Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Farrell, Michelle Rodriguez, LL Cool J, Josh Charles, Olivier Martinez
Director: Clark Johnson
A catchy theme song, strong script, gripping action and a killer ensemble cast help make "S.W.A.T." one of the best films this summer in a season otherwise overrun with blockbuster let-downs and headaches. Loosely based on a not-so-good 1970s TV show, "S.W.A.T." isn't bogged down with hidden messages or bad humor, but is instead served up for pure enjoyment.
Sgt. Hondo Harrelson (Samuel L. Jackson) is brought back from retirement to assemble an elite S.W.A.T. team that will be capable of handling extremely dangerous situations with their young and aggressive methods. Hondo recruits five members for his team, including recently demoted Jim Streets (Colin Farrell), tough girl Chris Sanchez (Michelle Rodriguez) and Deke Kay (LL Cool J).
While transporting international criminal Alex Montel (Olivier Martinez) to a federal prison, the team is caught in a firestorm of greedy street thugs out to secure the $100 million prize Montel has offered for his assisted escape out of the country. Of course, the story wouldn't be complete if at least one competent villain didn't rise to the challenge and give our men and women in blue all the trouble they can handle.
The entire cast works really well together, playing off of Farrell's young, eager cockiness and Jackson's smooth and playful authority as the team's two strongest and most important members. Although the script lacks the thorough character development needed to really make you care about the players, this is a less important matter that can easily be settled in a sequel, much like "X-Men" did with "X2." With a perfect mix of action and humor, "S.W.A.T." is one of the first summer films that truly can't be missed.