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‘S.W.A.T.: Firefight’ Director Set Out for Originality

23 Feb, 2011 By: Chris Tribbey

S.W.A.T.: Firefight actor Gabriel Macht, left, and director Benny Boom Feb. 23 in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES — Call S.W.A.T.: Firefight a follow-up to the star-studded 2003 S.W.A.T., but don’t you dare call it a sequel.

“We approached it totally differently,” said director Benny Boom (Next Day Air). “It’s the idea of a S.W.A.T. team, but the producers didn’t want a part two.”

And while Firefight may have its origins tied to the original 1970s TV series, it’s nothing like that either.

Firefight sees Robert Patrick (Terminator 2: Judgment Day, “The X-Files”) as a government assassin, hell bent on killing a hot shot L.A.P.D. S.W.A.T. instructor (Gabriel Macht of The Spirit and Behind Enemy Lines) and the Detroit S.W.A.T. members he’s training. The only thing it has in common with its predecessors is the story revolves around the toughest police force in America.

“They’re the real deal,” Macht said. “For me it’s them and firefighters.”

Macht and his fellow actors spent a few days training with the Detroit S.W.A.T. team, learning what it takes to do the job. That’s the subject of “Sharp Shooting: On the Set,” the behind-the-scenes bonus feature Sony Pictures Home Entertainment included on the March 1 DVD ($24.96) and Blu-ray Disc ($30.95).

“It was inspirational,” Macht said. “It was gathering a group of guys who know nothing about law enforcement, to put us all on the same page. It was a valuable experience for all of us.”

Both Macht and Boom singled out working with Patrick is their best experience with Firefight, saying the veteran actor had plenty to teach everyone.

“If you’re the smartest guy in the room, you’re in the wrong room,” Boom said. “We both took away a lot of things.”

Boom was especially excited to see Sony deem the film worthy of a high-def release.

“It’s 2011. Blu-ray is going to replace DVD eventually,” he said. And he promises both DVD and Blu-ray viewers they won’t come away disappointed.

“It’s kick-ass action from start to finish. You’ll want to watch it again,” Boom said.

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