Directed by Dominic Sena ("Gone in Sixty Seconds").
Written by Skip Woods.
Starring John Travolta, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry and Don Cheadle.
Release Year: 2001
Review Date: 6/20/01
Halle Berry? Shit negro...that's all you
had to say!
Okay, it was more than Ms. Berry that got me
to go and see "Swordfish" Wednesday night, making this the second
movie that I have seen today. Hey, when you want to review movies,
you got to go see 'em, and since I have been in Jamaica so long, I
have missed a lot of films!!
The movie's story features a world-class
hacker named Stan (Hugh Jackman, who is turning up a lot since last
year's "X-Men") who has been released from prison for computer
crimes and lives in a trailer in the oil fields of Texas when the
film opens. Luckily for him, a beautiful woman named Ginger (Berry)
shows up at his door and offers him a lot of cash to get back into
hacking mainframes for her boss, a mysterious operative named
Gabriel (John Travolta, looking much like he did in "Pulp
Fiction"). Realizing that living in a trailer park pretty much
blows--and, in exchange for his services, Gabriel is willing to pay
him $10 million--Stan says okay and joins up with Gabriel's criminal
activity. The FBI is onto the scheme, and led by a former data
crimes unit head (Don Cheadle, recently in
"Traffic" but best in
"Devil in a Blue Dress"), the government tries to shut down
I liked a lot about "Swordfish", even if I
had seen most of it before. Jackman has got some real potential for
stardom in this town; I can't tell what it is about him that I like,
but I know that I like him and he has a cool about him that makes
him easy on the eyes for the ladies. The film is very well shot and
there are enough laughs to keep the crowd involved when the action
slows down. The film's dialogue would be more interesting to me if
I was one of the .001% of America that spends recreational time
breaking down internet firewalls, but for me, not quite the case.
Halle does bare some breast in the film, but after just coming back
from Hedonism III, naked breasts just seemed some passe! Travolta
waltzes through this film looking cool and reads his lines like a
machine, making me think that he walked onto the set and was just
handed a large bag of cash to star in the movie. Maybe he'll act
Speaking of slow action, "Swordfish" has
surprisingly little of it, and this is the main disappointment of
the film. You get the feeling from the trailer that you are going
to get a heavy dose of action, but besides a ridiculous car chase
sequence where Travolta's Gabriel lays down military firepower (he
keeps a chain gun in the trunk of his Stealth, "just in case") on
oncoming agents, there is not much in the form of action to speak
of...unless you count watching Jackman's Stan take down mainframes
from a comfy office chair.
Almost all style and very little substance,
"Swordfish" personifies the quintessential summer movie. You could
do worse, but you can do a hell of a lot better, too.
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard