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SWORDFISH (R)
Warner Brothers
Official Site
Director: Dominic Sena
Producers: Jonathan D. Krane, Joel Silver, Paul Winze
Written by: Skip Woods
Cast: John Travolta, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Don Cheadle, Vinnie Jones, Sam Shepard

Rating: out of 5


Iím mighty peeved. It seemed to me that SWORDFISH, which Iíve been eagerly anticipating, should have it all, in spades. Action. High-tech action. Thrills. Crime. Prime ass-kicking, a la Vinnie Jones. Travolta as the Moriarty of the hacker world. And with Jackmanís bad-boy magnetism and Cheadleís ever-intelligent acting, Sex Appeal To Burn.

Instead, Skip Woods (I take especial note of this name; it will warn me away from his future projects.) presents some challenging ideas then tarts them up with tired, stupid trimmings.

Why do we accept that one set of people may decide on the life or death of one versus the good of several, but not accept these same decisions when made by another set of people? Interesting idea. But enough thinking. Letís take a nifty sports car on a screaming chase down a cityís main streets while John Travolta shoots a big machine gun out the moonroof!

More mental whiplash:

The Napoleon of computer crime (Travolta) is so far under radar that the FBI has never seen him, yet he lives a lifestyle so flamboyant that dollar bills practically fall off him as he walks.

Once you hack through the incredible levels of encryption on government computer files, the cheery message on your monitor reads ďAccess Granted.Ē

High-ranking elected officials can be assassinated without causing so much as a ripple in the news.

Hugh Jackmanís charisma as Wolverine (X-MEN) was no fluke. Itís time for Travolta to put aside these over-the-top, hyper-stylish-bad-guy roles and be someoneís daddy in a family drama. Don Cheadle is so criminally underused in SWORDFISH that I wanted to run out and rent DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS (where he pulled out all of his considerable inner crazy). I donít have to tell you that Halle Berry has a fine behind and nice breasts, but in SWORDFISH she is literally tits and ass.

What. A. Crime.

óRoxanne Bogucka, an Action Grrl!

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

Itís worth a full-price ticket.

Itís worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...


Mike Doughty



none now
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