Projections - Movie Reviews

Swordfish

Swordfish

John Travolta makes a cocky, driven bad guy.  Even with his added weight, he moves like a cat ready to pounce on his prey.  He's a man on a mission, and he won't let anything stand in the way.

He plays Gabriel Shear, a mastermind who needs the services of a world class hacker.  His associate, Ginger (Halle Berry) uses her ample assets to persuade Stanley (Hugh Jackman), a computer whiz out on parole, to join their team.

They want him to break into the World Bank's computer system to steal billions of dollars, but he can't touch a keyboard unless he wants to be sent back to the slammer.  However, the allure of a ten million dollar payday and the opportunity to use the money for a legal custody battle to reclaim his daughter, is pretty enticing, not to mention Ginger's varying degree of undress to change a guy's mind.

The story begins with a hostage situation with the hostages used as human bombs, then flashbacks to four days earlier, to the day that Stanley is recruited.  The plot keeps us on our toes because it is difficult to figure out the motives of its key players.  Is Gabriel a terrorist, or a mercenary, or just a run-of-the-mill psycho?  Even at the end, we are still not sure.

Director Dominic Sena (Gone in 60 Seconds) fills the screen with terrific special effects.  There are car chases, an out of control helicopter towing a bus and a spectacular explosion that's filmed in a complete circle.

The best scene, however involves just plain talking.  Travolta has a monologue where he discusses Dog Day Afternoon and other great crime films while looking straight into the camera.  He's commanding in his role and fares much better than Halle, who's main function is to strut around in skimpy outfits, that is, when she's wearing anything at all.

Unfortunately, it takes more than one interesting character and a few good effects to make a good film.  High tech thrillers should have a cohesive plot with clear lines drawn between the good guys and bad guys.  Swordfish's confusing storyline and murky roles, make it hard to know who to root for.

 
Frank
Chris
Tony
Jim
Jennifer
Kathleen
Avg.
Swordfish
B+
C
 
B
B+
B
B
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