“Have you ever heard of Harry Houdini? Well he wasn’t like today’s magicians who are only interested in television ratings. He was an artist. He could make an elephant disappear in the middle of a theater filled with people, and do you know how he did that? Misdirection. Misdirection. What the eyes see and the ears hear, the mind believes.” – Gabriel
Number of Times Seen – Twice (5 Nov 2001 and 26 Jan 2020)
Brief Synopsis – A computer hacker with financial troubles is recruited by a notorious ex-government operative who wants access to funds that will help his cause.
My Take on it – This is a film that I recall seeing when it came out and it was part of a string of techno thrillers that were being made at the time.
The premise is an intriguing one but unfortunately the plot gets much too complex and convoluted along the way for its own good.
John Travolta is a great actor, but in this film, he plays his character too over the top and that makes his feel more like a caricature u=instead of something more unique and intriguing which in turn hurts the realism of the story.
Hugh Jackman is also great here as a computer hacker hired to help this organization.
He allows us to get a clear understanding of his motivations for all that he does and the internal conflict within him is quite apparent the entire time.
The plot of this film tries too hard to feel innovative and unique and i order to try and accomplish that feat, they need to throw in lots of twists and turns around every bend which gets a bit too overbearing since these surprises are hit or miss and too many fit into the latter category which is quite problematic.
The film has some great action scenes and the special effects help enhance the story and keep things fun the entire time despite the problems with the story.
Bottom Line – Interesting premise that gets too complicated and convoluted along the way for its own good. Travolta takes his character a bit over the top and in turn makes things less realistic. Jackman is fine in the lead role and we can easily understand his motivations for everything that he does despite his internal conflict on things. The plot tries too hard to be innovative and throws in lots of twists and turns that are hit or miss which is also problematic. The action and special effects are done well and that helps enhance the way that the story unfolds despite the aforementioned complexities of it all.
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – 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. 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. (From IMDB)
Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)
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