HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Mission, The
Wild Life, The
Eve of Destruction
Mad Death, The
Lost in Vagueness
Sleeping Beauty
Allure
In Search of Dracula
Fantastic Woman, A
Emmanuelle II
Far from Vietnam
Inherit the Wind
Post, The
King Frat
Commuter, The
Mister Buddwing
Kiki's Delivery Service
Z-O-M-B-I-E-S
Mansfield 66/67
Old Enough
Bleeding Steel
Double Hour, The
My Generation
Geostorm
Pendulum
Certain Magical Index: The Movie - The Miracle of Endymion, A
That Good Night
Psychopath, The
My Beloved Bodyguard
.44 Specialist, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
Wash All This Scum Off the Streets: Vigilante Movies
Force the Issue: Star Wars' Tricky Middle Prequels and Sequels
Rediscovered: The Avengers - Tunnel of Fear on DVD
Sword Play: An Actor's Revenge vs Your Average Zatoichi Movie
Super Sleuths: The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes on DVD
Stop That, It's Silly: The Ends of Monty Python
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
   
 
  S.W.A.T. To Protect And ServeBuy this film here.
Year: 2003
Director: Clark Johnson
Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Farrell, Michelle Rodriguez, LL Cool J, Josh Charles, Jeremy Renner, Brian Van Holt, Olivier Martinez, Reg E. Cathey, Larry Poindexter, Page Kennedy, Domenick Lombardozzi, James Dumont, Dennis Arndt, Lindsay Ginter, Lucinda Jenney
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: In Downtown Los Angeles there is an armed robbery in progress where a gang have raided a bank and are still inside, with hostages made up of staff and customers who they are threatening to shoot if they do not get their way. The police have called in their S.W.A.T. team, who include officers Jim Street (Colin Farrell) and Brian Gamble (Jeremy Renner), and they land on the roof of the bank from a helicopter to break their way inside without alerting the criminals. It all goes well until one of the thieves is shot dead outside as he climbs into the getaway vehicle, and one of the others grabs a woman and is about to kill her when Gamble takes a shot; the bullet goes through her shoulder and into the criminal, knocking him to the floor...

All very well, they brought down the bad guy, but the Chief (Larry Poindexter) is not so pleased when the injured woman sues the L.A.P.D. and brings both Street and Gamble into his office for some patented cop movie shouting down of the heroes. What was slightly different about this was that when he tells them it could cost them their badges, and certainly their places on the titular S.W.A.T. team, he means it: Gamble is fired and Street relegated to the "cage" to attend to evidence and whatnot, and that's only because he agreed with the Chief that his partner was unnecessarily reckless. This may have you wondering if at last Hollywood had found a sufficiently different variation on the action flick formula to be worth your while.

The rest of the two hours or so might not live up to that, however, yet as a film based on an old, dimly remembered television cop show, this wasn't half bad. It took place in a universe where the original existed (we saw a rerun on TV, and the team sang the theme tune at one point) but they were also playing the source material with a bigger budget and more dedication to the over the top sequences that were regulation in this sort of adaptation, as if to prove the movies still had it where it counted when spectacle was involved, certainly over the small screen. That said, despite lasting twice the length of the average episode, it could have served as a neat two-parter as American TV drama was fond of doing back in the seventies.

It was ambitious enough, but not so much that it was utterly ridiculous aside from the occasional excesses such as a private jet landing on a bridge to pick up the bad guy. What to do when a Eurotrash gangster (professional handsome man Olivier Martinez) comes to town and gets arrested on a fluke driving offence which reveals his true identity? Put him away, of course, but as he is cuffed and marched to the prison he shouts to the camera that he is offering a Dr. Evil-esque hundred million dollars to the person or people who break him out again, and he assures the viewers he can make good on that promise. This was the problem the S.W.A.T. members had to deal with, but first they had to be assembled under the tutelage of Samuel L. Jackson, stepping into Steve Forrest's boots as Sergeant Dan "Hondo" Harrelson (Forrest showed up at the end in a blessing-giving cameo).

Naturally he welcomes Street back to the fold, and finds the likes of Michelle Rodriguez as the token woman and LL Cool J as Mr Sassy to back him up, getting around the issue of the traditional action movie featuring a maverick by making all the team mavericks - it's a veritable maverick convention. If you are wondering what happens to Gamble, he's gone off in the huff, a confrontation with Street in a bar aside, but you may think it would be a waste not to give Renner a larger role, and you would be correct in that assumption. There was a neat enough twist, as with more or less everything here doing just enough to keep a rather uninspired concept alive without ever turning to actual ingenuity, and as these things went, unpromising usually, this was surprisingly pleasing with a nice camaraderie between the cops and some muscular action delivered by director Clark Johnson, appropriately often at the helm of television episodes when he wasn't acting in them. No, it would not linger long in the memory, but that just meant an easy rewatchability factor and a reliable bet for sticking with if it ever appeared on TV when you were channel surfing. Music by Elliott Goldenthal.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 496 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
Enoch Sneed
  Mark Scampion
   

 

Last Updated: