This is a seriously flawed movie. It so wants to be cool, but misses the target by a long way. Sure its fits the critera of a high octane movie, but it has no soul. That said, for its time (2001) its not without intelligence. The concept of external non-government privately run organisations in the U.S. being involved in taking out terrorists etc is now a virtual fact (Blackwater).
Furthermore Travolta IS cool, especially in the riveting opening sequence. Halle Berry looks great and overall Hugh Jackman probably gives the best acting performance. But these plus points are spoilt by an over-reliance on car-chases, explosions and gun fights. This has all been done before and so much better, and with a lot more style. See Michael Mann's Heat for one.
Overall then its an average, but hugely overblown blockbuster. If you like that sort of thing thats fine, and if its cheap you'll probably buy it. I would rent first...
on 8 February 2014
This is a preposterous load of tosh, with Hugh Jackman as an IT expert being suborned by John Travolta to hack into hidden CIA cash reserves (for the best of reasons, obviously). The plot twists and turns, (is JT and bad guy? A good guy? A bad good guy? what?), Halle Berry is gorgeous as the cinematic eye candy, Hugh struggles to do what's right, and Vinnie Jones is utterly crap as a hard man (as usual...). If you like crime thrillers, you will love the roller coaster ride. A firm favourite - I've probably watched it into double figures by now.
on 25 January 2008
Possibly the best first 8 minutes I've seen in a long while kick this off. The club scene, wrong but weirdly sexy.
Other reviews have told you the outline so as with many of my reviews I won't bother!
You will need to pay attention to the plot to or you will end up wondering what the hell is going on. Yes the hacking is very movie style but it keeps the action skipping along. The club scene, wrong but weirdly sexy.
Jackman, Berry and Cheadle handle themselves very well.
I was less convinced with Travolta. It's so hard to play bad guys with charm and not seem like you're overplaying it..so it loses a star.
You may like it if you enjoyed Hackers and felt it needed prettier people and more guns or enjoyed the look of Gone in 60 Seconds but felt it needed an actual story.
on 1 July 2007
Not a great movie but has enough to entertain. That said, there were some decent ideas behind the silly stuff, (unneeded and poorly produced fluff such as:bad explosion scenes, still more of a reach with ideas which would not be practical in furthering the ideas and goals of the primary character, John Travolta. So while the movie really has too many poorly produced, unbelievable, and unnecessary scenes, which seem out of place at times, the primary objective of the main character, is logical.
The idea behind not taking any crap from terrorists in order to rid the world of them is on it's own a good idea. Fight a hijacked plane by taking out an airport. Kill American civilians, we will use tactical nukes. This particular theme really does make sense. How to fight the war on terror? According to John Travolta, beat the living daylights out of them, BIG TIME. Recall history for a moment. When the small A bombs used to devastate Nagasaki and Hiroshima in WW 2 produced a surrender immediately, we see today, the very real possibility of the same thing happening. Travolta needs money to fight on the right side. So, he gets it by hacking his way in to the billions he needs. In steps Hugh Jackman, one of, if not, the worlds best Hacker.. The money that Travolta, (the Brain behind the process) wants, is lying dormant from a fund that was simply gathering nothing but a great amount of interest. Enough interest in 15 years to catch Travolta's eye. Jackman is forcibly coerced to hack, even though he has been caught and is followed by the FBI. Jackman doesn't want the job, he does want his daughter who lives with the Mother. We find Jackman as a confused yet brilliant at what he does.best, hack into the most secure institutions. In this case it's the Dept of Defense. Or so it would seem. That really doesn't matter too much, suffice to say Jackman and his genius are needed to get the funds produced in the interest baring account which after after 15 years totals $9 Billion. So the war on terror being fought by Travolta's ideals and his genius at getting the money needed to fight is really worth some thought. To add to that, we are now so worried about our own individual safety when it comes to buying something on the Internet or even giving a credit card to a local merchant. This is another worthwhile premise that is brought to the forefront as well as some other very worthy themes that actually confront us even more today than when this film was done, prey 9/11.
Swordfish could have been much better as Halle Berry and most other characters really seem to be there to fill in with the usual sex and violence. Actually, when referring to a headliner like Berry, we might expect more, but it's not to be. Silly looking crash scenes, Buses taken airborne, inexplicable reasons for what Travolta terms, "misdirection" just serve to confuse or at best let the viewer think for themselves. Well, whenever a movie like this one is saying ' just what is misdirection and what is real in order to render a better plot, it's OK. However, we are simply left wondering about this person or that incident. These "misdirection's" obviously play a key role in how Travolta gets away with what he does, but the confusion, the wherefore, the how, why and when are never introduced. They simply confuse an already disjointed picture. Many times the viewer will most definitely say, " what is that, or who is that? What are they doing there, Aren't they supposed to be here? It goes on that way. So be it.
Presume for a moment that this film took itself seriously. Great attention paid to detail (not available in present state), much more attention paid to computers and hacking, identity theft, divorce and custody, the war on terrorism and how to fight it and more. Swordfish does cover these themes. The subject matter, the themes suggested above, if taken much more seriously and then turned out by some top writing, well, this movie really could have been top notch. Sorry to say however, this edition of Swordfish gives us very little if any of these very important yet extremely entertaining issues.