Rational Choice Theory and Swordfish
A Development of Theory and Character
Swordfish is a dark counter-espionage action thriller about power, money, sacrifice and 21st-century breaking and entering. Over the course of this paper characters will be introduced and then systematically compared to the rational choice theory and categorized by their actions. First, a review of the movie must be completed. Second, a thorough examination of the rational choice theory will be conducted. Lastly, the selected characters will then be examined against the rational choice theory to explain why each character engages in their criminal activity.
Swordfish starts off in a showdown between Gabriel Shear’s American terrorist group and the entire gambit of the Los Angeles Police Department. Gabriel is minutes away from successfully robbing the World Banc. Everything is in place for the heist to be completed. As a bargaining chip Gabriel has all of the civilians in the bank strapped with suicide vests. These vests are composed of C-4 explosive charges and ball bearings. Gabriel’s audacity doesn’t stop there though; each of the vests is programmed to go off if it leaves a certain area.
There is only one problem at this point. The super-hacker that he hired to break into the computer systems of the bank has a change of heart. The hacker’s name is Stanley Jobson. Gabriel’s well thought out and rehearsed plan is falling apart at the seams right now. A hostage manages to get outside of the World Banc and is grabbed by a member of the LAPD SWAT team. Everything gets loud at this point, the American terrorists are yelling for the SWAT member to let the hostage go, the SWAT team is encouraging their partner to save the hostage, and the hostage is yelling to go back to Gabriel.
In one big slow motion explosion hundreds of ball bearings are flung at incredibly high speeds in every direction. This explosion kills many of the LAPD and brings the seriousness of the situation to the very forefront of everyone’s mind. The movie then jumps back several days. The scene is now greatly less stress full and is set in an oil field in Texas. Stanley is on top of his trailer hitting golf balls into the sunset when a very seductive woman approaches his trailer. They engage in conversation and the woman whose name is Ginger Knowles suggests that he should be doing something bigger and better with his life. She tells Stanley of a man who wants to meet him. Stanley is unsure of going through with this meeting until Ginger pulls out an envelope filled with $100,000. She tells him it’s just a meeting and he is not obligated towards anything.
Stanley takes the money and meets with the unknown man who turns out to be Gabriel. Gabriel explains to him that there is a DEA slush fund that contains 9.5 billion dollars. He needs Stanley to make a worm to hack into the account and steal the money so he, Gabriel can fund his American terrorist group. Stanley goes along with the plan until he...