‘Swordfish’ is notable only for Halle Berry’s breasts

Our Score:

Swordfish is clearly a shoot’em up, because it’s so full of holes it would make a chunk of Swiss cheese jealous.

Did I enjoy it? Sure, it was basic, mind-numbing action and violence. But, that’s what I was looking for. The filmmaker in my was screaming in the back of my mind, pissed off that I was wasting my brain cells processing the thin story and over-the-top visuals.

Here’s the skinny:

Stanley Jobson (Hugh Jackman) is a convicted hacker, banned from using computers, who has lost his child to his drugged-up, alcoholic ex-wife who’s married to a porn producer.

He’s approached by sex-kitten Ginger (Halle Berry), who convinces him to meet Gabriel (John Travolta), who’s willing to pay him $10 million to create a special computer “worm” to steal $9.5 billion. Things, of course, go terribly wrong. Lots of people die, and Gabriel’ s true intentions are questioned when he claims to be a “true patriot” to America and that his actions are in her service.

Halle Berry strips down in 'Swordfish'
Halle Berry strips down in ‘Swordfish’

Swordfish was directed by Dominic Sena, the same guy who brought us the truly pathetic, over-the-top actioner, Gone in 60 Seconds. His music video stylings are cool to look at, and are apparently the norm in these kinds of films. Still, they serve nothing to the story by to remind the audience that its just a movie and that the director want to put his stamp on it.

Honestly, the story had some merit. It’s eerie concept is especially disturbing and fascinating, given the present political climate. For those who haven’t seen the film and are interested in viewing, skip the next section. Those that have, read on, and post your comments below. I would love to hear what you think.


Travolta reveals to Jackman that he is actually a rogue element of the government, bent on fighting terrorism. The goal of his actions is to gain money so, should a terrorist organization strike again America or American interests, then he will response ten-fold.

If they blow up a building, he will blow of three of their buildings. If they kills five Americans, he will target them and kill 20. He will also strike countries that harbor terrorists, until everyone learns that it is dangerous and hopeless to dare attack America.

This is exactly what is happening now. This film was released long before Sept. 11, but it’s “message” was right, and now historically accurate in a demented sort of way.

I found this to be the most fascinating part of the film, and it wasn’t even the intention of the filmmakers.


Halle Berry reveals herself in 'Swordfish'
Halle Berry reveals herself in ‘Swordfish’

One of the other important things to mention, because it is clearly the $500,000 highlight of this film and got a lot of press when the movie was released, is Halle Berry’s boobs. Call me sexist, call me a pig, but in a film that offered little, this was a highlight.

Let me add to this statement by stating that this film is for men who want mindless action. Who don’t want to think about story or structure, but escape reality for a while. Was the nudity necessary? Of course not, nudity never is, and there are one or two other stupid sexual references in the film. But no mindless action film is complete without a dose of sex.

I’m not condoning it, nor am I criticizing it, it’s just the way it is.

As for the DVD, it offers audio commentary, as well as a behind-the-scenes documentary that stinks. There’s also a documentary on how they achieved the “flying bus” sequence which is marginally interesting, but manages to rehash some of the same clips and interviews from the HBO documentary.

There wasn’t really anything worth while about the DVD. The quality of the film’s sound and clarity is outstanding, unfortunately, I cannot really say the same about the film itself.

[springboard type=”video” id=”1596839" player=”tlsl011_1592275" ]


Swordfish (2001)
Swordfish poster Rating: 6.5/10 (150,170 votes)
Director: Dominic Sena
Writer: Skip Woods
Stars: John Travolta, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Don Cheadle
Runtime: 99 min
Rated: R
Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller
Released: 08 Jun 2001
Plot: A secretive renegade counter-terrorist co-opts the world's greatest hacker (who is trying to stay clean) to steal billions in US Government dirty money.

Michael Sheridan

Michael Sheridan has written, directed and produced more than a dozen short films under the banner of Maynard Films, and has worked as a writer for more than a decade for websites, magazines and newspapers.

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