As a depiction of the computer-hacker underground, this movie is bogus to the bone. As a thriller, it's cartoonish and conventional. The premise (computer-happy kids hack into the wrong system, and the Forces of Repression come after … see full wiki
What makes the movie work? Great actors, great script, great soundtrack, accurate ideas (if not technology). I will not bore people with my opinions of the actors, but I will cover the rest.
The script. The premise of the movie is not only plausible, but scenarios like it have actually happened many times over (usually with the "bad guy" winning in the end by the way). Don't believe me? Search any credible online news database for keywords such as "scandal," + "corporation," + "corruption," + "fraud," + "embezzlement." You will find your examples.
Soundtrack. The music in this movie is sweet. The music ranges from house trance to freaky techno cyber punk. It suits the mood and the pacing of the movie perfectly.
Ideas. The ideas behind this movie are obvious. They even managed to sneak in a portion of the "Hacker's Manifesto," written by, "The Mentor." True it wasn't nearly complete, and it was slightly edited, but they did get some of it in. The basic idea behind this movie, and behind the "hacker," sub-culture is that capitalism is fine -- greedy profiteering is something else all together. Real "hackers," do not do what they do because they are anti-social (although many are) or because they have a desire to hurt anyone or to destroy anything. A real "hacker," is only interested in one thing, information. They don't care if it is the government that has the information, or a corporation, if it is something they think the world should know (or something they are just curious about) then they will go after it. The little punks launching "viruses," these days are not "hackers," they are stupid wannabes that downloaded a "133+" Virus-Warez off the internet, that allows them to basically point and click to setup a malicious computer program that will do a limited amount of functions. You will either encounter that type of amateur virus online, or a more professional job -- generally created by a programmer that is interested in one thing, money. These more sophisticated programs (I detest calling them "viruses") scan your computer looking for files named "money," or "records," or "passwords," or "secret," or "mine," or "bank," etc. They grab that information and send it back to the program author, and if it is enough information, you will find yourself the latest victim of identity theft -- along with an empty bank account. Anyway, I digress, this is the sub-culture that this movie is trying to tap into, computer experts that go by many names, including "hacker." I believe that in this, the the movie succeeds brilliantly. If you haven't seen it yet, give it a chance. Just don't watch it expecting to learn how to break into anyone's computer system. [grin]
Oh, and another *very* common password that the movie misses in its list of common passwords (love, sex, secret, god) is "password." All you goofballs out there using that as your password, you are begging to be "hacked."
And -- Hack The Planet!
What did you think of this review?