Atrocious Film Reviews: Hackers
One of the comical things about substitute teaching, or “guest teaching” as I like to call it, is the work that teachers leave behind. Most of the time, it’s fairly pointless. The rest of the time, it’s completely pointless. The other day, I ran into a geyser of stupidity when the computer programming teacher I was in for assigned Hackers. Since I had to watch this thing three times, I felt obligated to write something to commemorate the horrendous acting, nonsensical plot, and general foolishness of the entire experience.
A little info on the movie: it came out in 1995 (which is painfully obvious throughout) and stars a young Angelina Jolie, a slumming Bunk Moreland from The Wire, and the guy who played Shaggy in the live-action adaptation of Scooby Doo. The plot is laughable. Essentially, a group of computer hackers, including some dude named Dade, Shaggy, Angelina Jolie, and a token black computer whiz, are framed by another hacker working as a security agent at some major corporation.
To say this movie stretches the limits of credibility is like saying Roseanne stretches the limits of a medium-sized pair of sweatpants. I don’t have any proof of this, but Hackers may have created the “computers can do anything” archetype that continues to haunt Hollywood films (see Die Hard With A Vengeance). At one point, the main villain, “The Plague,” says that a series of ships are so reliant on computers that they “absolutely cannot be manually overridden.” Really? I half-expected him to declare that they had achieved sentience.
I also need to address the ridiculous tone. The Plague’s main mode of locomotion is a skateboard. A freaking skateboard! You might think that any film employing a skateboard-wielding villain named The Plague must be delving at least a little bit into satire. The very concept suggests that the filmmakers were aware of the film’s poor quality. The movie is so self-serious and joyless though, that I don’t think that was the case.
Pictured: The Plague: Computer hacker, diabolical genius, skateboarding enthusiast.
Final Analysis: If this movie taught me anything, it’s that any mid-90s, video game loving high school student with a slightly eccentric personality, access to a computer, and a knowledge of the “four most common passwords” could have been a computer hacker. Ah the mid-90s. How I miss thee.