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Sword Fish...

Sword Fish

Movie Review: Sword Fish
Starring:
John Travolta, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Dominic Sena
 

Swordfish asks us to buy Hugh Jackman as the world’s greatest computer hacker. So much for credibility;

Jackman looks like someone who spends far more time honing his washboard than tickling his keyboard.
 
Which, come to think of it, makes him perfect for a leading role in Swordfish, a big, dumb action movie that goes bang a lot and concerns itself less with making sense than with making noise. In that regard it’s a pretty typical Joel Silver production. Like Silver masterworks Demolition Man and Lethal Weapon 4, the film places a premium on plot developments that result in shattered glass while

taking only token swipes at character development and narrative coherence.
 
It does, however, blow stuff up in magnificent fashion. Swordfish opens with a tense hostage standoff that 

leads to perhaps the most spectacular movie explosion of all time. John Woo and Michael Bay, eat your hearts out.
 
Fleshy John Travolta plays Gabriel Shear, a rogue government agent who
masterminds the cyber-theft of billions of dollars from a DEA slush fund. Travolta does nothing to improve his stock here, delivering many of his lines in a hushed, soulless monotone. But while his character does some bad things, he says some smart things, so we grudgingly kind of like him.

Shear needs an assist from Jackman’s super-hacker Stanley, who agrees to help because he needs

money to battle his ex-wife for custody of their daughter.
 
Halle Berry plays Travolta’s partner-gal pal. She looks almost as incendiary as the choreographed fireballs.

We never lose sight of the fact that Berry’s character is totally superfluous. But eye candy is all we have to sustain us while we mark time until the grand finale, an impressive bus-helicopter getaway.
   
This overcooked Swordfish won’t satisfy the discriminating palate.

But it opens and closes with panache, and provides enough empty calories in between to keep the hunger pangs at bay until a more substantial action film comes along.
  

 

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