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Special Weapons And Tactics. That’s how S.W.A.T. gets its name. The movie S.W.A.T. (PG-13) gets its name from a short-lived TV series from the 1970s. It’s a standard "recruit, train and deploy the team" action film featuring stock characters such as the young buck in need of redemption, the hostile lieutenant, dirty cops and the villain with the foreign accent. That bad guy is a mobster en route to a maximum security prison. S.W.A.T. must oversee the exchange. When the kingpin creates a media stir by offering $100 million to anyone who’ll spring him, their routine mission gets complicated. And violent.
Most of the film’s drama comes from explosions and bursts of automatic weapons fire. People are shot at close range. A man has his throat cut. But even as bodies pile up, trigger-happy rookies are cautioned, "S.W.A.T. is a life-saving organization, not a life-taking one." It’s a moment of conscience in a film built around mayhem.
Furthermore, while the members of S.W.A.T. defend justice at personal risk, role models they are not. The morals of Colin Farrell’s insular sharp-shooter are dangerously close to his own Hollywood playboy persona. He claims to treat his body like an "amusement park" rather than a temple, riding the carousels of promiscuity and alcohol. Cops on this elite force also trade playful sexual insults about condoms, lap dances and sodomy—not exactly the sort of banter exchanged by Steve Forrest and Robert Urich in 1975. Nor did the average hour of prime time contain 80 profanities (an f-word, 15 uses of "g--d--n" and nearly 20 s-words). There’s also an obscene gesture.
For families, S.W.A.T. stands for Study What’s At Theaters. If it’s no better than this, stay home.
Crude or Profane Language
Drug and Alcohol Content
Other Negative Elements
Other Belief Systems
Readability Age Range
Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Farrell, Jeremy Renner, LL Cool J, Michelle Rodriguez