Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Forgotten John Travolta Action Flick You Can Find On Netflix

One day, philanthropists will construct a museum dedicated solely to the full history of John Travolta's facial hair in movies, from the very beginning of his career to the eventual end. Visitors will sigh blissfully at reminders of the clean shaven days of "Grease" and "Saturday Night Fever," marvel at the majesty of the infamous "Battlefield Earth" space goatee, tremble at the fearsome handlebar mustache from "The Taking of Pelham 123," and afford a long-overdue measure of respect to the beard of an Amish action star sported in "Killing Season." And at the center of the museum's main chamber, beneath an almost unearthly beam of perpetual sunlight, there will be a pedestal, displaying the greatest single greatest configuration of face fuzz in the actor's career, and, indeed, perhaps in recorded history: the noble chin strip that he wore in 2001's "Swordfish."

It was a beard with perplexing attributes directly proportional to the perplexing movie for which it was delicately sculpted. Written by Skip Woods — the mind behind both "Hitman" movies and the "Wolverine" solo film where Deadpool has swords in his arms — "Swordfish" is a complicated little number. The twists and turns come hard and fast when Stanley Jobson, a very cool hacker played by Hugh "More Like Hackman, Am I Right?" Jackman, is released from prison with a strict "no more hacking" order. He's more than happy to comply until his ex-wife takes the couple's daughter away — and soon enough, Travolta's Gabrial Shear, sporting a hair-based landing strip running down his lower lip, arrives with an offer that Stanley can't refuse.

The typing gets intense in Swordfish

Travolta's character is named Gabriel Shear (or is he?) an anti-terrorist operative in need of a skilled and noble hacksman. By his side is Halle Berry's Ginger Knowles, a deep cover DEA agent (or is she?) Together, they embark on a 99-minute journey of double crosses, fakeouts, and dramatically edited reveals, pursued all the while by Don Cheadle's J.T. Roberts, agent of the FBI (Or is he? He is. That part isn't a mystery).

"Swordfish" received a cool-to-lukewarm reception when it was first released. The kinder reviews celebrated a good time that could be enjoyed with your brain set to low power mode, like in the three-stars-out-of-five number published by Empire calling it "Techno tosh, but fitfully great fun all the same." Others were less generous, with Newsweek praising little more than the way that the movie could keep audiences distracted enough with giant explosions that they wouldn't have time to think about "the plausibility, or the sense, of anything that is happening."

If nothing else, "Swordfish" is a glorious reminder of a brief window of time when Hugh Jackman was barely Wolverine, Hollywood still thought that hacking was magic, and you could hide John Travolta's whole beard behind one carefully placed Swedish Fish. It's currently available to watch on Netflix.