Picks and Pans Review: Swordfish

updated 06/18/2001 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/18/2001 01:00AM

John Travolta, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Don Cheadle, Vinnie Jones

"You know what the problem with Hollywood is?" asks Travolta's character in this movie's opening scene. "They make s---."

Judging from recent releases, he's right, and Swordfish only proves his point. Although this technothriller starts off promisingly enough (with a clever verbal dissection of Dog Day Afternoon and other crime-spree movies), it's downhill in a hurry from there as viewers are subjected to the standard parade of pointless explosions, car chases and gunplay.

Travolta plays a high-living crime boss who dispatches his glamorous girlfriend (Berry) from Los Angeles to Texas to recruit one of the world's leading computer hackers (Jackman). Travolta needs Jackman, the film's nominal hero, to help him rob a bank fund set up by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Or something like that. Director Dominic Sena (Gone in 60 Seconds) appears to have scant interest in logic or plot coherence. Travolta is having a swell time doing another of his suave, sneering villains, but after Face/Off and Broken Arrow this act is getting stale. Jackman remains an able leading man in need of a decent film, while Berry is her usual decorative self. (R)

Bottom Line: Throw it back

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