Reviewer's Rating 3 out of 5  
S.W.A.T. (2003)
12aContains one use of strong language and moderate violence

A brash, brain-free actioner, S.W.A.T. sees Colin Farrell give another star turn with so-so material. This is a Die Hard wannabe which hits all its targets without ever scoring a bullseye.

The Irish actor is ruff tuff maverick Jim Street, who refuses to rat out rebellious rozzer Brian Gamble (Jeremy Renner) and is booted off crack police squad Special Weapons And Tactics. (The "special weapons" are, like, machine guns; the tactics are, um, shoot anything that moves.)


Then "old-school" sergeant Hondo Harrelson (Samuel L Jackson) offers Street One Last Chance alongside other hardass coppers - mainly, he admits, "to **** off the captain."

The recruitment process is watchable enough, but it doesn't half take a long time. We're an hour in before the story really starts, with smarmy crime kingpin Alex Montel (Olivier Martinez) offering $100 million to whoever can bust him out of jail.

It's a cracking idea that's underexploited, as it's only really an excuse to get everyone on the road and bring out the big guns. Then it's baba-bada-bada-bada-boom-boom-boom as the film flips into fastforward and hyperactive editing combines with all the fireworks in China for one loooong action scene.


As the Captain (terrifically smug Baz Luhrmann lookalike Larry Poindexter) knaws his knuckles, our heroes tear around LA for a videogame-style shoot-'em-up: exciting, without ever being important.

There's little of the trademark smart streetslang of Training Day writer David Ayer ("your ass is in a sling", indeed), but the magnetic leads have solid support from Renner and The Fast And The Furious star Michelle Rodriguez, who manages to be both sexy and strong as the token female cop.

It's just a shame there's not more substance to the style. Plenty of crash, bang. Not a lotta wallop.

End Credits

Director: Clark Johnson

Writer: David McKenna, David Ayer

Stars: Samuel L Jackson, Colin Farrell, LL Cool J, Michelle Rodriguez, Olivier Martinez

Genre: Action, Crime

Length: 117 minutes

Cinema: 05 December 2003

Country: USA

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