Directed by Dominic Sena and starring lead actors such as John Travolta and Halle Berry along with a cameo role from Vinnie Jones ever the hard man Swordfish is a concoction. It blends a number of features such as BIG visual effects, BIG bangs and an even bigger plot, unfortunately though for both the creators and the audience this cocktail does little to stick in the mind.
John Travolta plays a megalomaniac who is intent on saving the residents of the USA from terrorists trying to shatter the American dream – and he is prepared to do it by any means possible. Who would set up this explosive anti-terrorism system but an ex-president. If they find a terrorist then John Travolta has them killed, blow up their means of terrorism, frighten countries into submission – harbour an anti-US terrorist and have your capitol city nuked.
How does Halle Berry feature in this? She plays Travolta’s sexy assistant, used to recruit Hugh Jackman’s character, Stanley Jobson. A man so feared by the authorities that he is ranked as the world’s best hacker, and the terms of his parole read that should he even touch a computer he goes back to jail.
But why need a hacker if you are just going to nuke half the Middle East? To get the funds to buy the weapons from Siberia of course – and if you buy 5 warheads you get a discount. Jobson wants his daughter back, but it has been ruled by the courts that he is not even allowed to talk to her. So he needs some money to be able to hire a good lawyer and in typical Hollywood style he is offered $100 000 just to talk to the unknown boss but if someone is offering you that much money to hold a conversation then there isn’t that much chance of you getting away very easily. Jobson is needed to hack into a CIA system and transfer a couple of Billion dollars, sitting in the Operation Swordfish bank account – seemingly forgotten about since it was made from a number of companies set up by the CIA as a front to catch some drug smugglers.
As you can probably guess the good guy has no choice but to help out Travolta when his daughter is taken hostage. But is Travolta the bad guy? Or is it OK to protect the freedom of your nation at any cost and by any means possible? Something that the viewers are to decide themselves, a philosophical point which the director could so easily have expanded on and kept this promising movie in the minds of his audience. This picture has more effect only when you start thinking about it’s content – not something that Hollywood encourages you to do anymore.
For a film that could end satisfactorily at so many points, why must it go on and leave you with either a very poor cliffhanger end – or a rushed change in the script. A story which is cleverly written, with more twists than Hampton Court maze just lacks that slight polish it deserves. What the eyes see and the ears hear the mind believes Travolta tells Jackman, and it is shown as we see the helicopter supposedly holding the mad man shot down as it flies away from the roof top just to be shot down by Jackman firing a Rocket Propelled Grenade at it. However it wouldn’t be a film without the once washed up Pulp Fiction star surviving – because he wasn’t in the chopper simply to go on and kill al the naughty terrorists in the 30 seconds before the closing credits.
Well in this film the eyes do see and the ears hear but the mind just wont believe thanks to blatant computer generated visuals (such as a Bus crashing into the 30th floor of a sky scraper in downtown Los Angeles after being taken airborne by a freight helicopter to escape chasing police) and a thoroughly wasted plot. A film worth seeing – should it be on television or your looking for something unusual to rent, but it is advisable not to buy this motion picture unless you see it at a very good price or you are a big fan of the genre.