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Short plot summary

Race to get $9.5bn by who? Patriotic American or terrorist? You decide.

What our panel of critics thought

"Brilliant special effect involving an exploding woman near the beginning. Was this taken from a TV ad for C4 explosives?"

"512 bit encryption has always been a mystery to me, 1024 bit doubly so."

"The first scene, in which Travolta addresses the audience, had me hooked. Unfortunately that is the highlight of the movie, the rest has some good moments but this movie is popcorn, it is not a classic."

"A truly new paradigm in computer geekdom. Body built, street savvy, great car, you could take him (Stanley) anywhere... So clean too - anybody else running through that dirt-dust would have ended up looking like they have just had a fight in a flour mill, not our hero though, who looked showered and as fresh as a crisp pancake."

"A truly scary premonition of 11th September. You couldn't do a film like that today."

"A semi intelligent movie best viewed with copious amounts of alcohol."

"A hostage getaway in a plane? Try pitching that idea today. Luckily this movie was released three months before 11th September."

"Nice bit when Stanley talks to his daughter in car. Tears came as easily to my eyes as if my finger had been poked into an electricity switch during my thrice daily shower!"

"Nice ending involving a bus dangling from a helicopter flying between LA skyscrapers.... "

"A glorious melee of wonderful fally bits, in which Stanley runs, no, strike that, collides, with that bitch sand and dust, in his endeavor to run away from the authorities. Thankfully, as he gets to the bottom, he has been dry-cleaned and is as fresh as the proverbial daisy. Thank goodness this movie didn't attempt realism. Call me old fashioned, but I actually like a nicely buffed hero, not one who gets ruffled and scuffled in a fight. A triumph of squeeky-clean explo-tertainment!"

"The computer stuff doesn't make much sense, but has been wonderfully animated."

"I love the heavy who watches Stanley and says 'verified' in a really deep voice. What did he verify exactly, that the pretty pictures worked properly?"

"The benchmark for Hollywood geeks with buffed cheeks (at both ends)."

Please tell me the ending or whole plot if necessary

John Travolta plays Gabriel, an alleged government agent who is charged with fighting anti-American terrorism.

Stanley (Jackman), the body building street fighting computer non-geeky geek, has a talent for breaking codes. He is used by Gabriel to get $9.5bn, which is profit made by DEA in their covert drug running operations. (Stanley does it to save his daughter who has been held hostage by Gabriel.)

Gabriel takes bank employees hostage (as the bank allows access to the computer network that Stanley needs to break the network) and then demands a bus to take them to the airport. This is misdirection as the plan is actually to get a helicopter to lift the bus to get away...

Ginger is apparently killed (she had told Stanley she was DEA but this was a lie.)

The ending sees Ginger and Gabriel collecting the $9.5 bn and getting onto a yacht, which is then blown up.

Stanley and his daughter go off together into the sunset in trailer.

Quotable quotes (real)

"You know the problem with Hollywood? They make shit. Unbelievable, unremarkable shit. Now I'm not some grungey wannabe filmmaker searching for existentialism through a haze of bong smoke or something. No, it's easy to pick apart bad acting, shortsighted directing and a purely moronic stringing-together of words that many of the studios term as prose. No, I'm talking about the lack of realism. Realism. Not a pervasive element in today's modern American cinematic vision."

Other comments

Pure unadulterated popcorn. The plot doesn't really make much sense, but the movie is pretty to watch and passes a couple of hours entertainingly.

Beware of anyone who puts this movie in their top ten of all time.

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