Unknown actor Hugh Jackman lucked out big time when he was cast as Wolverine two weeks after shooting on Bryan Singer’s X-Men had already started thanks to scheduling conflicts with Mission: Impossible II forcing Dougray Scott to drop out, and the Australian was recommended to the studio by Russell Crowe, who turned down the opportunity to step in.
It would be an understatement of massive proportions to say that it worked out pretty well for all parties in the long run, with Jackman going on to play Logan for the next seventeen years and become an A-list movie star. However, there were doubts surrounding him right up until X-Men was released, but after it became a critical and commercial success, doors in Hollywood suddenly flew open.
His first effort after the movie saw him play a supporting role as a womanizer in forgotten romantic comedy Someone Like You opposite Ashley Judd and Greg Kinnear, but following that it was right back into blockbuster territory. John Travolta may have taken top billing in Swordfish, but it’s Jackman’s Stanley Jobson who powers the narrative, after his infamous hacker is recruited to steal billions of dollars from a government server.
It’s a fairly formulaic techno thriller with a couple of decent set pieces, of which there were many at the turn of the millennium, but it’s a stylish enough effort that boasts plenty of star power through the central trio of Travolta, Jackman and Halle Berry. It’s exactly the sort of disposable genre film that regularly finds itself troubling the Netflix Top 10 most-watched list, too, so don’t be surprised if Swordfish follows suit now that it’s been added to the library as of today.