Rising actor Colin Farrell finally stars in a mediocre movie, but things could have been much worse. S.W.A.T. is nothing more than the typical summer action movie, but it is what it is and knows it. For the most part, shoddy dialogue is counteracted with excellent action.
Samuel L. Jackson, Michelle Rodriguez and L.L. Cool J also star alongside Farrell as fellow S.W.A.T. members that become involved in a war zone when the man they are protecting announces on national television that he will award anyone who sets him free $100 million. Of course, lots of action and explosion ensue.
The acting is decent enough, but the script is just dreadful. While it is obvious that the dialogue was a second thought to the action, it shouldn't be that difficult to make up something better than what ended up on screen here. Every line is forced, and even the acting talent of those involved (especially Farrell and Jackson) obviously struggle making the things they say believable.
Furthermore, while the plot concept is interesting enough (the police have to protect a man who is actively trying to escape), the plot itself is pretty corny. The one big plot "plot twist" of the film is hardly believable, and other elements are left undeveloped (such as the apparent chemistry between Farrell and Rodriguez, who by the way looks especially good here) or unused. Again, the action scenes were thought of first, and the rest was filled in later.
Regardless, no one really goes into a summer action movie expecting Schindler's List, do they? The action is what it is all about, and the action is pretty intense. While there are some long sections without any action, the portions of the film that do have action have a lot of action. The entire ending sequence is especially long and exciting, with plenty of bullets and punches flying around. If all you want is action, you can't go wrong with S.W.A.T.
However, taking away from the action is one very simple yet key element of any movie: the music. The music is absolutely dreadful. The songs do not go along with anything (except for perhaps the theme song), and only detract from the overall experience. At times the music was honestly distracting.
There is nothing special about S.W.A.T., but as action movies go, it is pretty decent. For anyone wanting anything more than mindless fun, you may want to stay away.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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