Cassie's Movie Reviews
  past features
  cool links


Categories this film falls into:

Dark Comedy

swimming with sharks (1994)

Guy, after a year of mental abuse, kidnaps and tortures his Hollywood boss.

George Huang

George Huang

Kevin Spacey
Frank Whaley
Michelle Forbes
Benicio Del Toro

Kevin Spacey


This film ranks as one of my all-time
Posterfavorite films. It won't win any cinematic awards - it's not Lawrence of Arabia , but it is so wonderfully vicious and sarcastic that I never tire of watching it.

Evidently, George Huang based this story on his own personal experience in Hollywood and pissed off some people. That's fantastic.

Although I enjoy Robert Altman's The Player and think it's an enjoyable Hollywood satire as well, there's something more evil lurking under the surface of Swimming With Sharks - something a bit darker - that makes you just a little more uncomfortable. A little more uneasy.


Kevin Spacey as the ProducerKevin Spacey. This man is amazing. He manages to bring depth to an otherwise shallow one-dimensional character. I love the yelling. I love the smirks. I love the derrogatory remarks made with such precision they almost cut like a knife.
The radio announcer talking about the celebrity tractor pull. For this reason alone, you should see this movie.
The wind-up toys.Buddy listening to Guy
Buddy's little smiles after torturing Guy.
The time divisions. Day One. Month One. Etc. It really works for this film and the passage of time.
The ending. I believe this is one of the best endings I've ever seen - just in terms of expectations and not knowing for sure how things are going to turn out. It rocks.


The parking lot incident between Guy and Dawn on his first day.
Rob and the explosions. "Would you like this in a pump or a loafer?"
The Sweet N' Low incident. This is one of the most fantastic scenes in the movie. It gives you a feeling for what the rest of the film will be like. I love it.
Buddy on his car phone.The car phone. Unreachable. In the elevator - Get out! Get out! Who do you work for?
The talk about the yelling. This is priceless because you know going in that Buddy's response is not going to be a compassionate one. Buddy's smile when Guy leaves is wonderful. Truly wonderful.
Time magazine. Destroying every single issue. Because remember, this job is big on payback.
Paper cuts. The look on Buddy's face as he is Guy trying to get his point acrossimagining the horrific torture that Guy has prepared and then he comes out with an envelope. Wonderful.
The transition, cut away shot from Buddy laughing about Guy breaking the mirror to him laughing in the office. It's great.
The water-torture scene. The framing of this scene is wonderful - Buddy's feet on the desk in front of Guy's head - the long shot of Buddy. Great.

QUOTESWhat is this?

Guy, if you do this job well, wealth and opportunity are yours. - Rex
If they can't start a meeting without you, well, that's a meeting worth going to, isn't it? - Buddy
What is this? - Buddy
What Equal contains is not my concern here. I don't care if it has fucking fairy dust in it. - Buddy
Shut up. Listen. And learn. - BuddyBuddy explaining a few things to Guy
You have no brain. No judgment calls are necessary. What you think means nothing. What you feel means nothing. You are here for me. You are here to protect my interests and to serve my needs. - Buddy
I'm not trying to be cruel. I'm just trying to help. - Buddy
What good are you? Do you have a brain? - BuddyBuddy
Fuck your disappointment. Fuck your disillusionment and fuck you. - Buddy
I'm sorry. Did I hurt your feelings? - Buddy
My bathmat means more to me than you. - Buddy
I don't think the yelling is necessary. - Buddy (mockingly)
You're happy. I hate that. - Buddy
Do not apologize. It's a sign of weakness. - Dawn
Fucking men. Fucking crazy. - Dawn