PhilHubbs' Rating of S.W.A.T.

Phil's Review of S.W.A.T.

2 years ago via Flixster
S.W.A.T.

S.W.A.T.(2003)

Kinda based on the American TV show but ultimately kinda not. Characters left out, new ones in, different ethnicity for the one member and turning one regular into the baddie. Kinda makes you wonder why they bother adapting these old shows if they're gonna change most of it. Luckily (amazingly) this film hasn't suffered too badly and is pretty much a stand alone action film, old TV show left by the wayside.

When this was first brought up I instantly thought it would be crapola, just a weak timid action flick that would probably border on comedy. Much to my surprise the film is an out n out serious fast paced cop flick, more serious in terms of realism than say...'Lethal Weapon', but with less of the comedy.

I think we can all guess its a film about a tough highly skilled elite team of cops, and this being a modern flick the testosterone is through the roof!. The clearly unfit Samuel L. Jackson leads a team consisting of Farrell, Rodriguez (again in another crack team of tough nuts), LL Cool J and two other faceless guys. In all honesty I think the team could have been better cast with better character actors from the 80's action genre, why we have to put up with these ex-rap/hip-hop stars with stupid names I don't know.

The plot is sort of obvious but not completely, you'd expect the usual last stand type ordeal with a team but the film shows some imagination. The main bad guy spends most of his time cuffed with cops which is a brave move, the good guys tend to be always trying to gain the upper hand and never really in control and of course there is betrayal, which spices things up. Its not exactly hard to predict but it plays out a little differently than most cookie cutter action films.

What is different is the fact half the film shows this team training, and what is shown looks pretty realistic I gotta say. Lots of skilled combat/hostage training with your cliched yet highly polished Top Gun-esq over the top camaraderie and macho showboating with liberal splashes of gun porn. It all looks slick sexy and makes you wanna run down to the local cop recruitment centre and get shooting. Oh those boys in blue do look handsome in their nice perfectly fitting uniforms and actionman body armour.

The film isn't really very violent, it hints at some strong stuff, you just don't see it. I do tend to think that the film might have been much cooler had it been an all out adult film, bit more gritty and a bit less glossy perhaps. But in general its a solid action flick that you can easily enjoy without ever knowing the old TV show ever existed.