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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The opening scene of Swordfish is the most complicated visual effect in Warner Brothers history. It was shot using Matrix-like effects (The Matrix (1999)) by Frantic Films of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The effect has so many composites in it that the producers and director of the film could not determine what was real and what was created by computer. See more »
In the film's opening speech, Gabriel Shear discusses Dog Day Afternoon as being a "1976" work of "fiction" that didn't "push the envelope" and showed Hollywood's "lack of realism." Dog Day Afternoon was a true story, not fiction, depicted realistically. The film ended the way the true story ended. It was released in 1975, and the film's action takes place in 1972. 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 ...
See more »
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.
23 of 32 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?