Compiled by: Jack Foley
THE GUNG-HO action movie is taken to new extremes in S.W.A.T.,
it seems, judging by the critical reaction to it in America.
Based on the 1970s TV series of the same title, S.W.A.T. stars
Samuel L. Jackson as Hondo, a grizzled veteran, who must recruit
and train five new officers (including Colin Farrell, LL Cool
J, and Michelle Rodriguez) to join Los Angeles' Special Weapons
and Tactics team.
The newcomers are then thrown into action when a drug kingpin
(Olivier Martinez) offers a $100 million reward to anyone who
can free him from the cops.
Given that this is, primarily, an action vehicle, and that audiences
have had their fill of such films this Summer, it is little wonder
to find critics split over the merits of yet another big budget
The Chicago Tribune, for example, referred to it as 'a
big, near-incoherent action thriller best suited for audiences
who don't mind being pummeled into submission', while the Los
Angeles Times felt that 'though the film's second half has
some good action moments, it never fulfills the promise of its
Rolling Stone, meanwhile, opined that 'what we have here
is a model for the paint-by -numbers, perfectly generic, proudly
soulless summer action flick'.
There were some positive notices, however, with Entertainment
Weekly noting that 'the way I watch this action thriller is
as a field guide to perceived current audience tastes in casting,
characters, and storytelling style'.
Likewise, the Chicago Sun-Times, which referred to it
as 'ne of the best cop thrillers since Training
The Philadelphia Inquirer continues the positive vibe,
by noting that 'S.W.A.T. is by the numbers, by the book, and,
by the way, pretty good'.
While the Washington Post felt that it 'offers up the
kind of pleasures that only a summer movie can'.
E! Online awarded it an A- and wrote that 'the camaraderie
is realistic and heartening, the escape plan is exciting, and
the ladies will love it when LL flashes his abs'.
And Citysearch felt that 'S.W.A.T. merely aims to be no-nonsense
entertainment and totally delivers the goods'.
Slightly more negative, however, was the Arizona Republic,
which wrote that 'it's every police movie you've ever seen wrapped
into one, done so stiffly that the characters are barely able
to bend at the waist to collect their hundreds of spent shell
And the New York Post felt it was 'a lifeless trudge through
squandered opportunities and god-awful dialogue'.
The Detroit Free Press added that it is 'one of those
generic cop-slash-war movies of the Jerry Bruckheimer school -
where men are men and so are the women, where the hardware is
And the San Francisco Chronicle noted that 'SWAT is better
than Gigli, but so is most outpatient
The New York Daily News, however, felt that it is 'a lot
of noisy fun, thanks mostly to its able cast', and CNN
wrote that it is 'one long adrenaline shot that never takes itself
seriously and never pauses long enough to worry about making much
The Boston Globe, meanwhile, probably sums it up best
(from the sound of things), by noting that 'those who love police
overkill, guns, jingoistic race-baiting, guns, macho smugness,
and guns will be well served'.