To foil an extortion plot, an FBI agent undergoes a face-transplant surgery and assumes the identity 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 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 »
The conversation with Senator Reisman and his aide near the beginning of the film is supposed to be in Washington D.C. however, the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles can clearly be seen on the left side of the screen before the characters walk outside. 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 »
Hell, I liked this movie. It's been a while since I've seen an enjoyable, mature action movie. With the slew of PG-13 action movies of recent years, it's refreshing to see one that at least acknowledges that many intense situations do involve language, sex, and mixed character reactions -- it wasn't just another black and white, good and bad movie where the good guy does only good things and the bad guy has only evil intentions. The good guy didn't always do the right thing, and the bad guy could hardly be accused of sinister motives.
I loved the three leads in this film. Hugh Jackman is officially a star with this movie. Hugh has proven himself once before in X-Men as a worthy actor, and he does it again in this film. He's the one that basically pulls you into this movie from the get-go and you actually feel for the poor guy. John Travolta, obviously, has a blast with yet another solid "bad guy" showing, redeeming himself after the lacklustre results of Battlefield Earth and Halle Berry must have enjoyed making this one, since it is a departure from her standard movie roles. Not to mention, she's sexier than ever.
There actually isn't as much action as you would expect in this film, but the opening and closing scenes in the film are some of the best action scenes I have ever seen and really hooks you into the film in the beginning and leaves you thoroughly entertained at the end. It's one of the first uses of "matrix-style camerawork" that I've seen that really adds to the film and isn't just something that "looks cool."
Overall, if you're looking for an "action popcorn" flick with lots of bad guys, gunplay, quick camera movements, fun action sequences and a surprisingly decent storyline that moves along at a quick pace, I'd recommend you rent this film.
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