Atrocious Film Reviews: Hackers

 (Yes, they are all on roller-skates)

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.

Grade: 2/10

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~ by fc13 on April 7, 2010.

6 Responses to “Atrocious Film Reviews: Hackers”

  1. This was an amazing movie that you unfortunately took far too seriously to enjoy. It’s meant to be over the top, it’s meant to be what everyone wishes computing and hacking was really like. The characters and ideas are purposely taken to their stereotypical extreme.

  2. I have to agree, you really messed this review up, and it’s sad to me that it comes up pretty high in google results. As said you took it far too seriously, the movie is the perfect encapsulation of what everyone wishes computing was really like, and what hackers really did.

    You’re looking at it completely the wrong way, it’s not supposed to be realistic, it’s supposed to be fantastical. It’s supposed to take stereotypes to their extremes.

  3. You are an idiot, this movie was awesome.

  4. Hey I just read this review, even though you wrote it about a year ago.

    That movie is some seriously great nostalgia for very late gen-x computer types. Other than that, it is not to be taken seriously.

    What I love about it is that the future did not turn out like hackers AT ALL. Still, everyone computer science person I know gets a good laugh about how they get all excited about ancient technology.

    Incidentally, “Dade” was Jordan Chase in the last season of Dexter. Crazy huh?

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