Released: 27 November 2003
Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Farrell, Michelle Rodriguez, LL Cool J, Josh Charles, Brian Van Holt, Jeremy Renner, Olivier Martinez
Director: Clark Johnson
Running Time: 117 Minutes
Even Cops Dial 911
Two wisecracking, battle-hardened veterans (Samuel L. Jackson and Colin Farrell) team up with a pair of street-smart rookies (Michelle Rodriguez and LL Cool J) to form the most freewheeling - but effective - S.W.A.T. team ever. Their first assignment: transport an international drug kingpin into federal custody - after he's offered $100 million to anyone who will free him!
The explosive opening sequence to S.W.A.T. has a hostage situation taking place inside a bank. Enter the S.W.A.T. team to infiltrate and disarm or kill the criminals, whichever comes first. These are the elite members of the Los Angeles Police Department who are highly skilled at dissecting any criminal situation and restoring the peace. Many want to become a S.W.A.T. member, but few are chosen. Once you are part of the team, staying on the team is also a skill.
The movie is very predictable with plenty of car chases, guns firing, cops-turned-bad, hostage situations overturned, etc. Colin Farrell as Jim Street, has been removed and demoted after a hostage (from the opening scene) is shot. His partner decides enough is enough and he quits the force, before he is asked to leave, but Jim isn't quite ready to quit S.W.A.T. He pays his dues in the gun cage, shining and cleaning everyone else's equipment, just waiting for the moment that he gets the chance to redeem himself. Along comes Samuel L. Jackson as Sergeant Dan 'Hondo' Harrelson, a street-smart cop who has been asked to form his own S.W.A.T. team. No prizes for guessing that he sees the potential in Jim and enlists him along with the first female S.W.A.T. member (Michelle Rodriguez) amongst others. And there the movie plods along predictably, complete with international criminal (Olivier Martinez), arrested for a minor traffic infringement, who has to be handed over to federal jurisdiction.
There really isn't much character development in the movie as the focus is action, action, and more action. So, don't bother going to see this movie if you are after something deep and meaningful. On the other hand, if it's action you're after and lots of special effects there is no shortage of male testosterone in S.W.A.T. Based on the 70's television series of the same name, it is sure to be a favourite for those who love a routine cop movie.
- Christina Bruce