STARRING: John Travolta, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Don Cheadle, Vinnie Jones, Sam Shepard
LINE ON THE POSTER: Log on, Hack in, Go anywhere, Steal Anything.
WHAT HAPPENS: Barmy millionaire businessman Gabriel Shear (Travolta) wants to raid the bank accounts of the military, in a computer-hacking scheme, Codename: Operation Swordfish. However the only guy fast enough to pull off the job is Stanley Jobson (Jackman) has been outlawed from touching computers after being busted by the FBI. A lucrative pay packet and the chance to win his daughter back from his Pornstar ex-wife, tempt him out of retirement. It’s not going to be easy though, as Stanley must write the most complex ‘worm’ ever seen to raid the bank accounts holding $10 billion dollars. With FBI man Roberts (Cheadle), Gabriel’s sexy and seductive girlfriend Ginger (Berry) and his trigger-happy thug Marco (Jones) all on his back, things are even harder and this is just the start as things really begin to twist and turn and go absolutely mental.
ANY GOOD?: Apart, from JP3 and The Mummy Returns, the summer blockbusters of 2001 have forgotten how to be fast, exhilarating, stylish and tongue-in-cheek. Swordfish ends this period of dross, as the four aforementioned requirements are supplied here and in bountiful amounts. The plot for a start is a complete hoot, it’s tremendously ludicrous, overly complex and over the top, as is Travolta as Gabriel Shear, the insane villain with hair by Beckham’s stylist. Any film that are about computers and hacking are mostly a) dull and b) completely unrealistic, unfortunately Swordfish won’t do much for computer geeks in terms of technical correctness but it will take you, shake you and leave you wanting more. It’s got the best opening set piece of the summer (see below), astonishing car chases, incredible gun battles, a bus flying through LA, great music, a James Bond finale and Halle Berry topless, you don’t need much more. It won’t win awards but it will give you a great hour and a half of entertainment.
BEST BIT: The opening sequence with cool self-referencing movie dialogue followed by the most amazing bomb explosion SFX sequence, which sets a new standard in cinema, is fantastic. The whole thing is filmed in slo-mo/flo-mo a' la The Matrix and will surely spark of a set of films with ‘similar’ set pieces.
INTERESTING FACT: Australian actor and soon to be huge megastar, Hugh Jackman, actually turned down a role in Neighbours and was appearing in the musical Okalahoma in the London Westend, when he auditioned for his breakthrough role of X-Man Wolverine.
LIKED IT, TRY: Face/Off, The Rock, Broken Arrow or A Better Tomorrow