out of 4
All-Reviews.com Movie/Video Review
Review by Susan Granger
3 stars out of 4
"You know, the problem with Hollywood is that they make s**t," says
John Travolta as this enigmatic cyber-crime caper opens. He rants on
about how films, particularly "Dog Day Afternoon," lack realism, failing
to push the envelope. But you're jarred to ruthless reality when you
realize he's holding 22 hostages, wired with explosives, in the midst of
a heist at L.A.'s World Banc. Then a flashback reveals what happened
three days earlier when he sent Halle Berry to recruit "the most dangerous
hacker in America," Hugh Jackman, an ex-con on probation for computer
piracy. The only bait he'll bite is enough cash to gain custody of his
young daughter whose alcoholic mother has now married a porno-producer.
But money's no problem since, in a perverse twist on patriotism, Travolta's
determined to pull off a massive cyber-heist, stealing $9.5 billion in
a DEA money-laundering slush fund that's code-named Swordfish. Despite
a bizarre haircut, Travolta's menacing and manipulative
as "a driven, unflinching, calculating machine who takes what he wants
when he wants and disappears." In contrast, Jackman ("X-Men") embodies
the reluctant hero, while Berry delivers shifting signals about her
motives, along with baring her breasts, and Don Cheadle is a determined
FBI cyber-crimes agent. Despite writer Skip Woods' complex, high-tech
cyber-babble about decrypting data and hidden worms, director Dominic
Sena ("Gone in 60 Seconds") basically loves to blow things up, going
over-the-top in terms of shoot-outs, car crashes and shattering glass.
But the final spectacular confrontation, involving a Sikorski helicopter
and a bus full of hostages, is truly jaw-dropping. On the Granger Movie
Gauge of 1 to 10, "Swordfish" blasts in with an intense, action-packed,
fast-paced 7. It's a dynamite thriller!
Copyright © 2001 Susan Granger
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