Friday, March 12, 2021


 by Adam Riske

Nominated for “Choice Movie Your Parents Didn’t Want You to See” at the Teen Choice Awards.

• Best Scene/Moment: Don Cheadle and Hugh Jackman get into a foot chase that ends with them tumbling down a really steep hill.

• Best Food: Hugh Jackman orders a triple espresso, which makes John Travolta do a double take.

• Best Song: Swordfish features wall-to-wall Paul Oakenfold music, which isn’t entirely my favorite, so I’ll say my favorite is the (Swordfish mix) of “Planet Rock.” It’s fine.
• Best Merch Available on eBay Right Now: A “Halle Berry Life Mask ” for $75.00. Think about all the Mission: Impossible shenanigans you could get into with this!

• Director Check: Swordfish was directed by Dominic Sena, who, prior to his film directorial career, was a prolific music video director working with artists like Janet Jackson and Richard Marx. His directorial debut was Kalifornia, starring Brad Pitt and Juliette Lewis. After several years off, Sena made the Nicolas Cage remake of Gone in 60 Seconds and Swordfish in back-to-back years, both films feeling somewhat influenced by the then-current juggernauts of Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay. Sena had another break after Swordfish until 2006 with 13 Graves (which I have not seen) and then Whiteout starring Kate Beckinsale. His most recent film is another Nicolas Cage actioner, 2011’s Season of the Witch. Patrick, how’s Season of the Witch? I never got around to seeing it.

• Double It with This 2001 Movie: Antitrust

• Year 2001 Movies to Trailer Before It: Driven, Exit Wounds, The Fast and the Furious

Draft Day or Swordfish? Draft Day

• Grab Bag Video: 

Here’s the trailer for Swordfish, which is just okay up until the end when a sexy robot voice announces the cast and the film’s title. It’s like “Oooh. What’s this about? Do I want to see Swordfish?”

• Mall Movie? Yes, hacker movies are always mall movies.

• Only in 2001: I have a list – 1. Piss/Pea Soup/Bleached Matrix-hued color timing; 2. Vinnie Jones; 3. Everyone’s dressed in formal attire, but they still look like if Skittles and Mountain Dew were people; 4. All the tech being on-prem and not in the cloud; 5. A character named Stanley Jobson; 6. IKEA and Survivor jokes.

• Scene Stealer: Don Cheadle.
• I Miss: Action movies showcasing Hummer vehicles.

• I Don’t Miss: Bad hair Travolta.

• 2001 Crush: Halle Berry.

• 2021 Crush: Halle Berry.

• What I Thought in 2001: I was disappointed by Swordfish when it was in theaters. I was expecting something cutting edge but instead the movie was just slick trash. This movie’s claim to fame for me over the years is that one of my best friends once quoted Don Cheadle from Swordfish and expected us to know that he was quoting Don Cheadle from Swordfish. No one remembers quotes from Swordfish.

• What I Think in 2021: It’s certainly trash, but blessedly short and knows exactly what it is. It’s not quite a guilty pleasure but it’s super watchable. I like (and by that I mean I don’t really) the opening monologue by John Travolta where his character takes Dog Day Afternoon to task, which takes balls since the movie you’re about to watch is Swordfish.


  1. Wow. I saw Swordfish in theaters, and that's probably the last time I've thought about the movie. I only remember two things about it: there's a Finnish hacker who's named after Linus Torvalds (Finnish creator of Linux) and Halle's... you know.

  2. Check out the alternate ending. If you don't miss Travolta's bad hair, you're probably not going to like this...or the scene stealing kiss.

  3. This movie contains the single worst "hacking" scene ever captured on film.

  4. I love cars, Riske I think is a car guy too? Living his life a quarter of a mile at a time, the car in Swordfish is a TVR Tuscan. This was the premier of the reveal for the new Blackpool Rocket, a hand made car made only a few miles from my house, but then Warner pulled the film because it was a film about Terrorism that after it was released a real life awful horrible Terrorist event happened that month so the film got canned. TVR that was a small British hand made car company went bust, for a small company spending all that money to ship 3 cars and technicians to America to be revealed in a big blockbuster film to then get canned was devastating, the company survived a few more years after this event but its fate was set, the car was famous for having the most powerful naturally aspirated 6 cylinder engine ever to be put in a UK car, and the car is made of fibre glass so it was fast and super light, only 2200 pounds, I love the film because it featured a hand made British car and in the film it looks amazing but I was always sad as to the film getting pulled after all the time the small company made to be part of a big film for it to eventually fail because of bad timing with real life.

  5. I love this movie way beyond reason. I have watched it a lot, and I think I may have actually *purchased* the soundtrack CD before I even saw the movie because I liked Muse & Paul Oakenfold and I am a fan of soundtracks that feature dialogue from the movie. I used to be able to quote the John Travolta dialogue from this movie as a result of listening to the soundtrack so much.

    Is this movie extremely dumb? Yes. Do I extremely not care? Yes.

    Has there ever been a "realistic" hacker movie? I'm not sure. But I do love this & Hackers and I wish there was a modern day hacking movie I could watch to complete the trilogy.