'Swordfish' opens with what at first appears to be a bank robbery going horribly wrong; the police pull a hostage wearing an explosive jacket away from one of the criminals and she explodes causing major damage. We then jump back four days and see a computer hacker arrested coming into the United States; he is then killed while in FBI custody. A second hacker, Stanley Jobson, is approached by a beautiful woman, Ginger Knowles, and offered a job
at first he declines as he will be sent to jail if he so much as touches a computer but when offered $100,000 just to discuss the job he can't say no. After a rather extreme test of his skills he finds that his potential employer, Gabriel Shear, will pay him ten million dollars if he helps him steal over nine billion dollars from secret government slush funds. Shear states that he intends to use the money to fund a private war on terrorism. Things soon get very dangerous for Stanley; the FBI are closing in on him and Shear's backer wants to shut down the operation permanently. If that weren't enough it appears that Ginger is an undercover DEA agent.
This film starts well with an intriguing prologue and the story provides plenty of action and excitement from start to finish. There are numerous explosions and shooting scenes as well as other tense moments. There are however moments that don't look that real; the first explosion may have looked great when the film was new but the CGI enhancements are fairly obvious and the hacking scenes are fairly painful to watch even people like me who know nothing about hacking know it wouldn't look like that it was hard to believe Stanley was even typing rather than just pressing keys rather fast! At least the shootout while driving through LA was pretty cool and the way a bus was carried by a Skycrane helicopter was impressive. The cast did a solid job; Hugh Jackman was solid as Stanley, John Travolta hammed it up delightfully as Shear and Halle Berry impressed as Ginger even if her topless sunbathing scene was an entirely gratuitous excuse to show her bare breasts. While his role wasn't that large Don Cheadle was fine as FBI Agent J.T. Roberts, it is a pity his role wasn't larger. Overall this is a decent enough action film which it entertaining if you can suspend your disbelief and ignore a few obvious flaws.
Action / Crime / Thriller
Action / Crime / Thriller
When the DEA shut down its dummy corporation operation codenamed SWORDFISH in 1986, they had generated $400 million which they let sit around; fifteen years of compound interest has swelled it to $9.5 billion. A covert counter-terrorist unit called Black Cell, headed by the duplicitious and suave Gabriel Shear, wants the money to help finance their raise-the-stakes vengeance war against international terrorism, but it's all locked away behind super-encryption. He brings in convicted hacker Stanley Jobson, who only wants to see his daughter Holly again but can't afford the legal fees, to slice into the government mainframes and get the money.
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January 17, 2012 at 11:31 PM