18 year old Dade (Jonny Lee Miller), aka “Crash Override,” aka “Zero-Cool,” is on parole for a cyber-crime he committed when he was a pre-teen child. On his 18th birthday, he is given access to a computer for the first time since he crashed 1,500 plus computers, resulting in a stock market dip.
Dade falls in with an underground subculture of computer hackers. This group is soon framed for creating a virus that will capsize a series of oil tankers by corporate hacker The Plague (Fisher Stevens).
The film has solid performances from Miller, Angelina Jolie, and Matthew Lillard, and a scene stealing performance from Renoly Santiago.
Beyond this, the film is littered with issues. The pseudo-technological script is nowhere near accurate. Jargon is thrown out willy-nilly, and the hacker subculture is glorified as if it is a spy agency. And the cat-and-mouse game between the FBI and the hackers is overblown to the nth degree.
Visually, the film is trying to mimic this glorification of hacking. The “mainframe” known as The Gibson is a large virtual room of files, all glowing different neon colors. It is incredibly unrealistic.
The entire film fails to hold up aesthetically. The costume design, the technological props, and the soundtrack are all stuck interminably in the ’90s.
The film screams cult status from the get go. In this regard, it is a fun film. But, overall, it is a film whose time ran out a long time ago.
The Hackers Drinking Game: drink every time a character says tech jargon that is purposefully complicated but makes no sense. Drink every time you hear a “codename” (ex: Cereal Killer or Acid Burn).
Always drink responsibly.
As always, thanks for reading!
Have you seen Hackers? If so, what did you think? Let me know in the comments!
—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)