This movie starts out with an amazing scene that shows
that John Travolta, despite Battlefield
Earth, is still a great actor when he has the right part. In
the first scene of Swordfish, Travolta is discussing Dog
Day Afternoon with a couple of guys, telling them how Sonny (Al Pacino)
should have done things in order to get what he was demanding when he took
the hostages in the bank. After Travolta has finished explaining
how you can get what you want by killing lots of hostages, the camera zooms
out and he walks across the street to where he and his henchmen are holding
a bunch of hostages in a bank. The guys that he was talking to are
FBI agents. They let him walk across the street because he's carrying a
bomb detonator. Then, needless to say, all hell breaks loose.
If you saw the Stanley Cup finals on ABC, you would have seen their new
replay where they pan the camera all way around the action. Why am
I mentioning this? Well, they do the same thing in Swordfish
when the first bomb goes off. It's a cool technique but there's no
point to it. It stops the movie dead while you watch everything blow up
as you spin around it. And it's all downhill from there for Swordfish.
OK, there's one more scene involving Halle Berry that everyone wants to
see. And, yes, she looks good. So does Hugh Jackman. He takes
his shirt off too. Other than that, Swordfish turns out to be just
your average thriller where the director and writer don't care whether
the plot makes any sense. Travolta turns out to be Ollie North crossed
with a Mossad agent. He's a bad guy but he wants to steal a lot of money
from other bad guys so he can kill still more bad guys and so be a good
guy. Along with his right-hand woman (Berry), Travolta blackmails
an ex-hacker (Jackman) into helping him rob a bank. Jackman is under
two court orders. One says he can't touch a computer. The other says he
can't see his 10 year old daughter. Travolta, still being a bad guy,
is not above using a 10 year old girl to get what he wants. He convinces
Jackman to help him hack into the bank and steal the money electronically.
This he does only to find out that Travolta plans to to do the Dog
Day Afternoon thing at the bank. There is no explanation as to
why. I won't give away anymore. It doesn't make any sense anyway.
Travolta is at his best when he gets a good sociopath to play and really
makes the most of this one. Jackman is good as he was in X-Men,
showing that he may be the next big box office star from Australia.
Berry, who also was in X-Men,
doesn't get to do much acting. Don Cheadle, fresh off of Traffic,
seems to have the G-Man role down pat. So I don't know what to say
about Swordfish. It is really fab at the start but then it all just
turns to mush.