The Flick Chicks

Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

SWAT

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Judy Thorburn

SWAT

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Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil

“S.W.A.T.” TARGETS 70’S TV SHOW AUDIENCE

Pick a popular vintage TV show from the sixties and the seventies, and it’s almost a sure bet that you will be seeing an updated version, remake, or retooling of its premise on the big screen.  Why? Because Hollywood can’t seem to come up with that many original ideas, that’s why. Now, that doesn’t always mean a former TV success will translate to box office hit.  As examples, TV’s The Avengers was a great British export, but Uma Thurman and Ralph Fiennes fizzled in the mega flop movie version. Charlie’s Angels, currently in theatres is a brainless parody of the TV counterpart, but is doing well thanks to the younger audiences enjoying the jiggle parade and humorous shenanigans of its beauteous stars.

S.W.A.T. is the latest in a long line of films hoping to capitalize on a past TV series.  Like all the others before, it is more inspired by its namesake and is totally revamped.   But, with a cast headlined by stars such as veteran draw Samuel L. Jackson and the very hot Colin Farell, you can expect a fair amount of worthwhile entertainment.

The film sure starts off on the right note, with the L.A police force’s S.W.A.T (special weapons and tactics) division sweeping down from helicopters to move in on a bank robbery in progress.  But, when an innocent female hostage is shot, Jimmy Street (Colin Farrell) is taken off the team and his partner, Brian Gamble (Jeremy Renner) angrily quits rather than accept suspension for not listening to orders to stand down. Soon Sgt. Dan “Hondo” Harrelson (Samuel L. Jackson), recognized for his “gold standard of ass-kicking old school” arrives with an assignment to put together a new S.W.A.T. team. He sees the right stuff in Street, a former Navy Seal, now positioned behind a cage at the station shining boots and fixing weapons, but ready to get back into action for a chance to redeem himself. Street gets to do just that when he is recruited, along with outstanding beat cop Deacon “Deke” Kaye (James Todd Smith aka LL Cool J), two established S.W.A.T. officers, Michael Boxer (Brian Van Holt) and T.J. McCabe (Josh Charles), and Latina single mother, Chris Sanchez (Michelle Rodriguez), a tough policewoman who had numerously been rejected for the team, but who Hondo sees as a forceful addition to his new unit.

The film takes you through the recruit’s training exercises to give some insight into what makes them special, and offers little glimpses into the personal lives of a few of the characters.  The story takes a turn when Hondo and his new team are given their first mission to transport a captured international fugitive wanted in ten countries for drug smuggling, arms dealing and murder, into Federal custody. As he’s being taken away, the brazen, Alex Montel (Olivier Martinez, Unfaithful) makes an offer of $100 million reward to anyone who will set him free. Of course, this sets in motion a series of well paced, but standard action sequences between the good guys and the bad guys involved in Montel’s breakout scheme, or in other words, the need for us to see S.W.A.T. at work.

If you’ve seen enough cop action movies you can pretty much guess from the beginning set up of dynamics between characters who is going to be an accomplice to the villain.  It’s not a great eye opening surprise. But, I will give the filmmakers credit for not overindulging in excessive pyrotechnics, car crashes and explosions that has become the usual bill of fare in most action movies these days. Director Clark Johnson keeps the adrenalin flowing with just the right amount of high powered action.

Samuel L. Jackson and Colin Farrell hold the movie together, with their demanding   presence.  They have nice help from the supporting cast of rising stars that include Olivier Martinez, who is sufficiently defiant and cocky as Montel, and James Todd Smith (rap star LL Cool J) and Michelle Rodriquez. But, good as she comes across, I think Michelle should try to break away from her typecast role of the kick ass, tough girl. Enough already!

As far as summer movie entertainment goes, S.W.A.T. makes the grade. Even with a formulaic plot and predictable scenario, the enjoyability quotient is evident, although I felt there wasn’t enough “special weapons or special tactics” employed to give us SWAT we expected.  With a lone female recruit in an otherwise, all male unit, S.W.A.T. could easily stand for Single Woman Among (lots of) Tostesterone.