I guess I should be glad this is one of the better experiences
Iíve had, watching a movie thatís targeted at teenage boys, this
summer. In fact, Iím quite curious as to why the same teenage boys
that liked X2 would want to see this one. Maybe my idea of
the ideal time at the local multiplex is rather different than
watching a S.W.A.T. teamís missions and training, in a music-video
style production, but I was quite happy and satisfied when
experiencing this sumptuously watchable popcorn-flick.
Various events in the plot are quite
stretched at times, but somehow, S.W.A.T. always manages to
come across as believable, probable, and realistic. It opens up to
two partners, on an assigned S.W.A.T. team mission, taking place
in a bank. There, a woman is being held hostage, by the man
robbing the place. The team receives orders, saying that all
members should stay in their positions, and are not try to shoot
at the robber, to to free the hostage. The two partners, Jim
Street (Colin Farrell) and Brian Gamble (Jeremy Renner), disobey
team orders, though. They shoot, and wound the hostage. They are
both demoted from their positions. While Street is willing to work
hard to earn his place on S.W.A.T. back, Gamble leaves the force.
Later, Street is recruited for a new
S.W.A.T. team, hand-picked by veteran officer Hondo Harrelson.
Also on this team are characters played by LL Cool J, Michelle
Rodriguez, Josh Charles, and Brian Van Holt. S.W.A.T. also
contains a subplot, that ties into the story nicely towards the
end, featuring a convicted prisoner (Oliver Martinez), who offers
to pay anyone who can get him out of jail 100-million dollars. In
this role, Martinez gives one of the best supporting acting
performances of the year.
While S.W.A.T. bears more than a
few flaws, itís extremely well-made, and this alone, keeps it
tremendously engaging. Director Clark Johnson manages to keep an
excellent balance of grittiness, suspense, action, comedic-relief,
and even romance. It runs a tiny bit too long, clocking in at an
hour and fifty-one minutes, but is always interesting and
involving to watch. We have the great (though often
chaotic-appearing) visuals, enhanced by those behind the camera
and off the set, to thank for this.
The action in S.W.A.T. is
extraordinarily effective, because it actually has a purpose. It
is, indeed, mindlessólike all of the other action movies in
current releaseóbut, nevertheless, is always somewhat meaningful.
Sure, itís devoid of almost any emotion, but we do care for the
characters. Flaws aside, itís one of the most action-packed and
excitingly thrilling movies Iíve seen, all summer long.
Part of me is thankful that this is the
last action movie of the summer, and part of me is devastatingly
sad. The filmmakers, obviously, saved the best for last.
S.W.A.T. is exactly what it should beóa magnificently amusing
roller-coaster ride of a motion picture. Even though itís nowhere
close to perfect, and lacks many necessary theatrical elements,
S.W.A.T. will keep viewers captive and enthralled for every
nail-biting minute of its near-magical duration.