Trilogy movies are usually released within a few years of each other and are successful enough to justify sequels, but not the S.W.A.T. trilogy.
Here’s how S.W.A.T.: Under Siege brought an unlikely movie trilogy to an end. The first movie in the S.W.A.T film series – aptly titled S.W.A.T. – was released back in 2003 and based on the short-lived 1970s TV series. Helmed by actor-director Clark Johnson (Alpha House), the movie starred Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Farrell and Michelle Rodriguez as members of an LAPD S.W.A.T. team whose latest job is escorting cartel kingpin Alex Montel (Olivier Martinez) to jail. Trouble is, Alex has offered $100 million to anybody willing to break him out of the S.W.A.T. team’s custody.
While S.W.A.T. banked a pretty penny at the box office, it wasn’t a big hit with critics who deemed it a fun but largely forgettable action movie. Hence, it was quite a surprise when sequel S.W.A.T.: Firefight arrived eight years later in 2011. Shifting the focus to a Detroit-based S.W.A.T. team, S.W.A.T.: Firefight featured a brand-new cast – including Gabriel Macht of Suits fame and Terminator legend Robert Patrick – and a plot that virtually ignored the existence of the original S.W.A.T. Its direct-to-DVD release meant it barely made a blip which is probably a good thing, considering what those who saw S.W.A.T.: Firefight thought of it.
All was quiet on the S.W.A.T. front for some years before S.W.A.T.: Under Siege came out in 2017, somewhat inexplicably considering the success – or lack thereof – of its predecessor. Like Firefight before it, S.W.A.T.: Under Siege shared barely any continuity with the franchise’s previous entries – apart from its focus on another S.W.A.T. team, that is – and featured a totally different cast of characters. And like S.W.A.T.: Firefight, it was quietly released straight-to-DVD probably because its distributors realized this formulaic action flick wouldn’t justify the cost of a theatrical release.
Directed by Death Race franchise writer Tony Giglio, S.W.A.T.: Under Siege sees a Seattle S.W.A.T. team’s headquarters come under attack when they take a mysterious man known only by the moniker Scorpion (Michael Jai White, Black Dynamite) into custody. S.W.A.T. team leader Travis Hall (Sam Jaeger) and boss Ellen Dwyer (Adrianne Palicki, The Orville) soon discover Scorpion is a spy wanted by some very dangerous people and – worse yet – they may have a mole in their midst.
It may have only been three years since the release of S.W.A.T.: Under Siege but it looks like the unlikely movie trilogy has now come to an end. Nowadays S.W.A.T. franchise producers Original Film are focusing their efforts on TV show S.W.A.T. which airs on CBS and is loosely inspired by the original 2003 movie. Starring former Criminal Minds actor Shemar Moore, the show is currently in its third season and – so far – has been much more well-received than S.W.A.T.: Under Siege and its predecessor.