S.W.A.T. is a police action movie that, to me, has a bit of realism about being a member of the Special Weapons and Tactics team of the Los Angeles Police Department, but is otherwise a popcorn movie that we typically see when he go to the movies in the summertime. It has cool action, good thrills, and a sufficient script, which is all you really need for a Hollywood action blockbuster. If you’re looking for a serious police drama with a lot of intellectual and emotional depth, you’re not going to find it here. Otherwise, if you just want a good enough movie, S.W.A.T. is certainly one option.
Samuel L. Jackson stars as Sergeant Dan “Hondo” Harrison, an old-school SWAT commander who is asked to put together a new SWAT team for the LAPD. His picks include SWAT officer Brian Gamble (Jeremy Renner) and Jim Street (Colin Farrell), who was kicked off SWAT because he disobeyed an order to not shoot, resulting in a bank robbery hostage accidentally taking a bullet and consequently suing the department for millions. Hondo also enlists two street officers to join the team: a tough woman named Chris Sanchez (Michelle Rodriguez) and a traffic cop named Deacon “Deke” Kay (LL Cool J).
Other than a bank robbery scene in the beginning of the movie, S.W.A.T. doesn’t really have too much action in roughly the first hour. Rather, it devotes that time to introducing the characters, providing glimpses into their personal lives, and getting them trained as SWAT officers. There is one nice scene that involves a SWAT simulation on an airplane for evaluating the new SWAT team. I am glad that these scenes don’t drag on for so long. Neither do they go by so quickly that the movie feels underdeveloped.
The second half is where things get exciting. The LAPD discovers that Alex Montel, a French man who was recently pulled over in a routine traffic stop and held in custody for suspicious criminal connections, is in fact an international kingpin specializing in drug and weapons smuggling. When Montel is escorted by police in the presence of the news media, he announces a $100 million dollar reward for anyone who sets him free. Pretty soon, the SWAT team is put to the test. They have to escort Montel to federal authorities while facing criminals all over Los Angeles who would do anything for that massive reward. Amazingly, the action in the movie isn’t overblown at all, and it still manages to provide a heart-stopping action-packed climax.
S.W.A.T. is likely a movie that you’ve seen before. In other words, there is no doubt that other police movies have similar kinds of characters, plot premises, and action scenes. And yet, I wouldn’t call S.W.A.T. a dull boring film that’s been done to death. I think there’s something about action movies that doesn’t get old. Maybe it’s the adrenaline rush and the eye candy. Or perhaps it’s seeing good guys attempting to destroy bad guys. Whatever it is, S.W.A.T. delivers exciting action as you would expect any good movie in the action genre to do.
Anthony’s Rating: 7/10