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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Eye Popping Action-Thriller, which is Actually Well Made.
When Ex-Computer Hacker (Hugh Jackman) has been hired by a Mysterious Patroit (John Travolta), who is a Professional Thief. The Hacker has to find a way to steal $10 Billion from the Gouverment of the United States. If the Hacker gets the Job Done, he will get $10 Million and might also has the chance to have his Daughter Back in his life but he has to deal with a FBI...
Published on Feb. 15 2002 by Christian Pelchat

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Password: STUPID.
Dominic Sena' Swordfish will go down in history as the movie where Halle Berry was topless for the first time onscreen. Sadly, that's the only thing people will ever remember about this awful movie.
Swordfish is supposed to be about this ex-con computer hacker (Hugh Jackman) recruited by Gabriel and Ginger (John Travolta and Halle Berry) to hack into a government...
Published on May 18 2004 by SHAWN JAMES


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Password: STUPID., May 18 2004
By 
This review is from: Swordfish [Import] (DVD)
Dominic Sena' Swordfish will go down in history as the movie where Halle Berry was topless for the first time onscreen. Sadly, that's the only thing people will ever remember about this awful movie.
Swordfish is supposed to be about this ex-con computer hacker (Hugh Jackman) recruited by Gabriel and Ginger (John Travolta and Halle Berry) to hack into a government computer system and steal billions of dollars in seized drug money. At least that's what the plot is roughly supposed to be. Somewhere after Halle Berry's gratuitous and unnecessary topless scene the plot becomes totally incoherent in its attempts to create twists and turns to shock the viewer. These logic-bending turns make an already weak story turn into a logic defying brain-mushing pile of drivel. There is no structure to the story and how it's set up; the scenes don't come together to make sense or even make a cohesive story. Stuff just happens because the producers wanted car chases, shootouts and explosions in the film even though there's no reason for them to be there. This film is for the short attention span crowd that likes XXX and The Fast and the Furious; trying to figure out why things happened in this mindless movie will give you an aneurysm.
Long story short, there are shoot-outs with guys in black SUVs, He hacks the system and gives them the money, Gabriel flies out in his helicopter to shoot senator who was helping him Afterward, there's a bank robbery they take hostages, Big explosion from opening scene explained, Gabriel hangs Ginger, He hacks system to get them money in bank, Gabriel shoots Ginger, hostages get on bus, For no reason, helicopter picks up a bus, malfunctions bus lands on building, Hostages fall off building and blow up, more stuff blows up, Gabriel gets in a Helicopter flies away, Jackman blows it up with a rocket launcher even though he has never used one in his life, Gabriel is confirmed dead, BUT HE'S NOT GABRIEL! He's an INTERNATIONAL TERRORIST. Jackman gets his daughter and drives off into the sunset. In the end, Ginger and Gabriel (who somehow survives being blown up in a helicopter) goes to a foreign bank get the stolen money and ride off in their yacht into the sunset while a luxury liner explodes behind them. Did that make sense to you? It didn't to me.
I have to wonder did a chimp with ADHD write this script? And did the same chimp with ADHD have friends with the same disability to greenlight this disaster? I can't believe in this day and age someone with a college education and works for major movie studio would spend over $80 million dollars to deliberately make a movie with a story as ridiculous as this one. Most of the money must have gone for Travolta's salary and those unnecessary CGI effects are added for absolutely no reason at all.
A five second shot at Halle Berry's topless chest isn't worth having to deal with this brain-numbing drivel calling itself a movie. (...) At least you'll get what you pay for. For an exciting crime caper movie get Ocean's Eleven, The Thomas Crown Affair or The Italian Job.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Eye Popping Action-Thriller, which is Actually Well Made., Feb. 15 2002
This review is from: Swordfish [Import] (DVD)
When Ex-Computer Hacker (Hugh Jackman) has been hired by a Mysterious Patroit (John Travolta), who is a Professional Thief. The Hacker has to find a way to steal $10 Billion from the Gouverment of the United States. If the Hacker gets the Job Done, he will get $10 Million and might also has the chance to have his Daughter Back in his life but he has to deal with a FBI Agent (Don Cheadle) and a beautiful attractive Woman (Halle Berry).
Superficial but a fine entertaining Actioner, which is a Surprisngly Smart film with Visual Style and Plot. This film wasn`t a Big Hit as it should in Theaters but it did OK. This movie has plenty of energy to go for with the Slam Bang Thrills. Die-Hard Action Fans will love to see this one. DVD has an Sharp Anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1) transfer and Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. DVD Extras are:An running Commentary Track with Director:Dominic Seda (Kalifornia), Two Alternate Endings, Behind the Scenes Featurette and More. This is a Clever Action Film. Panavision. Grade:A-.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Travolta Hates Terrorists, Feb. 27 2004
By 
This review is from: Swordfish [Import] (DVD)
SWORDFISH has everything a good action film should have - explosions, beautiful women, high-tech gadgets, guns, fast cars, spies, and golf. When compared with other Action films of late, SWORDFISH is almost perfect. At no point do you doubt the action authenticity of this film. Probably the only thing that doesn't lend to action legitimacy is the concept of a fairly clever story line with all the little twists and surprises of a classic. Meanwhile, there is also a terrorist element to the film that is guaranteed to make you cringe when put into today's real world perspective.
The Basics: the essential synopsis of SWORDFISH begins almost in reverse with a fantastic hostage scene. Then it clicks back a bit to a computer genius fresh out of Leavenworth who will go straight back to the big house if he even touches a computer. But, he can't resist the enticing messenger sent to drag him back into the techno world of computer thievery. She's offering him money, a chance to be a hacker king again, and most importantly, his little girl. Of course, he has to deal with a madman and his underground, spy network all the while playing a dirty, little cat and mouse game with the FBI, DEA, and all other manner of government what-not. That's the basics.
The Stars: John Travolta (PULP FICTION; STAYIN' ALIVE) does another fantastic job as a madman gone madder, Gabriel. While his work may not be a virtual act of genius (i.e. Kevin Spacey), he does have all it takes to play a variety of roles over large spans of film time and maintain a certain something that keeps him watchable (i.e. Tommy Lee Jones). Travolta has stood the test of time, and SWORDFISH is no different. Even though he's certainly not the good guy, Travolta is smooth, crazy, ingenious, and @$$-kicking throughout the film.
Hugh Jackman (X-MEN; KATE AND LEOPOLD), you remember him as Wolverine from the X-MEN movie, is no joke himself. He's the hacker. Where his fingers were claws of adamantium steel in S-MEN, they are lithe and nimble in SWORDFISH. Many of us had our doubts about Jackman playing one of the greatest superheroes of all time, but he did no wrong as Wolverine and he continues the winning streak here. The first time he touches a keyboard in the movie, you know things are going to, er, heat up.
Halle Berry (X-MEN; JUNGLE FEVER; BULLWORTH) plays Ginger, Gabriel's temptress, and you're never sure of her motives. She's certainly pleasing all over this flick. Don Cheadle (TRAFFIC; BOOGIE NIGHTS; ROSEWOOD) continues his own brand of smoothness as Roberts, the leader of a computer crime task force. Meanwhile, Vinnie Jones (SNATCH; LOCK STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS) is underused and underrated once again. He plays Marco, one of Gabriel's henchmen, and they definitely don't give him enough play. It was the same thing in GONE IN 60 SECONDS. SWORDFISH is no different. This guy is one of the most intimidating actors on the market. Sure, he can scare the holy hiccups out of you with just a look, but when he gets to talking all his smooth, British jive, he makes you want to dribble down your legs. He's scary in a delightful way.
This cast is brilliantly supported by a careening plot and stunning effects. The underworld spy, anti-terrorist, if-the-American-people-knew-about-you, you'd-all-be-in-prison, organization led by Gabriel might send shudders up your spine, but at least you won't be bored with the storyline. Meanwhile, you may not dig hostages being turned into giant human claymore mines, but in this flick, their explosions are accompanied by special effects that are sure to wow any audience.
The sounds, the styles, the technology involved, and the overall concept of this new Action-packed rental give it a flavor that may not be for everyone, but is certainly spicy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Popcorn Fodder, Jan. 27 2004
By 
OverTheMoon (overthemoonreview@hotmail.com) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Swordfish [Import] (DVD)
Not really a four star movie but it is because it just transcends its restrictive prospects - i.e, this is film to see how Hugh Jackman could handle a leading role and if Travolta could make another comeback in a B-movie plot with a little more brains than usual with some bigger bang bucks in the budget.
It is cliched but still you don't care. You just slap this one on and you get your monies worth but nothing that memorable. The premise is simple. Hacker is hired by some sort of a pseudo-bad guy with questionable good motives to do a bank job. Cue lots of hacking, Halle's boobs, Travolta with big guns shooting up things and Hugh Jackman trying to play the leading guy. Truth is that Jackman is a good actor, looks a tiny bit freaked out though, and Travolta can do the bad guy well with more than a hint of Pulp Fiction here and certainly the producers blow up lots of things along the way with a plot that will keep your attention but ultimately you can see through this movie for what it is - Halley' boobs and big explosions.
Nothing wrong with that I guess...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not a great film, but a great action movie, Dec 26 2003
This review is from: Swordfish [Import] (DVD)
This is another one of those movies that's best to see for pure enjoyment. I had read a lot of reviews about it beforehand, and that it wasn't very good, so I was hesitant to see it.
I was pleasantly surprised though when I walked out of it. The opening action scene is one of the best I have ever scene and really gets the film going. It's one of the first uses of "matrix-style camerawork" that I've seen that really adds to the film and isn't just something that "looks cool." The first explosion is incredible and by the gasps in the audience, most of the people in the theater thought so as well. The chase scene in the film is pretty spectacular as well.
The hacking part of it is a little absurd, as are most movies involving hackers, but Jackman is a very convincing actor.
One of the best things about this film is the originality in it. The plot isn't the greatest to come along, but it takes an original turn at terrorism.
As with many thrillers, the ending of this film has a twist, fairly similar to "Wild Things," but my only problem was that I had no real clue what was going on after the movie ended, as did most of the people in the audience. We had to talk it out to figure out what the ending was really about, and IMO< this could have been explained a little more thouroughly.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Hack Me!, Dec 16 2003
This review is from: Swordfish [Import] (DVD)
Swordfish: Many people think of this movie as the movie that they had to pay the most beautiful actress alive to go topless. She did and many men flocked to see it just for that reason...I was one of them.:) That made critics believe there wasn't much to the movie if they had to go to that extent to draw attention to it. The truth is...well, it wasn't that great a movie and had that little stunt never happened chances are I would not own the DVD now. The overall movie is okay. John Travolta's character is sinister and cold hearted. Halle Berry never looked better...she gets 5 stars.:) Hugh Jackman's role was nothing special. The movie was a pretty hefty letdown...it had a chance to be really good at times but just didn't click. There were some nice action scenes but nothing I haven't seen before...the hacking scenes were not believable and there was a lot of corniness to the film...including the ending. There was a cool scene in which a bus flies over the city...but overall this movie is nothing special. Special features include 2 alternate endings. It looks like they did choose the best of the 3 endings though.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Overall a bad movie, but still worth checking out, Dec 15 2003
By 
eric_f (Boston, MA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Swordfish [Import] (DVD)
Ok, I'll admit that "Swordfish" is not a good movie when all is said and done. The one-star reviews here all make valid points. The script and plot are indeed beyond stupid, no question about it. However, I don't think this movie is completely worthless. It does have its good points. And what are those? Great action sequences and Halle Berry topless. There, the truth has been said. Accept it or don't accept it, it's up to you. But the truth is the truth.
First off, the great action sequences. There are enough of them to keep anyone with a pulse on the edge of their seat. And the bullet-time shot of the hostage being blown up at the beginning is worth the price of admission alone. A rather cruel scene, but superbly done nonetheless. Even the people I know who loathe this movie all admit that this scene is truly spectacular. I would even argue that it easily rivals any bullet-time shot in "The Matrix" trilogy. It's that good. Another scene worth mentioning is when a helicopter lifts a bus full of hostages and flies it through midair in the middle of skyscrapers. All the other action sequences and stunts are great too although they're pretty much run-of-the-mill.
And of course, we have Halle Berry's topless scene that will make you forever worship the person who invented the "pause" and "slow motion" feature. Enough said.
Bottom line: "Swordfish" is a shallow movie with shallow characters, but what it lacks in intellect it more than makes up for in eye candy. The cast all turn out good performances, or at least as good as they can turn out with the sloppy script they're given to work with. If you're thinking about buying this I would strongly suggest renting it first. If you don't set your expectations too high you might just find yourself enjoying the ride.
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3.0 out of 5 stars STARTS WELL, TURNS QUICKLY INTO SMASH & CRASH, BUT WORTH IT!, Nov. 7 2003
By 
Shashank Tripathi (Gadabout) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Swordfish [Import] (DVD)
Simply put, the cinematic vasectomy of a script reeked badly of stale pizza and bong water, complete with its cheerfully care-free grade-school world views.
Not one trite action movie cliche is left unturned --
(1) A smash and crash background score with a lifetime supply of techno
(2) And a Fuji-color sepia tone to go with it...you know, that yellowish brown look-ma-I'm-so-cool kind of film glow, the type used in wannabe hitech movies
(3) An oh-so-cool "hacker" (sigh) who can do it all given enough number of powerful Dell servers, including guessing a 32-hash password in less than 1 minute. It's also a bit tiring to see Hollywood propagate this doozy myth where a single key press brings up screenloads of highly classified information.
(4) Our dear hacker of course lives in an abandoned stilt bus outta town, in abject poverty, being perfectly content with it given his honesty and all
(5) A wrap-on prop of a female (played, gulp, by Halle Berry) who knows everything about everyone at the right time, because well, she is an underdog for the.... [You Know, One of Those Highly Confidential Type Organizations]
(6) A daylight bank robbery with guns bigger than the buses they were carried in, and masks and hostages, a la "Dog Day Afternoon"
(7) A rich man who can afford it all in his swank disco, including promising 20 million to the hacker for this supercool banking hack which'll allow them to interchange monies between all these international banks
(8) A needless gratuitous nudie scene, and then a needless gratuitous nudie scene
(9) Oh, and let's not forget a pulpy twist in the end that so badly defies logic, you have to be a Jessica Simpson to fall for it. Plus, I wonder if US police force has at least a couple of helicopters of its own.
YET:
There is something about the movie that makes it watchable. Thrice. May be it is precisely the kind of pulpy action that us media junkies seem to find our escapism in. It's all in the package:
(1) Mindblowing explosions. I mean, really!
(2) Some pretty edge-of-the-seat chases
(3) Great fight sequences
(4) A helicopter in a high-rise town
(5) A fantastic background score
ALL IN ALL:
A pretty decent fare overall for action buffs. May also be a good male-bonding movie, especially for guys just beginning to "ping" and "tracert." If you enjoy The Matrix trilogy, you just may enjoy this too.
Go for it. And leave your common sense at the door.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Go Fish, Oct. 19 2003
By 
T. Lobascio (New Jersey United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Swordfish [Import] (DVD)
When I first saw Swordfish, during its theatrical run, I remember not being all that enthused with the end result. To be fair, I don't consider myself a John Travolta fan, and I think that had a lot to do with my initial impression. With nothing else to rent, I decided to give the film another shot.
Stanley Jobson (Hugh Jackman) was one of the best and most dangerous computer hackers in the world. That is until he got caught and spent two years in prison. A condition of his parole states that if he ever uses a computer again--it's back to jail. All he wants to do now, is make amends to his daughter, and be left alone. Yet, a $10 million dollar paycheck is all his, if he agrees to help covert agent Gabriel Shear (Travolta), gain access to a government slush fund, worth 9.5 billion. FBI Agent Roberts (Don Cheadle) is hot on Shear's trail and Ginger (Halle Berry) is there as Gabe's girl.
Dominic Sena is a very solid director. I have to admit that perhaps my earlier asessment may have been incorrect. I liked Swordfish much more this time around. I still don't care for Travolta all that much, but I can get past that, if I take the the film for what it is, a mindless enjoyable actioner. Jackman is the perfect balance to Travolta, as he's really someone you can root for, the hero with a checkered past. There's also a lot more well placed eye candy than I remembered.
The bonus material on the DVD includes an informative audio commentary from Sena. There are 2 making of featuretes: An HBO First Look Special and The Effects in Focus. Both are standard stuff of this kind. What is of more interest though, are the two alternate endings, with Sena's commentary. A DVD-ROM interface offer additional production information, while the theatrical trailer tops off the extras.
Better than I first gave it credit, Swordfish makes a nice rental, even for non Travolta fans like me.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Bloated..., July 3 2003
By 
A. Ort "aorto" (Youngstown, Ohio) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Swordfish [Import] (DVD)
After watching the additional material at the end of the movie it became perfectly clear that my assessment of the movie while watching it ('what a waste of celluloid') was on the money. The producer, commenting on the escape on the bus at the end, noted that they were trying to do something that no one else had done before in an ending.
A bus? How in God's name would criminals escape by being on a bus being flown through the air by a helicopter? It makes for some fancy special effects (that are just a bit too reminiscent of The Matrix) but it's ridiculous, so ridiculous as to not even be entertaining. Perhaps the best thing about the movie was its premise. But once the film starts rolling, it just meanders about seeking to shock the viewer with fancy stunts and dialogue. And its attempt to 'better' Dog Day Afternoon was a laugh.
It has such potential but it was just too over the top and was much too high on its own sense of the spectacular and lacks substance. Travolta, cool as he can be, never quit gives the impression that he is as cool as he looks. He falls apart too quickly. Jackman's relationship with his daughter seems a bit contrived and Berry's role is pretty much as a prop. Don Cheadle is probably the best of the four on the box cover but the movie is a bit too puffed up on its own looks.
We never care about any of the characters, not even the hostages. The special effects have all been done before and are basically pointless, kind of like kids breaking things to get some attention. Obviously, I was really disappointed. I can't say it's a waste of time but there are better ways to spend two hours.
There is one redeeming feature about this film: the soundtrack. Funny thing about it though is that I couldn't tell you where the songs on the soundtrack were in the movie. Oakenfold's dub of The Word (of 'Grease' fame, penned by Barry Gibb) appears but for an instant in the movie. I actually got the album before I saw the movie. I should've known that a movie that boasts about its soundtrack before the film actually appears is already in trouble. Fortunately, I can listen to the soundtrack free of any images of the film while listening to it.
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Swordfish [Blu-ray]
Swordfish [Blu-ray] by Dominic Sena (Blu-ray - 2006)
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