by Adam Riske
• 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.
• 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 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.