Swordfish (film): Wikis


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Film poster for Swordfish
Directed by Dominic Sena
Produced by Joel Silver
Jonathan D. Krane
Written by Skip Woods
Starring Hugh Jackman
John Travolta
Halle Berry
Don Cheadle
Vinnie Jones
Music by Christopher Young
Paul Oakenfold
Cinematography Stephen E. Rivkin
Editing by Paul Cameron
Studio Village Roadshow Pictures
Silver Pictures
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date(s) June 8, 2001
Running time 99 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $102,000,000[1]
Gross revenue $147,080,413

Swordfish is a 2001 crime thriller film, directed by Dominic Sena and starring John Travolta, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Don Cheadle and Vinnie Jones.



Stanley Jobson (Jackman) is an elite hacker who infected the FBI's Carnivore program with a potent computer virus, delaying its deployment by several years. For this, he was arrested by Agent Roberts (Cheadle), convicted of computer crimes and spent two years in Leavenworth. A condition of his parole is that he is forbidden from touching, much less using, a computer. His ex-wife, Melissa, has sole custody over their daughter Holly and some form of a permanent restraining order against Stanley from seeing Holly.

While Stanley is at home in rural Texas practicing his golf swing, a woman named Ginger Knowles (Berry) shows up to solicit his hacking skills for her boss Gabriel Shear (John Travolta). For an initial $100,000 he agrees to meet with Gabriel. He and Ginger fly to Los Angeles, California and meet Gabriel in a night club. Gabriel pressures Stanley right then and there to hack a government system in 60 seconds while simultaneously being held at gun point and having fellatio performed on him by a young woman. Although it was just a test (the gun was not loaded) Stanley succeeded in hacking the system, a feat that Gabriel had not anticipated.

At Gabriel's house he offers Stanley $10 million to write a worm that steals money from a secret government slush fund to the order of $9.5 billion. Gabriel reveals to Stanley that he works for an organization called the Black Cell that was started by J. Edgar Hoover in the 1950s, which is responsible for retaliatory attacks against terrorists who have attacked Americans. It is currently headed by Senator Reisman (Sam Shepard). Reisman discovers that the FBI has caught onto Gabriel and attempts to pull the plug. After Gabriel refuses to terminate his plans, Reisman attempts to have Gabriel killed, which fails. Gabriel tracks the Senator down while he is fly fishing in Bend, Oregon and kills him.

Gabriel proceeds with his plan and raids the local branch of the WORLDBANC. He takes hostages and deploys Stanley's worm. After stealing the $9.5 billion he boards the hostages and his crew on a bus out of the bank. Gabriel demands a plane at the local airport (a hostage negotiation cliché) but it was a diversion. An S-64 Aircrane swoops down, lifts the bus and releases it on the rooftop of a skyscraper. From the rooftop, Gabriel seemingly departs with his team in a helicopter which is shot down by Stanley with a rocket-propelled grenade. At the morgue, Stanley realizes it was more misdirection and Gabriel was not on the helicopter and "Gabriel Shear" is an alias.

The end of the film shows Ginger and "Gabriel" in Monte Carlo transferring that $9.5B into other accounts. The final scene shows a yacht being destroyed and a news anchor voice narrating that a suspected terrorist died on that yacht, although the DVD version contains an alternate ending wherein Ginger is told in the bank that the account is already empty, alluding to the possibility that Stanley has played one final trick on them and taken the money himself. In a companion scene to the alternate ending, Stanley is shown on a trip with his daughter in a brand new RV. While eating at a diner, Stanley is shown transferring many billion dollars to various charities before continuing his trip.


Actor Role Notes
John Travolta Gabriel Shear Antagonist
Hugh Jackman Stanley Jobson Protagonist; convicted hacker, forbidden to touch a computer
Halle Berry Ginger Knowles Member of Gabriel's team; solicited Stanley to do a job for Gabriel
Don Cheadle Agent J.T. Roberts Arrested Stanley; pursues Gabriel & Stanley during the film
Sam Shepard Senator James Reisman Finances Gabriel's work
Vinnie Jones Marco Member of Gabriel's team
Drea de Matteo Melissa Holly's alcoholic-addicted mother with sole custody
Rudolf Martin Axl Torvalds Finnish[2] hacker; "#1 hacker in the world"[3]; named after Linus Torvalds
Zach Grenier Assistant Director Bill Joy Agent Roberts' boss
Camryn Grimes Holly Jobson Stanley's daughter
Angelo Pagan (as Angelo Pagán) Torres
Chic Daniel SWAT Leader
Kirk B.R. Woller Axl's Lawyer
Carmen Argenziano Agent
Tim DeKay Agent
Laura Lane Helga One of Gabriel's "groupies"


This film received a great deal of press initially because it featured Halle Berry's first nude scene. She was paid extra to appear topless in this film. Critics said the scene looked forced, thrown into the film just to garner press, but Berry said she did it just to overcome the fear of appearing nude onscreen.[4]

Only a quarter of the Rotten Tomatoes critics gave the film a positive review; the website's "Cream of the Crop" reviewers were even less positive.[5] In a review for The New York Times, Stephen Holden wrote:[6]

With its blasé blend of bogus international intrigue and action-for-action's-sake, Swordfish suggests a James Bond movie stripped of humor. True, there are a few moments of wit, like the opening sequence. But the dominant tone masquerading as humor is a snide, rancid nihilism devoid of laughs, unless wholesale destruction and gloating stupidity are what tickle your funny bone.

According to Box Office Mojo, the film grossed over $147 million in worldwide box office receipts on a production budget of $102 million.[1]


The soundtrack for Swordfish was produced by Paul Oakenfold, under Village Roadshow and Warner Bros. and distributed through London Sire Records, Inc. It contains 15 tracks.

The film's orchestral score was written by Christopher Young with several electronic additions by Paul Oakenfold. Fragments from the score were added to the official soundtrack, but were remixed by Oakenfold. A more complete release was issued as an award promo, which is known for its rarity.[7]

See also


  1. ^ a b "SWORDFISH". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=swordfish.htm. 
  2. ^ Torvalds carries two passports: one Finnish and one German. He claims to be Finnish, but speaks German.
  3. ^ According to Agent Roberts at time 19:54 on the DVD
  4. ^ Kirkland, Bruce. "Halle Berry bares her soul". Jam.canoe.ca. http://jam.canoe.ca/Movies/Artists/B/Berry_Halle/2007/03/22/3804325.html. Retrieved July 20, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Swordfish (2001)". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/swordfish/. 
  6. ^ "June 2001 Review" (Registration required). The New York Times. http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9E01E7DD1F3FF93BA35755C0A9679C8B63. Retrieved July 20, 2009. 
  7. ^ http://www.soundtrack.net/albums/database/?id=5339

External links

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