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Movie Review by Neils Hesse

Starring: Samuel L Jackson, Colin Farrell, Jeremy Renner, Michelle Rodriguez, LL Cool J

Director: Clark Johnson

Bullets, brawn, friendship, loyalty, greed and betrayal are just a few words that can be used to describe this dramatic action thriller. Jim Street (Colin Farrell) is a former member of the LAPD S.W.A.T. team, who lost his post because of the recklessness of his partner Brian Gamble (Jeremy Renner). Brian quits the police but Jim stays on because he wants back in on the S.W.A.T. team, much to the anger of Brian. Lt. Dan ‘Hondo’ Harrelson (Samuel L Jackson) is an old school former S.W.A.T. team member who is called back to set up a special S.W.A.T. team consisting of five members only. Hondo picks Chris Sanchez (Michelle Rodriguez) a violent yet professional cop, Deacon Jaye (LL Cool J) a dedicated cop, Michael Boxer (Brian Van Holt) a S.W.A.T. veteran, T J McCabe (Josh Charles) another S.W.A.T. veteran and Jim Street.

Hondo’s S.W.A.T. team is issued the task of transporting a wanted criminal, Alex Montel (Olivier Martinez), to a federal penitentiary. Before this happens Alex blurts out on Live TV that he will give $100, 000, 000 to anyone that breaks him out of his bondage and consequently entices a lot of bad, bad people to attempt to break him out with some devastating repercussions.

Samuel L Jackson is perfectly cast and brings a world-weary gravitas to his character as someone who has been given another chance to prove himself and equally chooses to give other people a chance to do the same. Colin Farrell also excels in his portrayal of an over zealous cop who is hoping for another chance on the S.W.A.T. team.

The supporting cast are all very good in their individual roles, in particular Michelle Rodriguez who combines feminism and brawn perfectly. Olivier Martinez’ portrayal of a man with no morals whatsoever is good but a more detailed background to his character would have made it far more interesting and would have helped Samuel L Jackson’s character as well. Furthermore for fans of the S.W.A.T. TV series this movie only takes from it a few of the names of some of the characters, otherwise it is a totally different but good story nonetheless.

Clark Johnson’s excellent directing delivers exactly what he says he will, “action with a heavy dose of drama”. He pushes the movie along at a good, solid and unrelenting pace. So if you want fistfights, gunfights and macho characters combined with some very impressively staged explosions, sound effects and an effective soundtrack then S.W.A.T. ought to do you just fine.

4 out of 6 stars