S.W.A.T., 2003

Director

Cast

visit the film locations

Los Angeles: Flights: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

Visit: Figaro Cafe, 1804 North Vermont Avenue at Melbourne Avenue in Los Feliz (tel: 323.662.1587)

California: Visit: Mojave Airport and Spaceport, Mojave


Trivia

Sixth Street Bridge is a popular filming site you'll have seen in dozens of movies, TV shows and music videos. This is where the giant ants emerge from the Los Angeles sewers in sci-fi classic Them!, beneath which cars are raced on the Los Angeles riverbed in Grease, and the Terminator first materialises in The Terminator. The rundown area around the bridge was the setting for most of Alex Cox's cultish Repo Man.



S.W.A.T. film location: Sixth Street Bridge, downtown Los Angeles

S.W.A.T. film location: landing the Lear jet: Sixth Street Bridge, downtown Los Angeles

Actions fortunately speak louder than the rather cheesy words in this energetic actioner, 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.

S.W.A.T. film location: Workman Street, Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles

S.W.A.T. film location: the 'Valley Trust Bank': Workman Street, Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles

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.

S.W.A.T. film location: Arcade Building, South Broadway, downtown Los Angeles

S.W.A.T. film location: the veggie cop: Arcade Building, South Broadway, downtown Los Angeles

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.

S.W.A.T. film location: Mojave Airport and Spaceport, Mjoave, California

S.W.A.T. film location: the simulated hijack: Mojave Airport and Spaceport, Mojave, California

Photograph: Mojave Airport and Spaceport

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.

S.W.A.T. film location: Figaro Cafe, North Vermont Avenue, Los Feliz, Los Angeles

S.W.A.T. film location: Alex Montel sees off a rival: Figaro Cafe, North Vermont Avenue, Los Feliz, Los Angeles

Lethal kingpin Alex Montel (Olivier Martinez) dispatches a rival in the Figaro Cafe, 1804 North Vermont Avenue at Melbourne Avenue in Los Feliz.

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.

S.W.A.T. film location: Sunset Boulevard, outside the Key Club, West Hollywood, Los Angeles

S.W.A.T. film location: Alex Montel pulled over by the cops: Sunset Boulevard, outside the Key Club, West Hollywood, Los Angeles

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). 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.

S.W.A.T. film location: Wilcox Street at Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, Los Angeles

S.W.A.T. film location: the attempt to spring Montel from the coach: Wilcox Street at Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, Los Angeles

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)

S.W.A.T. film location: Sixth Street, downtown Los Angeles

S.W.A.T. film location: the attempt to free Montel: Sixth Street, downtown Los Angeles

“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.




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