– Summary –
Director : Dominic Sena
Year Of Release : 2001
Principal Cast : John Travolta, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Don Cheadle, Sam Shepard, Vinnie Jones, Drea de Matteo, Rudolf Martin, Zach Grenier.
Approx Running Time : 99 Minutes
Synopsis: A secretive renegade counter-terrorist co-opts the world’s greatest hacker (who is trying to stay clean) to steal billions in US Government dirty money.
What we think : Boasting Halle Berry’s first topless scene (a move she’d improve upon with Oscar winning turn in Monster’s Ball), Swordfish is techno-crap of the highest order, a slick, empty, pulsating action flick running on bits and bytes without establishing any kind of emotional connection with the audience. Also boasting a terrific Matrix-inspired opening sequence, Swordfish’s deficiencies are many, and given the passing of time, now appear less wallpapered over than they did back in 2001.
When Ctrl+Alt+Delete isn’t extreme enough.
If there’s a personification of soulless, event cinema, then Swordfish captures the millennial generation in a nutshell. Filled with cybertech gibberish, a nutball performance by John Travolta (admittedly, it’s one of his braver career turns following his Pulp Fiction resurrection), a topless Halle Berry, and an up-n-coming Hugh Jackman (coming off Bryan Singer’s X-Men a few years earlier), Swordfish swaggers into view with the rip-cord adrenaline-junkie frisson of high concept narrative and competent-yet-unremarkable direction, even managing to skewer so many genre tropes it becomes a gag in and of itself. Swordfish might seem to many like an underrated classic, and indeed, I felt it was a bona fide work of genius when I saw it back in 2001, but a decade and a half on, time hasn’t been kind to this techno-thriller.