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Overall Rating

Awesome: 16.67%
Worth A Look: 18.18%
Average: 13.64%
Pretty Bad29.55%
Total Crap: 21.97%

5 reviews, 102 user ratings

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by Matt Mulcahey

"I know what you really wanna know: Berry's Breasts...Magnificent"
1 stars

The opening sequence of “Swordfish” features terrorist Gabriel Shear, played by John Travolta, calling Hollywood movies boring, simple-minded wastes of time typified by bad acting, bad directing and bad scripts. “Swordfish” then proceeds to be boring, simple-minded and typified by bad acting, bad directing and a bad script. Well, you can’t say the filmmakers didn’t warn you.

Shear is an anti-terrorist specialist who wants to loot a secret government slush fund with the help of computer hacker Stanley Jobson (Hugh Jackman) and a band of wordless, cliched henchmen.

To try and explain the plot in any further detail would be an exercise in futility. Who Shear works for, why he’s decided to steal the money and how he plans to use the funds to “ensure the freedoms American’s take for granted” are lost amidst a landslide of indecipherable computer jargon and confusing “secret” government agency names that blend together into an abyss of confusion.

Thrown in as filler, and backed by a constant onslaught of techno music, are a dizzying array of broken glass, exploding cars and random nudity.

Everything about “Swordfish,” from the elliptical narrative to the “Matrix”-cribbed effects, is borrowed from a better movie.

The men responsible are director Dominic Sena and producer/pyromaniac Joel Silver. This one pretty much snuffs out the last of the promise Sena showed with 1993’s gritty serial killer drama “Kalifornia”. At least his last film, “Gone in 60 Seconds,” was entertaining and enjoyable in it’s mindless excess. Sena provides “Swordfish” with a slick and polished look, but he has no style, originality, or sense of humor.

If anyone should know how to make an action movie, it’s Silver. He practically invented the modern action film with a string of ‘80s blow em’ ups including “Beverly Hills Cop,” “Predator” and “Lethal Weapon.” This is definitely one of his worst, half as enjoyable as this year’s Steven Seagal vehicle “Exit Wounds” and just above the Cindy Crawford/William Baldwin debacle “Fair Game.”

The capable cast attempts to wrestle some semblance of dignity from Skip Wood’s problematic script, with Don Cheadle, as a government agent, and Sam Shepard, as a Senator, coming off best.

Jackman has his moments as the anti-hero, Halle Berry is beautiful but lacks the alluring danger of a classic femme fatale and Vinnie Jones, so tough-guy cool in Guy Ritchie's “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” and “Snatch,” is shamelessly wasted as a cardboard cut-out villain.

Most disappointing of all is watching John Travolta’s latest comeback gasping for its last breath. His performance is colorless and lifeless, as he sleepwalks through his villainous role with none of the sinister glee he portrayed in “Face/Off” or the over-the-top camp of “Broken Arrow.”

What possible explanation could their be for Travolta doing this movie? I think perhaps he has an extremely high-stakes bet with Burt Reynolds to see who can ruin their career more times.

Travolta’s got the “Look Who’s Talking,” but Burt has three “Smokey and the Bandits” and a pair of “Cannonball Run’s.”

Travolta tried unsuccessfully to make mechanical bulls and country music cool in “Urban Cowboy” and forever preserved the ridiculousness that was disco in “Saturday Night Fever.” Reynolds made “Cop & 1/2” and turned down the Nicholson role in “Terms of Endearment” to do “Stroker Ace.”

Travolta gains points for banging Kelly Preston, but loses them for naming his kid Jet and being a scientologist.

Reynolds gains points "Boogie Nights" and banging Lonnie Anderson, but loses them for his bad hair piece.

Travolta has “Battlefield Earth,” Burt’s got “Striptease.” Neither was in “Ishtar.” After “Swordfish,” it’s just too close to call.

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originally posted: 06/26/01 13:14:10
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User Comments

5/03/14 NG Good god I hate this movie! 1 stars
12/24/09 Jeff Wilder Great effects. But the story makes no sesnse whatsoever. 3 stars
7/04/09 George (DUKE) Halle Booby...worth the wait...John plays mean WELL 3 stars
3/11/08 David Graham slick, good action but confusing in places 4 stars
2/12/07 johnnyfog Watch it with the sound off. It's much better 2 stars
3/31/06 Anthony Feor John Travolta delights us with another Insanly stupid film 2 stars
10/26/05 tony horrid! This movie blows!! 1 stars
8/28/05 Terry 10 star! 5 stars
8/16/05 ES Not even hugh and forty pounds of plastic could save this compost heap 2 stars
5/28/05 tony Great action scenes. especially the beginning. but very slow and boring 2 stars
12/09/04 Kristina Williams not even halle's cans can save this train wreck 1 stars
11/21/04 Werner Brock It's a ood old action movie, with a fast pace, nice girl (Halle). I loved it. 4 stars
9/14/04 whatevr Memo to self: gouge out eyes 1 stars
7/08/04 Denise Duspiva Hugh Jackman and Travolta were good 4 stars
5/29/04 matt pretty good 2 begin with but lost interest 3 stars
5/24/04 Butterbean Nice opening. A few good action sequence. But I lost interest later on. 2 stars
5/20/04 Joker Nice wine selections by Hugh Jackman... 2 stars
4/15/04 Charlene Javier Not as bad as expected. 3 stars
4/15/04 rojo Don't miss the beginning scene, Travolita is great. 5 stars
4/11/04 Wildcarde1 if it wasnt for halle's boobs this movie would fade forever from the world, just bad movie 1 stars
4/09/04 y2mckay Only memorable scenes - the first ten minutes, and yes, HALLE BERRY'S TITTIES! 2 stars
4/06/04 Mr X This movie gets -4 stars from me 1 stars
3/20/04 Jack-pyschO-Lantern WOO! Vinnie Jones!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
2/09/04 Whatevr Took one year off my life 1 stars
12/13/03 R.W. Welch Low credibility stuff but at least it moves right along. 2 stars
5/28/03 Mr. Hat (I'm Back Mo'Fos!!!) OK, the bus thing was fake, but otherwise, good cast/writing/directing & other good action! 4 stars
5/01/03 Mr. Do average movie. 3 stars
4/18/03 Vimmy mardousch cool explosions man...joking. it sucks like a dyson 1 stars
2/21/03 Monster W. Kung Hollow, dim-witted and just plain boring. 2 stars
12/31/02 Jack Sommersby Incomprehensible, 2-fisted macho crap. 1 stars
9/02/02 AshFan Hugh Jackman is a good action star, and the flying bus kicks boo-tay! 4 stars
8/28/02 Bob MacBryce What a complete load of bollocks. Is there anything a little realistic in this movie ? 1 stars
7/31/02 alisa i liked it i thought that it was pretty rad. i really like the explosion in the begining. 5 stars
7/05/02 KMG RAVOLTA 2 stars
5/21/02 Karen Moore One more reason to wish I had a time machine to keep John Travolta'a parents from meeting. 1 stars
5/21/02 Jamie I loved it, nice action, good story/ hugh Jackman is gorgeous and a very good actor!!! 5 stars
4/27/02 kati tollely in love with it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
4/17/02 Connoisseur I hate this movie it's ugly and it feels like every other fucking action movie ever made 1 stars
3/02/02 Chowie very average 3 stars
3/02/02 Andrew Carden Dated Action Film. Travolta Does The Movie Some Good, but Can't Save It's Goofy Plot. 2 stars
3/02/02 Alan Smithee While not completely a turd, only Halle Barry's cool and sexy performance is worth seeing. 2 stars
2/27/02 Brie I am actually using this film for an English asessment on image.....I enjoyed it! 5 stars
2/20/02 Frances I......haven't seen this movie 5 stars
1/14/02 Flick Chick a guy movie that i actually liked. 4 stars
1/13/02 0er0 Unaided Brute Forcing a Government Web interface in 60 seconds ? err yeah right 1 stars
1/04/02 KMG Did I add that I took a really long shit after seeing Ravolta? 1 stars
12/23/01 Shane Robert Myers!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is another favourite of mine it has everything from guns to women!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
12/21/01 Mister Char I felt that the movie delivered an interesting message to terrorists. Lots of explosions! 5 stars
12/12/01 Jimmy James omg, what drivel 1 stars
12/10/01 The Bomb 69 enjoyable though predictable 4 stars
11/27/01 KMG Travolta is fucking pathetic 2 stars
11/04/01 Lucky This movie Kicks ASS!!!!!!!!!! U Betta Believe Dat 5 stars
11/02/01 Toby Andrews You losers, This film PROVES beyond a doubt, that Travolta is todays CARY GRANT. 5 stars
10/01/01 Phoenix The plot doesn't make a lot of sense but it delivers what it promises, mindless action. 5 stars
9/05/01 Butterbean A run-of-the-mill action flick with Travolta looking like shit. 3 stars
8/19/01 Roy Smith Was Travolta trying? And a telegraphed ending but good action. 3 stars
8/01/01 TLsmooth I got in free and it wasn't even worth it. Travolta, watch Pulp and remember the glory days 1 stars
7/31/01 Greg S Ok, a little bit predictable but enjoyable 3 stars
7/24/01 Mike Munro More lowest common denominator junk. Only a retard could enjoy this movie. 1 stars
7/23/01 Simeon Briggs Seeing as the rest 2001's blockbusters have sucked so far, this is refreshing 4 stars
7/16/01 christopher reid the critics should relax and not hone in on all the bad things, i enjoyed this movie 4 stars
7/15/01 Koitus Pleasantly surprised .. very good "summer movie" fare! 4 stars
7/06/01 Shawn OK, 4 stars
7/03/01 bront crap, over hyped film, that borrows too much from other films 2 stars
7/02/01 Michael Stunning! The explosions were good too 4 stars
7/01/01 AsTrOboY Great action film, with a nice twist. Travolta is still great. 5 stars
7/01/01 denise link it"s an action film,just sit back and enjoy. people are being to critical 5 stars
7/01/01 chels an excellent movie with hugh jackman looking spunky and john travolta acting good as always 5 stars
7/01/01 Sam Moss Blows, Licks, & Sucks 1 stars
7/01/01 Scott Sucks Big Time 1 stars
7/01/01 Nicole I liked this movie, but it didn't amke a lasting impression on me 4 stars
7/01/01 Filmmy Too much hype for such a disappointing story. Did enjoy Hugh Jackman and Don Cheadle. 2 stars
6/30/01 The Boy in the Plastic Bubble Possibly the worst movie I've seen in 5 years. Not even entertaining! 1 stars
6/29/01 Friss Travolta needs to take a LONG sabbatical and rethink if he should be in movies..... 2 stars
6/29/01 Gizzy Action-packed, tense, the best of its kind in quite a while. Great summer blockbuster. 4 stars
6/28/01 soontobefree bleckuhewh 1 stars
6/28/01 bulletstopper Saw it twice 5 stars
6/27/01 sexx ed I think the opening sequence alone almost makes up for the films shortcomings. 4 stars
6/27/01 David O. Conrad lotta things blown up, then hallie's tits, more things blown up - movie in a nutshell 2 stars
6/25/01 Vanessa HJ was NOT TYPING....otherwise ok 3 stars
6/23/01 betty boop typical guy movie - but i managed to stay awake thru the whole thing, so i gave it 4 stars 4 stars
6/21/01 M J Knowlton Travolta & Berry were wonderful and ditto for the movie. 5 stars
6/21/01 James hamilton didn't mind it 3 stars
6/20/01 Doggy Travolta's best since Battlefield Earth 1 stars
6/20/01 Lois Got dizzy watching opening scene, but if you close your eyes the dialogue is incredible 4 stars
6/19/01 Rampage The pinnacle of what has been wrong with Hollywood: lotsa money, no skill 2 stars
6/17/01 LdyArdRhi Technoignorance at its worst...but Halle's breasts were magnificent. Travolta was Terlish. 2 stars
6/15/01 Super Nintendo Chalmers typical action-packed movie, better than Under Siege 2: Dark Territory 4 stars
6/14/01 Korey Calmettes Loved It 5 stars
6/14/01 The Fugitive This movie was as bad as the trailer to Gone in 60 Secs. Not even remotely entertaining. 1 stars
6/13/01 Crash Davis Interesting twists on good and evil, dumb computer programming montages and Hail Halle 4 stars
6/13/01 Obi Wan To watch Halle in them panties and outta her bra is worth the price of admission. 4 stars
6/12/01 cinkcool Average action flick. Fun though. 4 stars
6/12/01 malcolm Halle's boobs are worth it. not 'Memento,' of course, but still a lot of fun 4 stars
6/12/01 Mike Great Film! 5 stars
6/11/01 Thor-Leo Lots of guns, explosions, and cock-teasing, summing up to nothing 2 stars
6/11/01 XjoshX Halle Berry has nice tits. 3 stars
6/10/01 234 234 5 stars
6/10/01 fishie not too bad overall, but the technology is all hollywood and lame. 4 stars
6/09/01 AgentDS Two words: Hugh Jackman 5 stars
6/08/01 Laura Petermann J.Travolta chews up the scenery 4 stars
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  08-Jun-2001 (R)
  DVD: 01-Jun-2004



Directed by
  Dominic Sena

Written by
  Skip Woods

  John Travolta
  Hugh Jackman
  Halle Berry
  Don Cheadle
  Vinnie Jones
  Camryn Grimes

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