*/**** Image A Sound A+ Extras B
starring Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Farrell, Jeremy Renner, Michelle Rodriguez
screenplay by David Ayer and David McKenna
directed by Clark Johnson
by Walter Chaw The promise of the premise is a return to John Carpenter's Escape from L.A., or his Rio Bravo redux Assault on Precinct 13, an idea of a seething urban cess erupting at the promise of notoriety and filthy lucre, but S.W.A.T. washes out as a flaccid, almost wholly uninteresting bit of macho formula. The potential of the film to be Aliens with rampaging hordes of West Coast gangsters seems, at the least, acknowledged in the United Colors of Benetton casting, down to the tough-talking, one-named Latina, but like everything else in the film, the only thing that S.W.A.T. genuinely achieves is a feeling of squandered opportunities and a lot of quiet time to think about them. More, the picture has that distinctive feeling of something that never started by the time it ends--a laggardly-paced two hours of limp set-up that hobbles across the finish line, sputtering on fumes and bluster, boasting mainly of the questionable achievement that it is the exact simulacrum of any episode of the dated '70s television series on which it is based.