Just the other day I revisited the 1992 flick ‘Rapid Fire’ starring the late Brandon Lee, a movie which I termed as the prototype of the 1990’s stupid action flick. Man, I love me a 90’s stupid action flick. Then this movie ‘S.W.A.T. : Firefight’ slides across my desk. Damn if director Benny Boom hasn’t channeled his inner 90’s and given us a modern day 1990’s styled stupid action flick. Did I mention that I love me a stupid action flick? One that takes place in Detroit. Have I ever mentioned that I live in Detroit? Is it conceivable that I could look past these clear biases and shat on this movie? It’s conceivable, but it is highly unlikely.
Apparently here in Detroit we have a lot of terrorist type stuff that terrorist want to blow up. As if we don’t have enough problems. To that end our SWAT team needs to be Terrorist Trained, and to make this happen we are introduced to Tough As Nails Los Angeles SWAT commander Paul Cutler (Gabriel Macht) who is in town for two weeks to get our boys Terrorist ready. Right of the bat we see that Cutler is the agitating type, first pissing off SWAT commander Hollander (Giancarlo Esposito) by taking over command of his unit and then kicking insubordinate hot headed SWAT team member Justin Kellog (Nicholas Gonzalez) off the squad for being hot headed and insubordinate.
This incident stemmed from a botched rescue attempt where one Walter Hatch (Robert Patrick) was holding a woman he was obsessed with (Kristanna Loken) hostage. A T-1000 holding a T-X hostage. Fascinating. This operation doesn’t go well, the woman ends up dead and Walter Hatch has sworn revenge. But who cares, right? I mean it’s not like this guy is some kind super secret government spy specials ops badass. Ooops.
You would think holding folks hostage, one dead woman, throwing stuff out skyscrapers and threatening to kill officers of the law would get you longer than a night in jail, but you would be mistaken because Walter Hatch is on the street and causing a ruckus. Meanwhile Cutler has a team to train and a pretty police psychologist who dresses way inappropriately in a business setting to woo (Carly Pope). And if that’s not
enough inappropriately dressed police professional for you, someone needed to take the place of that cop that Cutler kicked off the team which brings in his good buddy, the smoking hot Marine Sniper Lori Barton (Shannon Kane) to the scene. So while these tough cops are studying for their terrorist exam, and Cutler is studying the anatomy of this psychologist I guess he’s fallen in love with, Walter Hatch is studying them.
Eventually it’s going to come down to the big terrorist test at the Brewster Projects where Paul Cutler, all by himself because his team won’t be of much help right now in their current state, has to save not one, but two inappropriately dressed hot police professionals. With not one, but TWO bomb clocks ticking down to triple zero with red or blue wires to cut and stuff. All I can say is if Walter Hatch is the secret special ops badass entrusted with keeping the enemy off our front lawn, it’s a miracle we all aren’t speaking Chinese right now.
If there’s an action movie cliché that’s not in this movie ‘SWAT: Firefight’, I’d like to see it. The minute we meet the pretty lady we knew she was going to be held hostage. We were a little surprised the second pretty lady became a hostage as well, but I guess that’s how they mixed things up a bit to make it different. Blustery bosses, loose cannon heroes, damsels in distress, sacrificial minorities, clocks that tick down to triple zero and a bad guy who knows everything about everything except when he needs to know something the most. It’s all there in glorious, predictable Technicolor. About that dead minority… if there was a character in a movie that went out of his way seeking death, it was this guy. What is this dude, a Klingon?
But none of that means that we were not entertained by ‘SWAT: Firefight’. Sure a lot of it doesn’t make any logical sense but it’s a 90’s action movie released in 2011 directed by a music video director. It’s not supposed to make sense. And I’m not completely sure about Gabriel Macht as an action hero, first ‘The Spirit’ and now this… though he was good as a functional retard in the movie ‘Middle Men’… but all he really needed to do here was guide his team to certain death, make out with the pretty girl and cut the blue wire. He did all of that just fine. I was never completely sure what the ultimate plan of Walter Hatch was supposed to be considering he had ample time to kill these guys at his own convenience, until I remembered that his ultimate plan was to die at the end. It was a sweet plan and played by a dude who knows a thing or two about playing Super Secret Special Ops agents AND bad guys. For the penultimate Robert Patrick Stupid 90s Action Movie… Zero Tolerance my friends. Best Movie Ever.
This somewhat SWAT sequel moved fast, had lots of stuff that blowed up real good, was insanely simple to digest and had some sweet shots of my hometown. There are better movies out there, I guess, but for a delightful diversion we cannot be too mad at ‘SWAT: Firefight’.