- Jul 3, 1997
- Real Name
- Ronald Epstein
The beginning scene of Swordfish is
absolutely brilliant. In these first moments,
we are introduced to a suave, nameless mastermind
(John Travolta), sitting seemingly by himself,
giving us a remarkable dialogue about movies and
reality. It's one of the coolest cinematic moments
in recent memory. It's at this point that the
film grabs you, pulls you in, and won't let go.
Producers Joel Silver (Lethal Weapon, Matrix)
and Jonathan D. Krane (Face/Off) manage to bring
this high-tech thriller to the screen that manages
to fool its audiance as much as its characters do.
After all, the film was not received well by the
critics. It's a less intelligently presented
thriller with all sorts of impossibilities.
However, deception runs so well with this film
that you too will be fooled into having a great
time with this movie.
John Travolta makes this movie. This is
certainly his best character since Pulp Fiction.
This is the kind of man that can charm you and
stab you in the back at the same moment. He
enlists the help of a computer hacker (Hugh
Jackman) to hack his way into Government networks
where a payoff bundle is up for the taking. At
his side is the very sexy Halle Berry. In pursuit
is Don Cheadle (Traffic, Boogie Nights) who is
one of my favorite recent character actors. It's
a pretty well-rounded cast, and the total dumbness
of this film is saved by the performance of the
actors. The film moves along at an uneven pace
throughout, but pays off with a tremendous visual
ending that involves a bus.
Chalk it up to Warner Brothers for doing yet
another outstanding transfer that ranks with
recent DVDs, Driven and Exit Wounds.
The transfer quality is top-notch. The 5.1
digital surround is also excellent, though not
overused in this film. Most of the action takes
place through the 3 front speakers.
The film also has some nice supplements. First,
there are the two alternate endings, which clearly
are not as good as the one used. You have the
choice of watching them with or without Director
There is also a fun 15-minute HBO documentary
on the MAKING OF the film. It involves
all the principle actors. It's nice to see
Travolta step in and out of character. He really
knows how to step into characters that are so
much different than his personal self.
One supplement I urge you to watch is the
EFFECTS IN FOCUS, which takes a very
descriptive look at the final effects scene that
involves the bus. You'll see how that entire
sequence went from a computer roadmap to the
streets of Los Angeles, to a large airport hangar
and soundstage. It's one of those moments that
you sit there amazed at how much effects work
went into that film's ending sequence.
Swordfish is truly a guilty pleasure.
And, I warn you, because of its subject matter
that so closely ties in with our world's recent
terrorist events, you may feel guilty about
watching it. On the one hand, I am surprised
that Warner Brothers chose to put this out so soon.
On the other hand, I applaud the studio for
letting the public have the choice with what they
want to watch.
I reccomend this film for rental, although I
think many renters may end up purchasing. All
in all, I don't think this DVD should be passed up.
And, if I may be unprofessional for just a moment --
this film is worth watching just for Halle Berry's
beautiful breasts. Whoo-Hah!
Ronald Epstein (pronounced like the English "Ronald Epstein")
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