Swordfish
Reviewed by David Kashimba
Photo by Andrew Cooper

If you like violent entertainment with enough suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat, then you’ll like Swordfish starring John Travolta, Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry. Just when you’re sure Hollywood has run out of ideas and special effects for their action/thriller films, they come up with something that knocks your socks off.

In Swordfish, there is actually more than one action scene that provides innovative thrills equal to some of the wildest amusement rides. But I won’t ruin your surprise by describing them in detail. Suffice it to say, that in this film, things are blown up in a uniquely destructive way that will either satisfy your human urge for violence in the safety of your local theatre or urge you on to explore your primal desires (I guess that’s why it’s rated “R”). There is also one particular chase scene that will take your imagination on a flying bus ride from hell.

In addition to the high-volume special effects, there’s also enough of a human story to keep you interested in the characters, but you’re never quite sure who is the good guy and the bad guy. All the characters have varying shades of gray in their personalities. The only surefire good guy in this film is expert computer hacker Stanley Jobson (Jackman), hired by super spy Gabriel Shear (Travolta) to hack into the Drug Enforcement Agency’s security system to steel a lot of drug money. Jackman describes his character as “a reluctant hero.”

Swordfish is produced by Joel Silver who brought you action/special effects films like The Matrix, all the Lethal Weapon and Die Hard productions as well as Commando, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Predator and Conspiracy Theory – and Jonathan D. Krane who also produced Face/Off and Phenomenon. Don’t look for any great message in Swordfish. This film is pure violent entertainment put together by a lot of talented people with lots of experience in this genre. To best appreciate the violence, it’s a good idea to see this one on the big screen with full stereo bomb blast sound.

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