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Overall Rating
2.85

Awesome: 13.98%
Worth A Look: 18.28%
Average: 20.43%
Pretty Bad33.33%
Total Crap: 13.98%

6 reviews, 57 user ratings


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S.W.A.T.
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by Scott Weinberg

"S.Q.U.A.T."
2 stars

The movie reads like the back of a conditioner bottle: apply stereotype, massage into cliche, lather, rinse, repeat.

Hey have I got a movie for you...if you don't own a TV and have never seen one Cop Flick in your entire life. Based on the semi-admired TV series of the same name, the new ensemble police procedural S.W.A.T. offers a whole lot of boys-in-blue schpiel that we've seen a thousand times before - and very little else.

The plot is an overstuffed and undercooked collection of cop conventions all wrapped around a frankly boring tale of one sneering and villainous Frenchman. We have the "wrongly blackballed Good Cop who's looking for redemption", the "ornery sergeant who plays by his own rules", the preening beefcake, the shifty-eyed Golden Boy, and the aggravated Lady Cop Who Gets No Respect. Toss in the aforementioned French guy, and apparently that's all you need to get a flick made these days.

Director Clark Johnson (TV's "The Shield") acquits himself moderately well in the film's extended action sequences. It's just a crying shame that the endlessly familiar screenplay only affords him the chance to break out the fireworks every 40-some minutes. And the pauses between the adrenaline jolts are long and consistently tiresome.

See, it's a delicate balance: offer too little action and you're then dependent on a compelling screenplay - and the dialogue and plot devices on constant display throughout S.W.A.T. are not exactly the trademarks of a winning script. So in between the few & far between moments of kinetic mayhem, we're subjected to ponderous scenes of half-baked character development, the introduction of numerous instantly-recognizable plot gimmicks, and the sort of forced Cop Banter that one generally finds in weaker episodes of "Hill Street Blues" and "NYPD Blue".

The cast is surprisingly strong, which makes how little they're given to do even more of a shame. Colin Farrell (Phone Booth) does the best he can with a horrendously underwritten Lead Character, Sam L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction) barks and bellows in his trademark fashion, the ever-muscular LL Cool J (Any Given Sunday) bares his chest, and the ever-surly Michelle Rodriguez (Girlfight) does not.

It seems clear that Johnson and his massive array of screenwriters were trying to mix an inventive cop procedural with a traditional action flick. Unfortunately, S.W.A.T. earns a meager grade on both counts: the action scenes are sparse and only sporadically exciting, and the non-action-scenes are omnipresent and frustratingly trite.

Why drop eight bucks on a story you can see on Network TV every night of the week? Heck why drop eight bucks on a story you've already SEEN on Network TV every night of the week?

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=8066&reviewer=128
originally posted: 08/10/03 12:09:26
[printer] printer-friendly format  
TV to Screen: For more in the TV to Screen series, click here.

User Comments

9/16/17 morris campbell decent no more no less 3 stars
2/27/14 PAUL SHORTT MONOTONOUS, BRAIN-DEAD ACTION ADAPTATION 2 stars
6/02/07 action movie fan outstanding action and script-an excellent film-so many great moments 5 stars
11/16/06 David Pollastrini The tv show was better 3 stars
10/13/06 Jimbo It was wicked 5 stars
4/04/06 JRE you just sit there waiting for something to happen. theres no action. ever 1 stars
10/07/05 Wisamane Swat is sooo borrrrringggg, The movie is so predictable, stupid plot that i fell asleep on 1 stars
9/02/05 ES Fun, smart action flick. Characters you can like, bad guy you can hate 4 stars
8/09/05 Swat is gay wow...this movie is horrible...ide rather masturbate with razor blades 1 stars
6/07/05 Mark Radburn Even Cops Dial 911 5 stars
5/04/05 Quigley the action was so staged and predictable; it has dumb acting & stupid plot with glitches 1 stars
12/09/04 Kristina Williams Rodriguez needs to stop being typecast as haggard mean bitches 4 stars
9/06/04 Katie This movie rocks!!! 5 stars
7/21/04 Derek Great movie... Keeps the anticipatation what is going to hapen next going... A + 5 stars
7/19/04 axe 60% T.V. show b.s., 40% Daryl Gates' video game realism. Ali G skewers Gates on HBO...lmao. 3 stars
5/13/04  Shaun Rose worth a rent 3 stars
5/04/04 Nick I could predict exactly what was going to happen next in this completely average film 2 stars
3/28/04 john looksd like a GQ or VOGUE photo shoot with a SWAT theme to it - dumm as hell! 1 stars
3/13/04 Ingo Boring, dull, flat characters and so forth... 2 stars
3/09/04 bsho76 Nothing in this movie made logical sense...perhaps I'm expecting too much 1 stars
2/07/04 king of cool amazxing movie!!!! Joe wake up !!! great action, seabiscuit is dumb 5 stars
1/28/04 Travis great entertaing movie 5 stars
1/27/04 Joe To actoin movie fan, YOU ARE AN IDIOT this is a horrible and stupidly idiotic movie 1 stars
1/15/04 Betty White The question is: Why was this film made in the first place? 1 stars
1/12/04 steph thrilling 4 stars
1/02/04 y2mckay Barely worth a netflix rental. Cliche-riddled but okay mindless entertainment. 3 stars
12/08/03 alex it wasn't boring, but as usual, after such movies I come out hating holywood ever more 2 stars
12/05/03 Tiffany Faye Hawthorne Chase down a Lear Jet with a commandeered limo! I've fucking seen it all! 1 stars
11/28/03 Sydney Will not match your expectations... makes the SWAT work look easy...No Shit! 3 stars
11/27/03 he a good film 4 stars
11/11/03 Jod This movie proves that even Colin Farrell get's behind on is rent. Pure Hollywood. 1 stars
10/17/03 Josh Standlee Entertaining! I forgive Colin Farrell for making "Phone Booth"! 4 stars
10/01/03 Samuel Justus an ok rental, too bad I didn't know that before going to the theater! 3 stars
9/14/03 Obi Wan Not bad, but it had an MTv feel to it. Decent for a last batch of summer flicks. 4 stars
9/10/03 The Talking Elbow A generic, give-me-a-paycheck-fast movie. 2 stars
9/07/03 JAMES Its a crappy movie but entertains at times 3 stars
9/04/03 snowconehead Far-fetched predictable plot, but it wasn't boring 4 stars
9/02/03 B. Fresh Exceptionally boring..Fredy vs Jason cut this to pieces! A big bag of tired cliches... 2 stars
8/29/03 Mack Intosh Don't expect too much. A lot of fun. Dissapointing climax. 4 stars
8/27/03 Igor Not enough quality action scenes to cover up for its crappy story line. 2 stars
8/22/03 Benjamin Leatherman Flawed and cliched, but an enjoyable action-packed ride 4 stars
8/19/03 mwildema sucks! 1 stars
8/16/03 Jon Predictable and cliched doesn't always mean bad, but, yeah, the action scenes carry this 3 stars
8/15/03 nick2k everything was great/interesting til that fuck said "one hundred meeleeon dollars!". 3 stars
8/15/03 Wolf Gamble(ex-SWAT) and the bank robbers just weren't believable. 3 stars
8/14/03 D Non-stop action was great, not much more though 5 stars
8/14/03 dave what did you expect? shakespeare? good for what it is 4 stars
8/14/03 Mr. Hat The SWAT situations & the Poker with sniper rifles are the good parts. 4 stars
8/13/03 vagile Someone has finally taught monkeys to type and format a screenplay. 1 stars
8/13/03 your mom quality mindless entertainment. 5 stars
8/12/03 Chelsea Awesome. I loved it, a good cop drama that isn't to heavy on the action and violence. 5 stars
8/12/03 RKM Worse than the TV show ever was 1 stars
8/11/03 Nikaelah by the numbers action flick, neither dull nor exciting, completely generic 3 stars
8/11/03 impressed. just as good as heat 5 stars
8/09/03 malcolm much better than i expected; good characterization 3 stars
8/09/03 Bam Margera Ok, not the smartest movie out there...but very shiny, and cool...very badass! 5 stars
8/09/03 terrence wow. I can see why every1 is comparing it to HEAT..... 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  08-Aug-2003 (PG-13)
  DVD: 30-Dec-2003

UK
  05-Dec-2003 (12A)

Australia
  27-Nov-2003 (M)




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