Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Film Length: 1 hour, 29 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1080p High Definition Widescreen (1.78:1)
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish, French
Release Date: March 1, 2011
SWAT: Firefight is the direct-to-DVD sequel to the 2003 theatrical film starring Colin Farrell and Samuel Jackson. This sequel succeeds in being more entertaining than the original, although the original admittedly did not set the bar very high. Both this film and the original are based loosely on the television series starring Steve Forrest and Robert Urich that aired originally in 1975 and 1976. SWAT: Firefight continues the concept originated in the TV series and the first film with its own cast of original characters.
Los Angeles Police Department Sergeant Paul Cutler (Gabriel Macht) is a war veteran and a key member of the LAPD SWAT unit who is assigned to train the Detroit SWAT team in the latest HRT (Hostage Rescue Techniques) taught at the FBI training center in Quantico, Virginia. Cutler and his team find themselves hunted by rogue intelligence operative Walter Hatch (Robert Patrick) after Hatch’s wife (Kristanna Loken) comes to harm following the SWAT unit’s responsive efforts. Cutler and his team find themselves one step behind Hatch as he uses his superior technological resources to exact his revenge.
This film is directed by Benny Boom (Next Day Air) and has some of quick edits and camera movement that we are accustomed to seeing in Michael Bay films. The action scenes are staged well even as the story requires some suspension of disbelief. SWAT: Firefight, like many other action films, is designed to entertain without inviting scrutiny into every twist and turn of the story.
The movie is in 1080p high definition in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Aside from very minimal compression artifacts, this is an average Blu-ray transfer. Minor grain is present with good shadow detail but lack of fine detail in a number of shots. This is not reference quality material but it is not terrible either.
The English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 tracks have great directional audio, especially during the action sequences. Most dialogue originates in the front channels with rear speaker deployed well for full immersion.
The special features are limited to a short "making of" featurette and trailers. BD Live accessible features were not yet available at the time of reviewing this disc.
Sharp Shooting: On The Set(8:43): Director Benny Boom and several cast members talk briefly about training with the Detroit SWAT unit in preparation for filming.
Trailers appear by default after the disc is loaded and prior to the main menu. These trailers are also accessible in the Special Features menu:
BD Live (2:26)
Sniper Reloaded (1:47)
The Hit List (1:54)
Quarantine 2: Terminal(1:39)
Robert Rodriguez Trilogy(1:52)
SWAT: Firefight is an average or perhaps slightly better than average action film that succeeds at least in being more entertaining than its theatrical predecessor. Video quality is not exceptional but the audio earns high marks. Special features are limited to one featurette and trailers for other films. SWAT: Firefight will not win over any viewers who do not gravitate towards action films, but action junkies may find it to be time well spent.