Movie Reviews: S.W.A.T.
   
 



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Studio:
     Columbia (1 hr. 51 min.)
Plot:
      The Los Angeles Police Department's S.W.A.T. (Special Weapons and Tactics) unit is assigned to protect a uniquely dangerous criminal.
Cast:
     Samuel L Jackson, Colin Farrell, Olivier Martinez, Michelle Rodriguez, LL Cool J
Rating:
     PG-13
Bottom Line:
     ***

Coverage:

I didn’t much care for the original "S.W.A.T." television show. You remember, that forgettable short-lived 1970’s cops and robbers series which began each week with the elite Los Angeles police tactical unit sucking down coffee and scarfing up donuts in the police headquarters basement while waiting for some scum bag to commit a major crime – involving hostages.

So you can imagine my enthusiasm when I heard the news that "S.W.A.T." was following in the footsteps of the other 1970's television shows that recently transitioned sadly to the big screen. But having said that, I must confess, I did like "S.W.A.T." The movie held my interest and as a big bang summer blockbuster, it definitely lived up to its billing.

From its opening reel, that mimics the real-life 1997 shoot-out in LA where heavily armed bank bandits made Swiss cheese out of police cars and the neighborhood, to the climatic ending atop a suspension bridge, "S.W.A.T." propels its audience on a thrilling roller coaster ride, even though some parts…no, make that most parts…are predictable.

Colin Farrell stars as young hotshot S.W.A.T. officer Jim Street, who bungled a hostage rescue attempt with his partner Brian Gamble (Jeremy Renner), and the pair got thrown off the team. Gamble quits the department while Street is demoted to an equipment officer shinning boots and passing out ammo to other officers.

Enter Samuel L. Jackson as Dan "Hondo" Harrelson who’s been assigned to assemble an "old school" style S.W.A.T. unit where Street gets a second chance, along with other department misfits including LL Cool J and Michelle Rodriguez who, under Hondo’s strict tutelage, jell into an elite crime fighting unit. However, the administration reconsiders and decides they don't need a bunch of old-school rejects after all and they want the entire team transferred out of the S.W.A.T. program.

But the new S.W.A.T. team gets an unexpected chance to prove themselves when they’re assigned to escort a high-profile kingpin, Alex Montel (Olivier Martinez) to federal prison. The mission seems impossible, since every street thug in LA County with an AK-47 and a rocket launcher is out to free Montel, who has offered a $100 million reward to anyone who helps him escape.

You can pretty much figure out what happens next, but what the hey, the action is first-class and it’s a fun way to escape the summer heat for two hours.

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