S.W.A.T.       -  A  Narada Film Review

S.W.A.T. - 2003   -Clark Johnson-Director & Neal H Moritz-Producer
    Viewed on 20 SEP 03     Dirty Harry (1971) started it; Harry Callahan was an unorthodox, shoot-first cop, and his Chief told him so.  Harry talked back, and the Chief, of course got the last word in - and pulled Harry off the case.  What has this got to do with S.W.A.T?  Everything.  Dirty Harry defined the Cop Genre film for the last generation, this generation and perhaps forever.  This time around, in S.W.A.T., the Chief works up such antagonism towards Officer Jim Street (Colin Farrell) and his partner (and for every police officer who ever worked for him) you would think he works for the Bad Guys.  --This is not the case, however, we're just building 'drama' here, folks...
         The next problem Director Clark Johnson faced was how to make Colin Farrell look older than 16 1/2 years so he could play the part of a cop?  ( He's currently a 'hot property' so we have to use him. )  In previous films, it was easy, have him grow a 3-day beard, but SWAT cops can't do that.  Johnson opted to cover for Farrell by letting him talk tough, he not only talked back to the Chief, but to his friends and immediate superiors - making him the ultimate talker of 'Hollywood Hardass'.  The bull got a little deep, however, when Hondo (Samuel L Jackson) had to virtually get down on his knees and beg Street to come back to SWAT.
         And since the 'Hollywood Hardass' talk worked so well for Farrell, why not have everyone talk that way - including the women, and thereby prove what a macho group the SWAT elete really are?  Done.  But how to really sell S.W.A.T?  It also has to look cool.  Why not use the old Hollywood fallback, "dark glasses"?  Done.  But lets do this up right - these dark glasses have to be the coolest there is - even cooler than The Matrix dark glasses.  Done.
         But when it comes time to do the final edit and to release it, will S.W.A.T. be entertaining?  The answer is yes, even though the film copy-catted the thirty-year-old police flick genre, and lacked more than a little imagination, plot-wise, the overall package did in fact translate as an evening of exciting, popcorn-munching entertainment.
        Enduring Line or Phrase:  "We have a Polish hostage..."
2003,    Bangkok Eyes / bangkokeyes.com      

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