dare take the lead role in this film. Too bad, because Merhi's little actioner is a slam bang, take no prisoners flick that will bring you to your feet again and again.

Howell plays Mark Goddard, your typical out on the edge cop nursing some serious grievances with life. He's always in trouble with the department for taking unnecessary chances, his ex-wife can't stand him, and memories of his father's death plagues his every waking moment. We see what happened to Dad (played by Jeff Fahey) at the beginning of the film. Well, first we see Pop on a typical day patrolling the city. In other words, a chase sequence on a pier results in the death or serious injury of dozens upon dozens of innocent bystanders--all shown in loving close up. Goddard's father saves the day in the end, I guess, only to perish later at home from a shotgun blast to the chest delivered by a gang of crooked cops angered that their fellow officer refused to join their ranks. These guys go ahead and kill Mark's entire family, and even shoot Mark too, but he survives to grow up and become an officer in the fine tradition of his father. Whatta guy! Anyway, this experience has given our anti-hero a rather bleak view of criminals. He would much rather come in with guns blazing than waste time filling out paperwork. We see a few examples of Mark's detective work, one of which involves a really cool scene where he flies off a building with a bad guy.

Goddard is such a loose cannon that a gang of vigilante cops led by a chap named Molls (Ed Lauter) approaches him with a recruitment offer. Mark can kill bad guys all he wants without having to worry about lawyers, laws, and all those other pesky things that get in the way of real police work. He can also have scads of money, fine clothes, and a nice house. To show Mark he's on the up and up, Molls executes a criminal right in front of him. It's hard to turn down such an offer, and soon Goddard is teamed up with a sexy female agent named Rachel (Kristen Dalton) to take down the baddies. While Mark tries to reconcile with his estranged wife--he's now got the money to provide her with anything she needs--he's also busy trying to learn the ropes in his new organization. Tempers flare over some of Goddard's activities. And remember how our hero's father died at the hands of dirty cops? Mark uses his association with the gang to inquire about the whereabouts of some of the officers responsible for the killing. Molls leads him on, always mentioning that he'll provide information as soon as Goddard pulls off one more assignment. You can probably guess what eventually happens. If not, you haven't seen enough of these types of films.

I don't care about the plot. It's basic and helps move the film along. I also don't care about the acting. Howell, Lauter, and the rest give just enough to move the film along. What I do care about is the action, and "The Sweeper" has action seeping out of its every pore. Merhi's film is pure mindless fodder, and I wouldn't have it any other way. The movie is nothing more than a series of explosions and imaginative action scenes stitched together into an hour and a half runtime. With a body count that rises into the triple digits, "The Sweeper" treats us to an extended car chase involving exploding propane tanks sending automobiles flying through the air. We get shoot outs with drug gangs, another extensive shoot out in a heavily guarded compound, foot chases, fist fights, bodies falling out of buildings, and an airplane sequence that sees Mark Goddard hanging onto the wing for dear life. All of these activities come slathered with bursting squibs and ridiculously over the top explosions! Oh yeah! Hardly five minutes go by without a major action sequence taking place. That, my friends, is an action movie!

"The Sweeper" on DVD is a bare bones affair. No extras, not even a trailer, and a full screen presentation to boot. Oh well. You really won't care while you're watching the movie. I'm giving the movie five stars for sheer energy alone. Merhi's film is one of the best action films I've seen this year, and this in spite of the threadbare plot and average acting. Who cares when you've got this many cartwheeling bodies and whizzing bullets? C. Thomas Howell might not be making Oscar winners anymore, but he sure knows how to crank out an entertaining film. I can't praise this film enough!