Rated: R
Stars:  John Travolta, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Don Cheadle
Director:   Dominic Sena
Writer:    Skip Woods

Swordfish is a rousing tale about computer mayhem and an extremist who wants to save the American way of life by killing anyone who gets in his way.

John Travolta plays Gabriel Shear, a nasty man with a plan to access a computer network, install a “worm” to locate long dormant government sponsored money laundering fronts and then transfer the funds into his secret accounts. For that he needs hot shot computer cracker Stanley Jobson (Hugh Jackman), a parolee, down on his luck who desperately needs money to be able to wrangle his beloved daughter away from a porn-starring ex-wife. Gabriel promises him $10-million to do the deed. Very tempting to Stanley, even though he’s on notice never to touch a computer for the rest of his life. Following the action is an FBI agent (Don Cheadle).

Thrown in the mix is Halle Berry (as Ginger) posing as a DEA-agent and whose job in the film is to look ultra sexy and convince Stanley that working for Gabriel is the right thing to do. This is the film where Berry was paid a million bucks to show her breasts. Too bad it wasn’t for a better cause.

Gabriel’s ploy is that he’s doing it all so that when terrorists strike at American interests, he’ll have the money (and therefore the means) to hit them a lot harder. I guess that justifies him from claiming all those innocent lives along the way. In the early stages, he has the backing of a US Senator (Sam Shepard) until even the Senator gets in his way.

Lotta says: There’s enough technical computer jargon to make your head spin but more than enough entertaining action, like a bus cabled to a helicopter flying across the city and detonations galore to keep your mind occupied throughout the course of the film. Travolta’s visiting very familiar territory with both script and character but he’s spot-on as usual; Jackman (remember him in  X-Men) is exciting to watch; Berry’s a dish. All the characters have enough substance to them to fill the plate. It’s rated R for nudity, sexuality, violence and language.

Reviewed 11/3/01