Alright Harry here... That tall drink of bourbon and water puffing at them cancersticks... That's right, Massawyrm is in the room talking about how he felt at last night's screening of SWORDFISH. Originally I was going to be at this screening, along with Quint, Father Geek, Robogeek and several others. HOWEVER.... fate intervened. Right now I'm in New York at the corner of 57th and Madison Ave... about 30 stories up. Top of the world ma... I came to see ROLLERBALL at John McTiernan's request and I'll have that review for ya when I return to Austin tonight. In the meanwhile, this article sets Massawyrm against Hallenbeck.... They agree on the opening but disagree on the rest... We'll see this Friday who is more spot on....
Hola all, the chain-smoking sequin wearing Jesus impersonator here to put a little different spin on a little film called "Swordfish". Let me come out and say this...I liked it. I liked it a lot for what it was.
Audience: "What is it Massa?"
What Swordfish is, in the simplest of terms, is a stylish, popcorn chomping action flick with a cool as hell cast. This is the film that critics will pan this summer, tear apart and feast upon, and many in AICN chat will use as fodder to defend their favorite underwhelming film by saying "this only made X dollars and Swordfish made XXX Million! Where's the justice?!?"
Audience: "Where's the Justice Massa?"
The Justice is this: This film is not bad. Its not crappy, it doesn't fail at any point during the movie to entertain, and it looks damn slick. Travolta is back where he belongs: Playing a modern day villain (not a sci-fi one), that is slick, rude and focused. This is the cool as hell Travolta we loved in Face/Off. This is the Travolta you love to hate. This is the Travolta who earns his huge paycheck. As much as I hate many of Travolta's films, I can't hate the man. He was Vincent Vega for Chrissakes. He was in John Woo's Best American film (Face/Off), he was...well...he was in many other movies I can't really hate...But man is he cool here. I enjoy Travolta as a villain. He's no Alan Rickman, but he's still pretty good.
Now, as to the rest of the film. It delivers. It's a high energy action film in the vein of "Enemy of the State", borrowing from both the Matrix and Speed in concepts and shots, but not so much that its annoying.
This film delivers exactly what it promises to in the beginning, and holds true the whole film. It doesn't fall apart, but when it begins to you find that you were only supposed to believe it was falling apart. And it does that time and time again.
This is the type of popcorn movie action fans hope for. If you're the type of person who dug Armageddon, Gone in 60 Seconds, Enemy of the State (Audience: Enough with the Bruckhiemer already), Mission Impossible 2, or Face/Off then this is the film for you. It really does feel like a Bruckhiemer produced John Woo movie without either of those two being attached to it. Not to say that it has their finesse (personally I'd loved to have seen what John Woo would do with that script), but that it entertains like those two often do.
Now, here's the problem. The first 10 minutes of the movie are the best ten minutes of the movie. Not that the rest of the film is lacking, but because it is the best first 10 minutes of a film that I've seen in a LONG time. It draws you in, looks awesome and then climaxes right there before your eyes. To use the Porn reference Joe Hallenbeck used in his review, its like a porn flick, only the hottest chick is in the first scene and you blow your load there. Sure the rest of the chickas are hot too, but nothing compares to that first one. Its that kind of feeling. The problem with this is that it sets the bar too high for the rest of the film. There's no way the film could have maintained that intensity for the whole of it. It's just not possible. And thus some may be disappointed with the finale, since it is not quite as exhilarating as the beginning.
I, however, was not bothered by this, and I enjoyed the film for what it was the whole way through. Would I pay to see it again? Not at theatre prices, but I would have paid my $7 for the first time around and not feel a lick of guilt. I would, however, rent it on DVD to watch it again.
Its just plain entertaining. That's my opinion; take it for what it is.