Recommendation: Swimming With Sharks (1994)

Back in 1994 I came across this underrated gem of a movie starring Kevin Spacey. I didn’t know much about Kevin Spacey except for his role in The Ref with his brilliant brutal, and honest performance I thought what a perfect role for him to play a boss from hell. You may remember him as the evil boss from Horrible Bosses but you haven’t seen evil till you have seen him antagonize his new assistant in the movie Swimming With Sharks. Hysterical movie along with some thrilling suspense mixed in makes this movie worth the watch and for anyone who has ever worked for someone who was just a jerk, this movie is for you. 

Swimming With Sharks (1994)

Director: George Huang
Writer: George Huang

Cast: Kevin Spacey, Frank Whaley, Michelle Forbes, and Benicio Del Toro

Plot: A young new studio assistant tries putting in his dues while becoming a successful screenwriter. The studio assistant decides to turn the tables on his verbal abusive producer boss that definitely takes their work relationship to new and dangerous heights. 

Now after watching that clip, if you are still interested great because there is plenty more where that came from in such a comedic way. Don’t watch anymore clips, just watch this movie. I think this movie will relate to a lot of people who has ever worked in customer service no matter what industry. Especially to those who has worked as an assistant to someone with a God complex. 


Spacey excels in this role. His demeanor and voice just carries with authority and power but he also has a sense of humor about it he is self aware on how fucked up he is and doesn’t care. He plays his character as someone who smells fears and charges for it, like a shark. Get it…..

With his current role in House Of Cards that should also give you an example of what he brings to this role and even though this is a comedy, I would be terrified to work for a man like him in this scenario. 


Frank Whaley, a wonderful actor plays his character well as the wounded and dreamer to the Hollywood dream. His facial expressions alone speaks for anyone who has had to put up with crap from an authority figure. Watching him take crap from his boss you just want to yell at him for being so passive but you still have this understanding that this is what Hollywood is all about. His character, Guy, wants to strangle his boss but at the same time wants to be him which is interesting when you think about it. There is a scene where he tries to channel being someone who has “made it” in Hollywood at a bar in front of people but getting a call from his boss brings him right back down to earth and reminds him that he has a long way to go. You know its wrong to be that type of mean-spirited person but you can’t help but want that same kind of power for yourself. It’s human instinct in a way. 


Of course what is a movie without a women in the middle of it all. Another studio exec played by Michelle Forbes exhibits the woman who is strong, take charge, and does the work to get where she is in the movie. She takes no prisoners but is also still a human being at the end of the day. Forming a bond with the new assistant Guy, she sort of plays as an escape to his horrible daily life while at work. Forbes does a great job playing the role of a powerful woman in a man’s world and doesn’t get lost among the heavy testosterone of a male dominant cast. 


The story takes an interesting turn when you see that the movie is told in a series of flashbacks. They both review his first year as Guy the assistant to Buddy Ackerman, Spacey’s character and slowly you learn why Guy is so fed up with his bullshit that he takes him hostage. What would drive a man to do that to his boss. Doesn’t everyone go through the same thing? Why is this such a special circumstance  to justify this payback? You will have to watch and see as things start to unravel you start putting the pieces together and if you care about this character you will feel his anger and desperation of just trying to make his mark in a dog eat dog world. Another reason for this recommendation is that this movie closes with another great twist that I didn’t see coming and you will either STRONGLY hate it or love it. 

That is my recommendation. More to come in the future. I hope you enjoyed this review and hopefully this movie. If you have seen it, tell me what you thought of the film. If you haven’t seen it, watch it and comment below on your thoughts. If you happen to have any recommendations for me I would love to hear them. Tweet me @moviegeek81. Enjoy the weekend everyone and see you at the movies. 



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