S.W.A.T. (2003)

S.W.A.T is one of those films that you really want to like. I mean, it’s got all the bells and whistles of a project that should be succeeding. It’s made by a director who is ambitious and wants to venture into uncharted territory with his sophomore effort. A cast of some of the highest-quality talent at a time when they wanted to prove themselves as top-tier stars. Just think of Collin Farrell. he was a heartthrob in that era, and this was his first time dipping his toes into the action genre. So, what went wrong? Well, just about everything.

How to Download S.W.A.T. (2003)

S.W.A.T. was released on August 8, 2003. You can download the film from a digital store. You can also stream it. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice.

The Movie Review

Directed by Clark Johnson, S.W.A.T follows this team of elite police officers on a mission to transport a notorious drug lord to a federal prison. It’s a cliche plot device, of course, and to no one’s surprise, things go haywire.

Yep, said drug lord offers a 100 million dollar bounty to anyone who busts him out, and so the S.W.A.T team has to now deal with criminals, gangsters, and mercenaries from all sides of the country coming to collect their money. Cue the explosions, dramatic chases, and Farrell trying his best to look tough in a uniform when he should be in a cute little suit.

Script and Dialogue Analysis

Let’s talk script. Well, to be honest, there isn’t much to say aside from the fact that it’s like the studio grabbed a template for an action movie, filled in the blanks such as set pieces, and made a movie out of it.

The dialogue? You’ll be rolling your eyes more times than you could count or would even care to admit. It’s a mix of cliche one-liners and forced tough-guy banter. You’d think they’d at least try to be a tad more creative, but nah, they stuck to the generic stuff like a scared monkey on a tree.

Direction and Action Sequences

Johnson’s direction is… well, let’s just say it’s not exactly groundbreaking. I don’t want to be mean, and I will give credit where it’s due, some of the action sequences are delightfully well put together at times. Yet, even those do become repetitive and boring after a while because there’s nothing really extraordinary going on.

This isn’t a Mad Max: Fury Road type of situation, where the action is so intense you can’t take your eyes off of it. It’s just the most basic collection of fight and chase scenes taped together into a coherent film. Adequate but far from awe-inspiring.

Acting and Character Performances

The action may not be great, but neither is the acting. Farrell tries to flex his action muscles here, but it’s like watching someone pretending to be tough for the first time.

The character’s just not cut out for it, which doesn’t give Farrell enough room to maneuver. He’s not terrible, but you can almost see the effort. Samuel L. Jackson’s in this too, doing his usual Samuel L. Jackson thing, which, let’s be honest, is always entertaining, even if the script doesn’t do him any favors.

You also had Michelle Rodriguez, Jeremy Renner, and a whole other bunch of people, even Octavia Spencer had a small role. Nothing to boast about though, they’re just there, I remember zero lines that anyone said in the film.

Visual and Sound Design

Visually, it’s alright. It looks like every generic action film in the early 2000s, with nothing innovative going on. Some cool shots here and there during the fight scenes, but mostly standard action movie fare.

The production design doesn’t offer much to write home about either—typical cop movie settings, and light color grading where the movie looks like it has an Instagram filter on. The same could be said about the soundtrack, no tune is memorable, but I didn’t hate any tracks while watching the film so there’s that.


In the end, S.W.A.T. is a weak action film that falls flat on its face trying to be something special. It’s a bland pizza, it’s still pizza, but it’s not going to be as satisfying as you’d find in Naples.

It’s a film that relies on the cookie-cutter formula of action films, with lackluster dialogue, and passable at best performances. It barely scrapes by at all in my book.

If you’re looking for mindless action to kill time, this kinda might work. Otherwise, you’re better off rewatching Rush Hour 2.

S.W.A.T. (2003)
S.W.A.T. is a clichéd action film with unremarkable plot and dialogue, but decent action scenes with Collin Farrell and Samuel L. Jackson. Download it now.
4.5 Total Score
S.W.A.T. (2003) Review Summary

Sound & Music
  • Decent action sequences
  • Samuel L. Jackson's entertaining presence
  • Clichéd and predictable storyline
  • Generic dialogue and character development
  • Lackluster direction and visual creativity
User Rating: 5 (1 vote)
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Zain Bhatti

Zain Bhatti

Zain is an aspiring filmmaker who has invested thousands of hours of his life into understanding films and the way they are made. He has a passion for films, a love for cinematography, and adores a film that breaks the rules to bring something refreshing to the table!

Apart from films he also has a love for video games with immersive worlds and adores any piece of consumable media that he can analyze for countless hours.