08th May2018

‘SWAT: 24 Hours’ DVD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Tom Sizemore, Mischa Barton, Timothy Woodward Jr., Michael Paré, Marlon Young, Jeremy London, Said Faraj, Matt Cinquanta, Chris Jai Alex, Isaac C. Singleton Jr., Jayde Rossi, Omid Zader, Kerry Knuppe, Catherine Fetsco | Written by Lauren De Normandie | Directed by Timothy Woodward Jr.

swat-24-hours-dvd

SWAT: 24 Hours follows the LAPD, the FBI and an elite SWAT Team as they try to stop a domestic terrorist from killing innocent hostages and destroying the city of Los Angeles with a biological weapon. With 24 hours left on the clock, the team must rely on their instincts and unique skill set to stop the attack and bring justice.

Not to be confused with ANY of the films and/or TV shows of the same name, SWAT: 24 Hours is a UK-retitling of the 2015 film SWAT: Unit 877, which comes from writer, director and actor Timothy Woodward Jr. Not a name familiar to too many people, Woodward is probably best know to fans of DTV fare as the filmmaker behind three Johnny Messner star vehicles: Assassination (aka Decommissioned); The Good, The Bad and The Dead; and WEAPONized, as well as a myriad of other direct-to-market fare, with 14 films to his name in a mere 5 years – including a star vehicle for the now-deceased Verne Troyer in Gnome Alone.

Of course being that prolific doesn’t necessarily mean you’re that good. And nowhere does that show more in Woodward’s ouevre than here, in a film that is packed with great ideas but falls flat in its execution. The films biggest problem is that there’s no sense of urgency or danger and no-one involved seems to be doing anything other than phoning in their performances. Maybe it’s because this is an early film for Woodward and his later work shows how much he’s progressed, or maybe it’s because the story is so flimsy that Woodward and co. have to pad out the film with overly-long scenes that suck all the energy out of the film.

Like many of Woodard Jr’s films we’ve previously reviewed, SWAT: 24 Hours features a number of well-known stars in what are essentially extended cameos – including regular collaborator Michael Pare as the LAPD police chief, Mischa Barton as an FBI Special Agent/Team Leader and Tom Sizemore as the movies villain. However here it’s Woodward who is the real star, not only directing this film but also appearing as the films lead, LAPD officer Chris Cutter. And, again like Woodward’s other films, SWAT: 24 Hours reworks the plots of other movies into its tale. This time riffing on pretty much every “terrorist vs cops” action movie you’ve ever seen, even throwing in techniques and story beats from the actual S.W.A.T. franchise!

It’s not until the film is almost over, when the actual SWAT-team action kicks in, that SWAT: 24 Hours approaches anything near the excitement levels a film of this nature requires to hold the audiences attention, which is a major problem – I can’t see audiences (outside of those of us that love DTV movies) sticking with the film long enough to get to this point to be honest… Which also means they’ll miss out on the big sequel-teasing twist. Not that I see this film EVER getting a follow-up!

SWAT: 24 Hours is available on DVD now from Film Factory.

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