S.W.A.T. | 2003
Actions fortunately speak louder than the rather cheesy words in this energetic revamp of the classic TV series, which opens with a bank raid going horribly wrong for SWATsters Brian Gamble (Jeremy Renner) and Jim Street (Colin Farrell).
The ‘Valley Trust Bank’, supposedly in the ‘San Fernando Valley’, was in Lincoln Heights, northeast of downtown Los Angeles, where the ‘bank’ building, which was due for demolition, stood on Workman Street at North Broadway.
After being disciplined, Gamble walks, but Street stays on, demoted to the Armory in the Parker Center (the former Police Administration Building) to the southwest of LA City Hall at 150 North Los Angeles Street. He energetically works out his frustrations at Venice Beach.
Enter veteran Hondo (Samuel L Jackson), recruiting a crack S.W.A.T. team, and two downtown locations familiar to Colin Farrell: he drives Hondo along West Fifth Street, past the site of Phone Booth (I know it was set in New York , but it was filmed in Los Angeles) – and past the Alexandria Hotel from Se7en) – to interview the veggie cop in front of the Arcade Building, 542 South Broadway, between Fifth and Sixth Streets, which was the apartment of blind avenger Matt Murdock (Ben Affleck) apartment in Daredevil.
With the team assembled, there’s a training raid, to Hendrix’s Crosstown Traffic, in front of the Cocoanut Grove entrance to the, now-demolished, Ambassador Hotel, 3400 Wilshire Boulevard, and a brief chill-out in the hotel’s empty pool, before the simulated hijacking on the plane.
The ’plane interiors were filmed at the airline graveyard at Lancaster in the Mojave Desert, but the exercise itself was filmed at the Mojave Airport and Spaceport, at Mojave in Kern County. The airport has been seen in many other productions including Speed, Die Hard II and Flags of Our Fathers.
Lethal kingpin Alex Montel (Olivier Martinez) dispatches a rival in the Figaro Bistrot, 1804 North Vermont Avenue at Melbourne Avenue in Los Feliz. The cafe crops up again, magically transported to 'New York', for 2008 romcom Made Of Honor, with Patrick Dempsey and Michelle Monaghan.
Montel is pulled over by the cops, for having a dodgy rear light, on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, outside the Key Club, 9029 Sunset Boulevard.
The attempt to spring him from the police bus is on Wilcox Street at Hollywood Boulevard, across from Thomas Suriya’s famous You Are The Star mural, which you can glimpse in the background, now famous from its appearance in Damien Chazelle's La La Land.
Montel is pinned to the ground by Jim Street on the ‘Walk of Fame’ star of Alex Trebek (the gameshow host of Jeopardy!), outside Roma Lingerie Clubwear, 6501 Hollywood Boulevard.
With a $100 million reward on offer, there’s an incendiary attempt to free Montel from the police convoy on Sixth Street at South Main Street, outside Cole’s Restaurant (housed in the Pacific Electric Building used in Forrest Gump, L.A. Confidential, Se7en, Face/Off and Spider-Man)
“Did they build a new airport downtown?” is the question, as a hijacked Lear jet prepares for landing. It’s set down on the 3,446-foot, art deco Sixth Street Bridge over the concrete bed of the Los Angeles River toward Boyle Heights, southeast of downtown Los Angeles, for the movie’s spectacular climax, with Street and Gamble slugging it out on the railway lines below. After severe structural problems, the Sixth Street Bridge was finally demolished in 2016.