What You Need To Know:
(H, LLL, VVV, SS, AB) Humanist worldview; 76 obscenities & 13 profanities; torture, beatings & offscreen murder by shooting; fornication; and, lack of anything remotely moral or redeeming.
The new black comedy, SWIMMING WITH SHARKS, opens with Guy, an assistant to a Hollywood executive, bursting into his boss Buddy’s house and intimidating Buddy with Buddy’s own gun. He orders Buddy to apologize and tells Buddy to remember how Buddy abused him. This begins a flashback to Guy’s first day on the job. It is nothing but abuse, with Buddy telling Guy to shut up, do this, do that, jump this high, etc. Guy endures because he is told that anyone who wants to make it has to be an assistant to a big executive. The one bright place in Guy’s life is Mona a producer at the studio. While the abuse is chronicled in the flashbacks, the action cuts frequently to the present, where Guy ties Buddy up, beats him and pours unpleasant substances into his wounds. What drives Guy over the edge is when he hears Buddy convincing Mona to come over to his place for some “script reading.” Upon Buddy’s provocation, Guy ends up killing Mona with the gun instead of Buddy. Buddy, impressed with his courage, promotes him, and the two live happily ever after, end of movie.
The film is trying to be a cautionary tale about the evils of greed and ambition. Regrettably, the foul language and violence are non stop, the only decent human being in the story ends up dead, and the film falls short on making any great moral statements for its viewers to enjoy.