WITH the putrid whiff of the appalling Battlefield Earth still clinging to him, John Travolta vainly attempts to repair his battered reputation with this high octane action-thriller.
He plays Gabriel Shear, a techno-terrorist waging a secret war against anybody who dares threaten the safety of America and its citizens.
At least the character, if not the actor, seems fire-proof.
The US government certainly can't touch Shear. Every time the cops attempt an arrest, he and his cronies leave countless dead officers in their wake.
To finance his undercover life, Shear plans a daring 9.5 billion dollar electronic bank robbery. And for that, he needs expert computer hacker Stanley Jobson (Hugh Jackman), just out of jail.
If Jobson agrees to help with the heist, he will be allowed to regain custody of his beloved daughter Holly (Camryn Grimes). Refusing isn't an option.
The movie opens in spectacular enough style with an astonishing set-piece, with Shear detonating a bomb which wipes out an entire city block.
The rest of the footage just can't match up to the jaw-dropping thrill of that first big bang.
While there are plenty of action sequences littering what quickly becomes predictable narrative, they are uniformly tame by comparison.
Travolta cackles his way through 90 minutes as the sharply tailored villain of the piece. Jackman makes an appealing hero, although the relationship with his daughter is poorly developed, and the flirtatious romance with his X-Men co-star Halle Berry - she with the Liverpool grandmother and mother - doesn't really ignite.
For her part, Berry, playing Ginger, Travolta's sidekick, simply slinks about the screen like a cat on heat, but once exposing her breasts for the sake of Hollywood hype. Who knows, she's probably writing her Oscar acceptance speech as you read this.