Hackers - 1995
Director(s): Iain Softley
Writer(s): Rafael Moreu
Cinematography by: Andrzej Sekula
Editor(s): Chris Blunden and Martin Walsh
Cast: Jonny Lee Miller, Angelina Jolie, Hesse Bradford, Fisher Stevens, Marc Anthony and Matthew Lillard.
Synopsis: This movie is about hackers who are blamed for making a virus that will capsize 5 oil tankers (IMDB).
Ok, a few of things to note about this movie before we start. This movie was made before people fully understood what the internet really is. It’s 1995 and computers are now the new beeper. So, there is a huge list of movies that have it as a catch all to solution and problems. We go “inside” the internet and we see it almost like Tron. This is also the peak of “rollerblading is cool” phase in our society. These days you mainly see that one weird guy doing it shirtless by the beach, but in the 90s if you didn’t rollerblade you weren’t nobody. So our cast can hack, they can roller blade, and the internet is their superpower. Oh, and cool slick nicknames, or “handles”, were a must… along with tiny sunglasses that probably didn’t do their job at all.
Quick note: I love how the IMDB says that this movie is about hackers. Hackers is about hackers. If somebody came to see this movie hoping to see a movies about farmers, IMDB won’t be blamed.
The movie opens with a trial. A trial of one of the most notorious hackers of this movies world, ZERO COOL. What does that mean? He’s not cool or that he is the start of cool and everyone else take a number? Turns out he hacked millions of things (take that Neal Breen) and even hacked the Wall Street stock market, almost crashing the price completely. The camera pans down and this hacker is just a kid in a suit. A kid! But, the judge essentially gives him what today is a death sentence to kids, he can’t own or operate a computer or anything with a touchscreen. The movie jumps seven years and I guess not having a computer really helped with his development because this tiny kid now looks like he is on his second divorce and his kids hate him and his boss is younger than him and patronizes him every day.
Quick note: this director would later go on and give us the master piece that we call K-PAX. Move over Steven Spielberg, there is a new sheriff in town
Our old young teenager has now moved to New York and is living with his single mom who is worried that he is not having sex. New York is full of funky dressed hackers that like to smoke two cigarettes at the same time, hacking the health out of their lungs. They even have a talk show they watch run by two heavily makeup-ed individuals. He meets Angelina Jolie, along with the rest of the world before she adopted all of us (if you are reading this in the future), and starts a friendly rivalry with her, but we all know he is looking for his third wife to divorce.
One of the young hackers from the group stumbles upon a computer that he hacks, as a hacker would, and gets in over his head. The computer belongs to a big company with a lot of secrets and money. Unlucky for him the company has its OWN HACKER!! Yeah, fighting fire with fire. Who is this corporate sell-out hacker? Well its none other than Indian Fisher Stevens (Google Fisher Stevens in Short Circuit) of course. To further distance this evil villain from our cool heroes, White Fisher Stevens, or “The Plague”, rides (glides) a skate board. Yeah, no blades for this cool, candy-eating genius. Boards is where it’s at. White Stevens sends the FBI after the young hacker and our plot officially kicks off.
Quick note: I said loudly “Is that Marc Anthony?!” and woke up my sleeping wife. He plays an FBI agent who we know is smart because he has glasses on. Also, I haven’t addressed how they dress in this movie. Pictures below speak for themselves. They are cool, ya dig? Hollywood gets it, man.
The hack off! Or duel between Jolie and Benjamin Button is on its way. If Jolie wins, Button is her slave, if Button wins Jolie becomes Miss Button the Thrice. As a preparation for the hack off, Button spray paints his keyboard camouflage, so he can hack in the woods, I guess, and he stands in front of a mirror with floppy disks in his belt. You remember floppy disks? You could save an entire word document and it would cost $1k to buy one disk. Anyway, they take turns messing with the head of the FBI for being an asshole who does his job at protecting people and businesses from hackers. There is no winner since the hack off is postponed since two of their hacker friends get arrested.
Alright let’s skim forward. Benjamin Button is blackmailed by White Stevens and they do back alley skateboard transactions. Button reveals himself to the crew as the infamous Zero Cool and they devise a plan to hack their way out of problems and reveal White Stevens as the bad guy of the movie to the FBI. They recruit the makeup-wearing, TV-hosting hacking machines, thus paying off on watching that show earlier in the movie. The script is tight.
The plan is as follows; hack the traffic lights in New York city causing multiple crashes allowing them to rollerblade their way to Grand Central Station. Who cares if people die?! Hacking needs to be done. They use payphones to access the internet with their laptops. That’s how you get a fast connection! But, the internet is like super cool. It’s not Google or Facebook, not even that weird porn site you swear you have never seen. It’s a bunch of word art and cool animations and they have rabbits and flu shots, whatever the hell that means.
Things aren’t looking good but the makeup guys come through and hackers around the world unite and hack the hell out of the hackable things they are hacking. They win thanks to the power of lov…ing the art of hacking. Zero Cool hacks the building lights to say the names of him and Jolie as a sign of love and the movie ends with under water sex while the credits roll. I mean that’s one way of assuring people stay and see the men and women behind the scenes. Rollerblades is why I love movies
Hackers is currently playing on Amazon Prime. Hack it man. Hack the world.
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