September 8, 2003

Real Man Colin Farrell

As summer wears down, Cinecultist headed out to the cineplex this weekend to get in one more testosterone-laden explosion fest before our Art Cinema season begins. Let's first preface our assessment of S.W.A.T. -- the action film with Irish bad boy Colin Farrell, Sam L. Jackson, LL Cool J and Michelle Rodriguez which has been in theaters for few weeks -- with the statement that we used to be immune to Farrell's appeal. When The Recruit came out last year, his movie with Al Pacino, CC swore up and down that we wouldn't go to see it, because it looked hackney and predictable. And yet, the weekend of its release, CC found herself at the theater catching a matinee where we did find it totally hackney and predictable. But we were forced to reluctantly admit that Farrell does have a certain charm.

S.W.A.T. has a larger, more well-rounded ensemble cast than The Recruit, but strangely, in this film Colin really stands out from the rest of the solid cast as an actor with noticable charisma. He's a man's man here. He runs down the beach so hard, he vomits. He gets so involved in a fistfight with the bad guy that he punctuates his arrest by spitting blood. And oh, those tattooes on those rippling muscles. Zowie. This is not ordinarily CC's concept of ideal masculinity, in fact, we usually mock these muscle bound steroid heads so fetishized by action films as out moded. But weirdly enough, Cinecultist can write this sentence after seeing SWAT -- We get where Britney was coming from (by famously, smooching self-avowed sexist pig Farrell. But Fred Durst, not that we'll never understand). A movie worth catching on video or HBO for that reason alone.

Note to Movie Executives -- Cinecultist needs more Josh Charles in her life. Man, he's great.

So, to sum up a summer of watching an astonishing number of movies with over 2 hours of explosions, gadgets and male bonding, CC's still as surprised as anyone that we actually like these films. The formulas and the plot signposts blare out from the screen like air horns but somehow that's okay, comforting even and certainly can be good fun. S.W.A.T's not a bad movie. Neither was Bad Boys II. Or 2 Fast 2 Furious, although it was awfully noisy. And Pirates of the Caribbean was loads of fun. We still hated LXG, but CC supposes that's what makes us Cinecultist and not Ain't It Cool News.

Posted by karen at September 8, 2003 8:02 AM