S.W.A.T: Firefight Review

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Director: Benny Boom
Writer: Reed Steiner
Stars: Gabriel Macht, Carly Pope, Robert Patrick, Giancarlo Esposito, Kristanna Loken
Rated: R
Tagline: none.

My Rating: Photobucket (Not a good movie.)

See other ratings here. Also it doesn’t take a sharpshooter to see that there’s gonna be spoilers below.

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Who you’ll see:

Lt. Paul Cutler: Best S.W.A.T officer ever. He’s never lost a hostage oh…

Kim Byers: Department shrink, gets kidnapped

Inspector Hollander: Giancarlo Esposito! He was on Homicide!

Rose Walker: Hostage. Decides it is best to shoot self in the head.

Lori Barton: S.W.A.T team member. Has cleavage.

Harold Finkle: S.W.A.T team member. He likes to smoke. Becomes Swiss cheese.

Justin Kellogg: Does not like his new Lt. Loses bets. Is kicked off team.

Danny Stockton: S.W.A.T team member. He later goes boom.

Walter Hatch: Robert Patrick! Loves to take hostages.

Wayne Wolport: S.W.A.T team member. Likes waffles by hand.

Mundy: S.W.A.T team member. Get’s shot up but apparently survives.

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What we learned:

Never tell a drug dealer looking for his money he wasn’t invited to your party.

Always punch with your gun

Best reward for a job well done is being sent to Detroit.

It’s only a party if girls kiss.

T1000 is a creepy bastard.

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What you should see:

Not much. Glitsy video game style of filming was nice.

S.W.A.T montage! 2 minutes.

Exercise montage! 18 minutes.

Oh wait maybe we’ll get Carly Pope’s—never mind no boobs.

Nice splatter! 59 minute.

Holy slow motion walk batman! 100 minute.

Did they just have a pissing contest/shooting battle on the phone?

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What to listen for:

“They crashed my party and drank all my beer man.”

Yeah it’s mostly forgettable dialogue.

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What happens?:

Yes this is a straight to DVD (essientially) sorta sequel to the 2003 film that was a remake of an 1975 cop show. Title and the fact that it follows a S.W.A.T team are the only similarities. This film has less “star” power and is stylistically very different. Director Benny Boom gives the movie a video game or music video feel. There are many first person player POV shots and some of them are even done nicely. A lot of the films problems come from the fact that it feels rushed at points. Character’s history, relationships and action sometimes feel cheated or chopped.

The film begins with Lt. Paul Cutler (Gabriel Macht), a S.W.A.T. officer, successfully rescuing hostages with no casualties in LA. This is apparently the norm with him and he is heralded as one of the best S.W.A.T. officers by his superior. He is sent to train the Detroit S.W.A.T. in new techniques and tactics. This of course isn’t before we are given (a marginal) amount of character development for him. First we get an almost throwaway line about him not having anything keeping him in L.A. Then we get a glimpse of his home life. His walls are filled with work pictures and as he studies he turns down the advances of a woman. A woman who we can gather dumped him for having worked too much.

There are a lot of montage shots in this movie. We get them of bikini clad women in L.A. and in Detroit we get them of buildings and houses. Once in Detroit he immediately imposes his authority which leads to a pissing contest with the Captain of the department. As he leaves we meet his soon to be love interest in the lovely Department Shrink (Carly Pope). The pissing contest with the Captain won’t be the last. In fact it comes in the very next scene as he introduces himself to his new team. Here the movie introduces the main (non bad guy) source of friction for our hero—or so we think. This is another relationship that feels forced and is ended too soon.

Cutler begins to adjust and introduces intense training exercises to help the team bond and become effective. The team is called into action. Cutler quickly butts head with one of the team member Justin (Nicholas Gonzalez) who doesn’t agree with his choices. Despite Justin being the best sharpshooter Cutler sends another member to do it. Walter Hatch (Robert Patrick) is apparently holding his girl hostage. The S.W.A.T team moves in and all hell breaks loose when the shooter misses Hatch. The girl is rescued but takes a pistol and asks Cutler to move so she can shoot Hatch.

As Cutler tries to calm her down, she commits suicide and Walter threatens to kill them all if she dies. This was the first hostage lost in 10 years and it of course takes its toll on our hero. We know this because of the sad music and that he slumps down on his bed. He soon receives a call from an angry Hatch who tells him he’s going to kill him and his entire team. We then learn that Hatch was released on bond. Cutler is not a fan of this and complains first to the Capt. and then the shrink.

Nevertheless he continues his training with the team. He encounters particular problems with Justin Kwho blames Cutler for the loss. He hasn’t liked Cutler from the start but not for any real reason. The team is at a bar drinking when Cutler challenges him to a bet, which Kellog loses resulting in him been re-assigned and no longer a part of the team. The team being down a member Cutler calls in an old war buddy of his to join them. This is when we meet Lori Barton (Shannon Kane) who was brought in to meet the movies cleavage quota I assume. We get some dialogue mixed with training sessions for a while. Meanwhile, as the training goes on, Hatch steals a binder which contains details of tactics and information on the members.

After some banter about how much work she has he convinces her to go to dinner with him. This quickly leads to a tease of a sex scene between the two. A scene the creepy hatch is watching. The phone calls Cutler receives are increasing and Hatch even breaks into his house. Angrily Cutler tries to go after him but is tricked into breaking into the wrong house. He taunts Cutler on the phone afterward, which somehow allows Cutler to realize there is a bomb planted under his car. It of course was safely defused.

It’s around this time that some Government types show up at the police station. Her we learn that Walter Hatch is an “important tool” of the Government and does “jobs” for them. As the police and feds bicker guess who shows up? Yep good ole T-1000 er I mean Walter Hatch. He taunts Cutler who punches him before being pulled off him. The feds leave with Walter but he easily kills them and then kidnaps Kim.

Cutler and the Captain argue and Cutler has his temporary power removed. Soon after the S.W.A.T. team are then called to a derelict warehouse. In the van, communication from the station shows that the call was a hoax. The members enter and are overwhelmed (read blown up or kidnapped.) by Hatch and his associate. Hatch calls Cutler and tells him to come alone. When he arrives he finds one of his team hanging. He frees him but the injured team member is quickly shot.

Now Hatch has set up a course for Cutler to run in order to save both Lori and Kim. After quickly killing the associate Cutler makes his way up the building. He’s given 5 minutes to save the two women. He finds Lori Barton and saves her from a bomb. They make a plan based on their time in the Army and he continues on his way. He finds Hatch and Kim. She has a vest with a bomb attached. Hatch tells him that she will detonate if he lets go of the button he’s holding. The test Cutler must pass? Why he has to stop Hatch from killing himself. After about 10 seconds of supposed tension Cutler attacks Hatch. He grabs his hand and ties his finger to the button. Lori shoots the chain holding Kim, who then rips the vest off. She throws the vest out at Hatch just as Cutler shoots him sending him. As he’s falling to his death the bomb explodes in mid-air. The two lovebirds run as the building explodes around them. Support arrives and the Captain offers Cutler a job. He refuses and then walks over to Kim. He asks if she wants to visit L.A. she nods and they kiss.

The movie is ranked one eyeball because it simply isn’t that good, but in all honesty it isn’t that bad either. There are some nice visuals and camera work. Carly pope is nice to look at too. The best thing it has going for it is Robert Patrick really hamming it up for the role. The story takes a hit (but in most of these when isn’t that the case?) and things seemed too rushed. So there are some flaws and I would not tell anyone to pay for it but if you come across it and have nothing better to do?

Try to find something else to do.

If you can’t then I guess watch it.

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~ by ClevelandPoet on April 30, 2011.

One Response to “S.W.A.T: Firefight Review”

  1. It’s weird how Robert Patrick gets second billing and yet isn’t on the poster (while three unbilled characters are). Do you suppose he minds, or is he happy to have only his name and not his face on it?

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