When the DEA shut down its dummy corporation operation codenamed SWORDFISH in 1986, they had generated $400 million which they let sit around; fifteen years of compound interest has swelled it to $9.5 billion. A covert cou... more »nter-terrorist unit called Black Cell, headed by the duplicitious and suave Gabriel Shear, wants the money to help finance their raise-the-stakes vengeance war against international terrorism, but it's all locked away behind super-encryption. He brings in convicted hacker Stanley Jobson, who only wants to see his daughter Holly again but can't afford the legal fees, to slice into the government mainframes and get the money.« less
Mr. N. Carnegie | Kirkcaldy, Scotland, UK. | 11/02/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Ignore the Amazon editorial review and all the other reader reviews. I don't want to spoil this movie for you by telling you too much about the plot or describing in perfect detail some of the best scenes in the movie but what I will tell you is...
1) Yes, it's true, Dominic Sena's last directorial effort Gone In Sixty Seconds was a MAJOR dissapointment BUT SWORDFISH ISN'T!!! It's a good movie!
2) Travolta is good
3) Halle Berry is good
4) Don Cheadle is underused and
5)Hugh Jackman is a major star in the making.
6) The now infamous scene of Halle Berry topless was probably unnecessary and perhaps gratuitous (but hey, she's a good looking woman with a good body). Sorry, did I say good? I meant great...but if this is the only reason why you'd watch this movie, then you really do need to get a life.
7)This was one of the better films of the summer.
8)It is neither formulaic nor does it lack ambition. Unlike most movies of this genre it challenges it's audience to excercise the old grey matter and it's got a half-decent twist.Sure it has some faults, like did they run out of money for FX when they shot the scene of the bus landing on the roof? And the change of pace and edit from past events back to present was badly thought out and jarred a bit. BUT you know what? I liked this movie and the directorial set-piece that everybody wants to spoil for you by describing it to you in every detail is excellent. I only wish the moviemakers had been able to take that extra step and made a great rather than good movie. Buy some popcorn, kick back and enjoy this one on a Saturday night at home in front of the TV..."
"Swordfish" chums up action and confusion in great heaps
phimseto | Chestnut Hill, MA United States | 06/11/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Swordfish" opens with John Travolta facing toward the camera, looking contemplative and addressing his off-screen audience. The problem with Hollywood, his character Gabriel dryly suggests, is that it doesn't push the envelope enough. With all that cinematic potential, say like with "Dog Day Afternoon, why have a pointless,(mostly) harmless bank robbery when you could examine how far the cops would go in being uncooperative if Pacino started killing hostages? The problem, Gabriel is told, is that audiences like happy endings and that such tales are morality plays - the bad guy has to lose. It's an amusing moment, and it sets up "Swordfish" as a counterpoint to that line of reasoning. The movie plays as a postmodern (and by post-modern I mean post-Tarantino) action film, cutting the audience just enough slack for them to decide whether or not they want to root for the bad guy, who is most certainly Gabriel. The film's message, beyond the drive of the plot, is that the audiences root for the bad guy. Whether or not they want/would allow him to win is tested on-screen by Hugh Jackman, playing the "everyman" with certain talents that pull him into Gabriel's high-stakes world.Unfortunately, "Swordfish" suffers from its own cleverness, much in the same way people disliked Mission: Impossible or LA Confidential. There are twists and turns galore, and every other character is not who they appear to be. "Swordfish", though, doesn't quite pull it off. At one point, Gabriel talks about the greatness of Harry Houdini and the art of misdirection, which serves as a blueprint for this movie. The audience sees what Hugh Jackman's Stanley sees - the misdirection, and there's so much of it that it becomes an exercise in dizziness trying to juggle all the details. In this respect, the magician's trick works. However, as a film, it leaves the viewer more confused than amused, more depressed than impressed, and not caring enough about what happens to the characters since they don't really know who the characters REALLY are at any given moment.Still, through it all is Gabriel, who may or may not be any number of things. It doesn't affect how he acts, though, and much of the fun in "Swordfish" is watching Travolta revisit familiar and confident territory as the wisecracking heavy. In fact, the strength of "Swordfish" is truly found in the performances. Even as the plot unfolds with its slight of hand, there's enough eye candy and wry humor there to make for an enjoyable film. Don Cheadle and Hugh Jackman are great, playing it all with a straight face (necessary to make an action film work), and Vinnie Jones stops by to look menacing though he is not given nearly enough to do."Swordfish" is a tough catch to reel in. It is an ambitious action film that doesn't quite become what it wants to be and, in failing, leaves much of the audience in its thrashing wake. For recommendations sake, if you disliked "The Usual Suspects" or "Mission: Impossible" because of their labyrinthine, snaking plots, you will probably not enjoy "Swordfish". If you liked "Ronin" or "Broken Arrow" because of their pacing and performances, you will probably get a kick out of "Swordfish". The movie never quite gives the audience enough to judge whether Gabriel or his dissenters are right, but it sure has a lot of fun trying to deliver the goods. A true summer film, and a worthy popcorn film for those in need of one."
A SUPERB BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE
Kivanc Erman | Istanbul, TURKEY | 04/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although I have seen the movie years ago when it was on cinemas across the world and of course on dvd several times, I bought the blu-ray version in order to see the difference. I must admit that the experience was incredible and during the scenes that John Travolta was firing to the FBI agents and Hugh Jackman was driving, it was like that I have been on the street, in the middle of the crossfire.
If you want to experience the blu-ray difference, I strictly recommend the movie. That's how you see the development from DVD to Blu-Ray."
STARTS WELL, TURNS QUICKLY INTO SMASH & CRASH, BUT WORTH IT!
Shashank Tripathi | Gadabout | 11/07/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Simply put, the cinematic vasectomy of a script reeked badly of stale pizza and bong water, complete with its cheerfully care-free grade-school world views. Not one trite action movie cliche is left unturned -- (1) A smash and crash background score with a lifetime supply of techno
(2) And a Fuji-color sepia tone to go with it...you know, that yellowish brown look-ma-I'm-so-cool kind of film glow, the type used in wannabe hitech movies
(3) An oh-so-cool "hacker" (sigh) who can do it all given enough number of powerful Dell servers, including guessing a 32-hash password in less than 1 minute. It's also a bit tiring to see Hollywood propagate this doozy myth where a single key press brings up screenloads of highly classified information.
(4) Our dear hacker of course lives in an abandoned stilt bus outta town, in abject poverty, being perfectly content with it given his honesty and all
(5) A wrap-on prop of a female (played, gulp, by Halle Berry) who knows everything about everyone at the right time, because well, she is an underdog for the.... [You Know, One of Those Highly Confidential Type Organizations]
(6) A daylight bank robbery with guns bigger than the buses they were carried in, and masks and hostages, a la "Dog Day Afternoon"
(7) A rich man who can afford it all in his swank disco, including promising 20 million to the hacker for this supercool banking hack which'll allow them to interchange monies between all these international banks
(8) A needless gratuitous nudie scene, and then a needless gratuitous nudie scene
(9) Oh, and let's not forget a pulpy twist in the end that so badly defies logic, you have to be a Jessica Simpson to fall for it. Plus, I wonder if US police force has at least a couple of helicopters of its own. YET: There is something about the movie that makes it watchable. Thrice. May be it is precisely the kind of pulpy action that us media junkies seem to find our escapism in. It's all in the package: (1) Mindblowing explosions. I mean, really!
(2) Some pretty edge-of-the-seat chases
(3) Great fight sequences
(4) A helicopter in a high-rise town
(5) A fantastic background scoreALL IN ALL:A pretty decent fare overall for action buffs. May also be a good male-bonding movie, especially for guys just beginning to "ping" and "tracert." If you enjoy The Matrix trilogy, you just may enjoy this too. Go for it. And leave your common sense at the door."
This is the type of movie made for blu ray
Melbourne Critic | Melbourne Australia | 05/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"All I will say is this film looks and sounds brilliant on blu ray. A must for your collection."