REVIEW: S.W.A.T. 1 & 2



Samuel L. Jackson (Avengers Assemble)
Colin Farrell (Minority Report)
Michelle Rodriguez (Blue Crush)
LL Cool J (Deep Blue Sea)
Josh Charles (The Good Wife)
Jeremy Renner (The Bourne Legacy)
Brian Van Holt (House of Wax)
Olivier Martinez (Taking Lives)
Larry Poindexter (Blade: The Series)
Lindsey Ginter (Gattaca)
Lucinda Jenney (Rain Man)
Jay Acovone (Stargate SG.1)
Ken Davitian (Borat)
Jenya Leno (Mutant X)
Ashley Scott (Birds of Prey)


The story has plenty of turns to keep things moving. There is a distinct three act setup with a definite conflict and climax in each act. In act one, we meet Jim Street, a S.W.A.T. officer for the L.A.P.D. in the middle of a compromising hostage situation. The split-second decision of his partner will cost him a demotion from S.W.A.T. and an important friendship. Lucky for Street, a legendary S.W.A.T. officer named “Hondo” has just arrived in his division to put together a new S.W.A.T. team full of hot, young talent . Controversial and untested, the team must complete an intense simulation involving a plane hijacking. If they fail, both Street and Hondo will lose their S.W.A.T. designation and their police badges forever. Act three centers around the prison transport of a master criminal who has offered 100 million dollars to anyone who can free him.

This structured story coupled with very simple scene composition gives S.W.A.T. the feeling of a TV cop show injected with blockbuster-style action. The formula works well and makes a lot of sense considering S.W.A.T. is based on a television show and is the feature film directorial debut of Clark Johnson. Johnson’s previous work included directorial stints for acclaimed TV crime dramas such as N.Y.P.D.S_W_A_T_-film-image

Not every scene is a success. The S.W.A.T. training sequence is a little tired and the film would really benefit from having ten minutes trimmed out of it. Additionally, the film comes across as a bit of a propaganda piece for Homeland Security. But all in all, the positives outweigh the negatives for S.W.A.T.




Gabriel Macht (The Recruit)
Robert Patrick (Terminator 2)
Carly Pope (Arrow)
Giancarlo Esposito (The Jungle Book)
Kristanna Loken (Painkiller jane)
Matt Bushell (Twilight)
Nicholas Gonzalez (The Flash)
Shannon Kane (The Originals)

A hotshot S.W.A.T. commander in Los Angeles, Paul (Gabriel Macht) is ordered to travel to Detroit to shape up the local squad, preparing them for a critical police certification test. Finding the officers lippy and lax in their discipline, Paul initiates a grueling regiment of weapons training and tactical thought. At first rebuffing the new commander’s demands, the team gradually comes around to respect Paul’s challenging ways, embarking on an exhausting education that comes in handy when Walter (Robert Patrick), a rogue government spook, aims to exact revenge on the gang after the death of his romantic fixation (Kristanna Loken, here for roughly 90 seconds) during a chaotic skirmish.

The original film also embraced the art of the training montage, allowing the cheerful roughhousing to continue in the sequel. The film is well stocked with bullets and brawn. More stunt work, less camera nonsense. Firefight is a  decent action film, but a lowkey sequel.


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