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movie review out of 4 Movie Review: Hackers

Starring: Jonny Lee Miller, Angelina Jolie
Director: Iain Softley
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 104 Minutes
Release Date: September 1995
Genres: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense

*Also starring: Fisher Stevens, Jesse Bradford, Lorraine Bracco, Matthew Lillard, Penn Jillette, Renoly Santiago, Laurence Mason, Alberta Watson

Reviewer Roundup
1.  Steve Rhodes review follows no stars
2.  Dragan Antulov read the review movie reviewmovie review

Review by Steve Rhodes
0 stars out of 4

HACKERS is certainly the worst movie I have seen in years and will rank in infamy for me as one of the worst I have ever seen. HACKERS makes you leave the theater angry at everyone associated with the show for stealing your money and your time with a movie that insults the audience's intelligence with complete garbage. HACKERS was directed by Iain Softley and produced by Michael Peyser, Ralph Winter, and Janet Graham. I would suggest writing these names down and avoiding anything they are ever associated with. HACKERS is a an MTV style movie that burst your ear drums with loud rock music and attempts to dazzle your eyes with flashing images and machine gun style cuts by cinematographer Andrzej Sekula.

The movie starts off with a SWAT team the size of a small army breaking down the door of a modest suburban home with a battering ram. The police army does not announce its presence since they have to sneak up on a grade school hacker about 4 feet tall. We then switch rapidly to a scene where he is being sentence by a stern judge to never use "a computer or a touch tone telephone" until he is an adult. Seems he has crashed all of Wall Street and hundreds of other places. Sure.

Next we get to see our hero, Dade known by the handle of Crash Override (Jonny Lee Miller), in high school. He is older now, but he is still hacking on those computers regardless of what the judge said. His mom is played as an absolute idiot. She yells at him and appears oblivious to what he is doing in his room. In one of the many trite lines by first time and lets us hope last time screenwriter Rafael Moreu, his mom tells Dade she wants him to "stop playing with the computer and start playing with girls."

Well at school, Crash Override does meet a strange girl named Kate whose handle is Acid Burn (Angelina Jolie), but their relationship is not exactly the traditional boy/girl thing. Acid Burn starts off the relationship by tricking him to get locked out on the roof in a rainstorm. Later, Crash Override reprograms all of the sprinkler systems in the building to come on and get everyone else wet. What wonderful teenagers these kids are.

The costumes by Roger Burton are particularly ridiculous. Crash Override always hacks on his computer with black color sun glasses on, and the room is usually light. Try looking at a computer screen someday with black glasses on and see what you can see.

I have liked some of the hacker movies. I thought THE NET was fairly good and WAR GAMES was great. But here, the technical advisor (Nick Jarecki) was AWOL. In the first series of scenes as we see Crash Override hacking away, he types continually, but all that is on the screens is four columns of blurry images, not text, moving in opposite directions of each other. Frequently his screen flashes images of old movies one after another while he is programming. In one scene, he takes control of a television station through an implausible scenario. Next he has to wrestle with another hacker who is hacking him for control of the robotic video tape machine that directs what the TV station is showing its audience. Right.

When Crash Override sees people, his mind sees the old movies that are always flashing on his computer screen. Do you have the problem that old movies flash on your screen a lot while you are programming? So do I, and tiny green men frequently run of my floppy drive and dance on my keyboard as well.

One of the "stars" of the show is Cereal Killer (Matthew Lillard). Let me not describe him other than to give you his first line. Moreu has him say to Crash Override, "All great artists have asphyxiated on their own vomit." One of the other hackers declares in another scene that "I need to get a handle. If I don't, I don't have an identity."

HACKERS runs on forever at 1:45. It is rated PG-13, but trust me you do not want your kids to pollute their minds by seeing this drivel. I hated this show so much it took me several hours to calm down after seeing it. I have always had a consistent rating system that goes from zero to four stars, and I rarely give out the rating on either end of the scale. For this movie, I seriously considered giving it a minus one, but for consistency I will most generously award it zero stars.

Copyright 1995 Steve Rhodes

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