Bullet Points: S.W.A.T. Under Siege
The third chapter in the S.W.A.T. movie franchise, S.W.A.T. Under Siege was released on August 1, 2017 …HOLD UP! The third film!? That statement implies there was a second film.
I was well aware of the 2003 film S.W.A.T. starring Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Farrell, Michelle Rodriguez and LL Cool J. But I had zero recollection of the 2011 sequel, S.W.A.T. Firefight starring Gabriel Macht, Robert Patrick and Kristanna Loken.
There is no real continuity between the three movies. All three have plots centered around a SWAT team (obviously). And all three are based off the television series S.W.A.T. that started as a mid-season replacement in 1975 on ABC. The series was actually a spin-off of another ABC cop show, The Rookies. The 2003 movie has the strongest connection to the series as the character names in the movie are directly lifted from the show.
With our S.W.A.T. history lesson now over, here’s my review of S.W.A.T. Under Siege…
- Jaegermeister: The star of S.W.A.T. Under Siege is Sam Jaeger. I was as unfamiliar with Sam’s work as I was the fact that this was the third S.W.A.T. movie. Jaeger plays Commander Travis Hall. Travis is a grizzled veteran of the police force and a family man with a beautiful wife and daughter. As our story begins, it is the morning of the Fourth of July. We see Travis sleeping in bed with his wife Carley when his phone rings… he’s got to go to work because the bad guys don’t take a holiday. My first impression on Jaeger was he looked the part and actually reminded me a lot of Aaron Eckhart, a feeling that continued on as I watched the movie.
- Man in the Box: When Travis and the rest of the SWAT team arrive at headquarters they are quickly briefed by their boss Ellen Dwyer (Adrianne Palicki). Their mission, work with the DEA to track down a shipping container that arrived in the country from Bogata, Colombia. When they track the container down and eliminate the security that was protecting it, the contents inside the container are not what anybody expected. There was a man tied up inside! The mysterious man who is referred to as Scorpion (due to the giant scorpion tattoo on his back) is played by action movie veteran Michael Jai White. The SWAT team takes Scorpion into custody and take him back to their compound until they can pass him off to the feds. But Travis Hall and his team are about to get much more than they bargained for.
- Under Siege: We learn that Scorpion was an ex-Special Ops guy that eventually transitioned into the world of espionage. The skills and information Scorpion has acquired over the years make him not only an extremely dangerous man, but a wanted man too. And in this case wanted by some very bad people. Our main villain is Lars Cohagen (Matthew Marsden of Bounty Killer fame), Lars has all the things a movie villain should have… a sexy right hand woman with a sadistic side named Simone (Monique Ganderton), a nerdy guy who can do all the hacking and an army of Dark Ops soldiers. Lars wants his former co-worker, Scorpion, back and he plans on using all his available resources to make that happen. This sets up for the epic showdown between Travis Hall, his SWAT team and Scorpion locked inside the compound and Lars’ Dark Ops Army on the outside looking to get in. To add some intrigue to the proceedings, we learn that there is a turncoat among the SWAT team… but who???
S.W.A.T. Under Siege is in no way ground breaking. Some might call it a paint by numbers action flick. But I don’t think anyone could call it boring. There is plenty of shoot outs and fisticuffs to quench an action movie fan’s thirst and it is all packed into a no frills 89 minute run time. Having familiar faces like Michael Jai White, Adrianne Palicki and Matthew Marsden in the movie provided a great support group for first time action star Sam Jaeger, who more than held his own with the action movie veterans and really pulled off the lead role.
Now let’s see if I can pull off this transition to the Bonus Bullet Points…
- If You Ever: …wanted to see Michael Jai White shoot “Old Painless” then this is the movie for you!
- Hallway Fight: We get to see some girl on girl action when Adrianne Palicki and Monique Ganderton get embroiled in a hallway fight that was easily one of the highlights of the movie.
- Unfair Criticism: Normally prior to watching a movie and writing my own review, I do my best to avoid spoilers and other reviews, but I caught a portion of a review for S.W.A.T. Under Siege that was unfairly critical of Michael Jai White stating he was old and out of shape. I don’t know about you, but I’d be happy to be in the kind of shape MJW is in when I’m 49 years old… hell, I’d be happy to be in that kind of shape now!
- Fireworks: Spoiler Alert… Travis Hall survives and is able to catch the fireworks with his wife and daughter at the end of the movie. Let me go on record by stating the fireworks display the Hall family watches from their backyard is the most spectacular fireworks display anyone has ever witnessed from the comfort of their backyard.
- Soundtraxx: S.W.A.T. Under Siege did not utilize the classic funky TV theme song (that actually hit #1 on the Billboard charts in February of 1976) but I did enjoy their choice of Spencer Davis Group’s “I’m a Man” for the opening credits. You can enjoy it too in the video below…