When a movie goes straight to video and is a sequel to another subpar film, the expectations become quite low. As someone who thought the first S.W.A.T. was already a B-movie I was hoping S.W.A.T.: FIREFIGHT would reach its predecessors quality of worthlessness (as I said low expectations) subsequently being somewhat better because it has a smaller production and nowhere near the star power as Colin Farrell, Samuel L. Jackson and LL Cool J. So I went in with a pretty good attitude, expecting it to be bad, but hoping for equal entertainment to the original. Unfortunately, even as an expected poorly constructed film as a result of a terrible script and lack of character development, S.W.A.T.: FIREFIGHT managed to be less than its low expectations.
Paul Cutler (Gabriel Macht) is the best S.W.A.T. leader in existence. Upon request, he travels to Detroit for a couple of weeks to whip their S.W.A.T. team into better shape. Of course some are illogically resistant to which Cutler quickly proves himself better than and replaces the bad apple with “gasp” a female! Don’t worry though, her good looks and tough attitude override the fact her arms are far too skinny to even carry a rifle. During the two-week training course, Paul manages to lose his first ever hostage (TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES, Kristanna Loken), garnering a revenge driven maniac (TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY, Robert Patrick). The iconic Terminator villains, T-1000 sharing the screen with T-X is reminiscent of other great screen pairings as Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro in HEAT. Cutler then manages to bed the police force psychologist that the filmmakers try to pull off as a “love” relationship. Did I mention this all happens in a two-week span? Technically shorter than that, because nearing the end of the two weeks she is already being used as leverage by the crazy nut killer. Two Weeks.
The script is so terrible for the simple fact of making all these things happen in a ridiculously short amount of time. The S.W.A.T. team first hates Cutler, then are willing to give up everything and side with him over their very own commanding officer. The final showdown is lame beyond words. Giving riddles, leading one to believe he has a master fun house of booby traps, our bad guys final delivery consists only of tying a girl up on the top floor in an abandoned building with one gunman standing guard.
On the one plus side, Gabriel Macht is a charismatic talent among this mess of a film. With some supporting roles popping up here and there in bigger films like BECAUSE I SAID SO and LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS, even playing the lead in THE SPIRIT, Macht has never really cracked into the known Hollywood scene. To do well in a bad movie is an impressive feat that deserves some recognition.
I now realize maybe my low expectation were unfairly high for the simple fact, that I had expectations at all. I tried my best to get into it with a fun soundtrack over ridiculous montages but the character development and script were far too poor to make S.W.A.T.: FIREFIGHT worth viewing.
Video: (1080p HD 1.78:1) A decent picture quality but some of the special effects felt a little campy
Audio: (5.1 DTS-HD MA) The sound was pretty decent vamping up the soundtrack and explosions.
Sharp Shooting: On The Set (8:43): A typical behind-the-scenes featurette with interviews and making of footage.