S.W.A.T.: Even Cops Dial 911 (2003)

Posted: July 25, 2012 in Action, Crime, Thriller

After running into a complication during their latest S.W.A.T. assignment, Jim Street and Brian Gamble are nearly kicked off of the force, but they are given a chance to get moved to the gun room when Lt. Velaquez sticks up for them. Gamble quits the force, but Street chooses to take his licks in hopes of eventually being given a second chance. With the LAPD under scrutiny and in need of a new S.W.A.T. team, Capt. Fuller brings in Sgt. ‘Hundo’ Harrelson to pull together and train a new squad. Picking what many would believe to be the outcasts of the force, Hondo believes in his team and puts them through the ringer. After a few successful missions, the team is brought on-board with a mission to extract a recently captured international drug lord, but his announcement of a reward for his escape brings criminals out of the woodworks to get the $100 million prize.

Starring: Colin Farrell (Jim Street), Samuel L. Jackson (Sgt. Dan ‘Hondo’ Harrelson), Michelle Rodriguez (Chris Sanchez), LL Cool J (Deacon ‘Deke’ Kay), Josh Charles (TJ McCabe), Jeremy Renner (Brian Gamble), Brian Van Holt (Michael Boxer), Olivier Martinez (Alex Montel), Reg E. Cathey (Lt. Greg Velasquez), Larry Poindexter (Capt. Thomas Fuller)

It is always entertaining to watch Samuel L. Jackson’s on-screen charm. As for Colin Farrell, he certainly appears to have the strong talents of a special agent and this role helped to solidify his action-packed film future. Jeremy Renner also appeared to get his big movie break in this film, as seen through his greater number of appearances in the past few years. He maintains an intensity to become one of the more compelling characters of the film. Michelle Rodriguez appears to play the same role in every one of her films, but when it works…Josh Charles is one of the more compelling characters, as there appears to be something off about him from the beginning but there is also a feeling that he wants to be one of the good guys.


Considered his biggest feature film, Clark Johnson’s movie follows the development of a unique S.W.A.T. team that has to face its own demons before it can truly be considered a team. Gamble’s departure from the force had a small effect on Street, but ultimately did not stop Street from keeping his dreams alive. Though it is clear that Fuller does not fully trust Hondo to take control of the new team, he ultimately leaves their fate up to their training and passing of the simulation, to which they are able to do in record time with only one possible casualty, which also seals a pattern in McCabe’s sense of falling behind. Meanwhile, Montel’s chance capture over a broken taillight seems like a blessing until his announcement causes criminals to create havoc during the transport. Gamble appears once more before the transfer and has seemingly hit bottom along with his new rough friends, but it was clear that he would resurface during the fray. McCabe’s desperation also gets the best of him, as he struggles to reconcile his greed with his care for his former team.


The depth of the story is okay, but it is the action and the missions that are meant to be the focus of the film. The training sequences were entertaining, particularly before the new team is assembled and Street is posted to challenge McCabe (allowing for a rivalry to develop and McCabe’s slow decline to begin). More than the training, the actual missions are rather complex and full of elements that simulate what may actually happen in the real world. While it is not a perfect representation and there are some glaring elements that were added to increase the drama and spectacle of the scenes, the overall presentation is full of gunfire and explosions to satisfy even the more intense appreciators of the genre. It does not distinguish itself much more for other films but is enjoyable nonetheless.

S.W.A.T. is full of action and a couple entertaining but predictable twists with a cast that fits their roles quite well.

Dan’s Rating: 3.0/5


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