Log on. Hack in. Go
anywhere. Steal everything.
Swordfish has its share of thrills. I'll come straight
to the point. Men (and certain women) will leave the theater in
cinematic lust for the beautiful Halle Berry. She does a topless scene,
but (God bless her) Ms. Berry is even more striking in her lingerie. Is
her nudity gratuitous? Maybe. So what? Berry's figure is about as
artistic as Swordfish ever gets. However, it would be sad if Berry felt
that her acting in Swordfish was necessary to springboard her career.
Swordfish is precisely as interesting as it's stars. The story is
absurd. The action scenes are well filmed but preposterous. Yet we have
a charismatic cast including the aforementioned Berry, John Travolta,
Hugh Jackman and the amazing Don Cheadle.
Without these actors, Swordfish would be a dismal failure. Travolta gets
top billing as bank thief Gabriel Shear. He makes a very difficult
performance look easy. Travolta, at this stage in his career, is so
confident that he emerges unscathed from an underwritten role that fails
to establish any motifs for his actions.
The up and coming actor Jackman (X-Men) is our hero. Screenwriter Skip
Woods went out of his way and actually provided emotional depth to
Jackman's character. Jackman has an estranged daughter whom he loves
dearly. He's also lured into Travolta's gang with threats of violence
and the added incentives of 10 million dollars and Ms. Berry. The way
the story is constructed, no man could say no.
Mr. Cheadle (Devil in a Blue Dress, Out of Sight, Traffic) is top notch
as a resourceful Fed. Cheadle mirrors Travolta's ability to make a
threadbare character believable.
None of the intricate action sequences would succeed without our four
major actors. Swordfish has a stunning opening, a tolerable middle act
(bolstered by Berry's provocative performance), and an unsatisfying
ending by any account.
Action fans unite. Swordfish is for you. I acknowledge the film as a
guilty pleasure that I reserve for infrequent films such as this.