To foil an extortion plot, an FBI agent undergoes a face-transplant surgery and assumes the identity and physical appearance of a ruthless terrorist, but the plan backfires when the same criminal impersonates the cop with the same method.
Armed men hijack a New York City subway train, holding the passengers hostage in return for a ransom, and turning an ordinary day's work for dispatcher Walter Garber into a face-off with the mastermind behind the crime.
When the DEA shut down its dummy corporation operation codenamed SWORDFISH in 1986, they had generated $400 million which they let sit around; fifteen years of compound interest has swelled it to $9.5 billion. A covert counter-terrorist unit called Black Cell, headed by the duplicitious and suave Gabriel Shear, wants the money to help finance their raise-the-stakes vengeance war against international terrorism, but it's all locked away behind super-encryption. He brings in convicted hacker Stanley Jobson, who only wants to see his daughter Holly again but can't afford the legal fees, to slice into the government mainframes and get the money. Written by
Jeff Cross <email@example.com>
The original screenplay draft had a very different take on the Gabriel Shear character. He was first written as a mercenary whose plan for the stolen DEA funds had him joining forces with military and intelligence figures and planning to destroy corrupt politicians, and had several lengthy monologues in which U.S. agents listened to him and then joined his crusade on the spot. While the funding/covert war angle was maintained, Skip Woods later remade Gabriel Shear into a patriotic agent who seeks to destroy world terrorists, and who kills the Senator and his aide for trying to kill him and stop his plans. See more »
As Gabriel walks away from the trunk of his car and starts firing his machine gun, the trunk is open and has bullet holes. In the next shot (taken from behind the car), the trunk is closed and has no damage. See more »
You know what the problem with Hollywood is? They make shit. Unbelievable, unremarkable shit. Now I'm not some grungy wannabe filmmaker that's searching for existentialism through a haze of bong smoke or something. No, it's easy to pick apart bad acting, short-sighted directing, and a purely moronic stringing together of words that many of the studios term as "prose". No, I'm talking about the lack of realism. Realism; not a pervasive element in today's modern American cinematic ...
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The last credit reads "Final Password: Vernam", which is part of the website game. (See Trivia). A Vernam cypher is a method of encrypting a message. See more »
This movie can be summed up as: lots of very cool action scenes (fans of both bullet time and explosions will really enjoy this), a lot of style, and a standard implausible plot. This movie is very entertaining if you like non-stop action in a cool high-tech environment.
The ingredients are pretty standard. There's a stylish kick-ass villain (Travolta) with a plan, being a high-tech bank robbery. This is all garnished with lots of weapons, technology, car chases and beautiful women. This movie really delivers on the action front, I don't think there's any 'quiet' scene that lasts more than 2 minutes. It also contains the now standard implausible hacking scenes, where getting into the computer system of a bank involves solving a kind of Rubik's cube on your computer screen. I hope you're not offended by product placement because a certain computer brand is quite prominent when IT hardware is involved in this movie. But it's by far not as obnoxious as in "I, Robot".
The filming is top-notch, unlike some other movies you can actually see what's happening in the action scenes (which is sometimes due to the amazing slow-down effects in some scenes). Unfortunately the entire plot becomes quite thin when the movie is stripped of all this action and style. However, it works. The ending is rather vague, as if room was left for a sequel without making it too painful if there wouldn't be one after all.
Overall I would say this is a pretty OK movie, but don't expect the best cinema ever.
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