Directed by: Dominic Sena
OK, there are a few things you need to note first, before reading this review. Firstly, yes, I see there are reviews above of this movie. However, I felt strongly about writing my own one, and, plus, its for The Quest, so there... Also, you should know that the official movie tagline is:
Log on. Hack in. Go anywhere. Steal everything.
Please also note that the movie is directed by Dominic Senna. He directed Gone in Sixty Seconds. Have you seen that movie? OK, then let's begin...
There is some money in some bank accounts. Some people know how to steal it. However, they need some clever hacker to write a clever worm to transfer the money into their bank account. They have to convince him and think it will be easy, cause he is down on his luck, needs money. He turns out to be strong, independent and he has morals. There are cops chasing them. Also: Who are these people, anyway? This is all you need to know, friends. Really. Did I mention the hacker turns out to be clever?
Cinematography and effects
Opening scene involves shrapnel and some groovy bombs strapped to hostages. Best part of the movie, IMHO. What is it about Hollywood that they can come up with some seriously inventive weapons of destruction, but they can't master their own damn art of putting a decent film together? Anyway, tangents. So the effects are not bad. The cinematography is stock standard action movie stuff. Nothing to write home about. There is a TVR if you are into cars. Some Hummers, loads of guns. There are some notably bad special effects as well. Some badly done CG stuff where the colours dont look quite right. There is also a helicopter scene involving a Skycrane and a bus. Cool...
John Travolta is like a stripper. He really is not afraid to show you what he is made of. He will take you on a journey through Battlefield Earth because he believes in Xemu, or whatever that thing is called. He believes he can really act, so damnit, he will make you watch it. Actually, he is not bad in this movie. However, I feel kind of bad watching him act these days. He had 2 chances to be cool: Flash Dance/Saturday Night Fever and Pulp Fiction. (OK, Grease too). He was OK in Face/Off, but its kind of like watching Mohammad Ali fight Mike Tyson today. You know that once there was a chance, but now you'd rather not watch. And Hugh Jackman, he rocked as Wolverine, but by God, can't Xavier keep him indoors, please. Notably bad acting on his part. He comes across a bit like Greg Kinnear's helpless gay character in As Good as It Gets. Only difference is, Kinnear was _supposed_ to come across like that in the movie. And, I hate admitting this (because its a damn Hollywood studio ploy), but I have to say that Halle Berry looked about as attractive as a woman can be in this movie. Sweet Jesus, she is a very beautiful woman. And that fucking Vinnie Jones. Yes, yes, hard man. Made it as a footballer, he did. Was kind of funny the first time he appeared on screen. But stop now. It appears they gave him a scene where he could say some scary, hard shit. But it was completely off rhythm and seemed rediculous. Stop acting!
Also, what the fuck was Don Cheadle doing in this movie? Did he not read the script? Did he not see Gone in Sixty Seconds? He is a brilliant actor on the verge of a career that could go right to the top. He needs to be more careful.
This film disturbs my inner geek. There is a lot of computer focus and its all MovieOS shite, but even worse than you can imagine. Buzzwords fly around as much as bullets do in this movie. Its 'pop the firewall' this, and 'hack the mainframe' that. I am quite used to Hollywood approaching computers in this way, but there was something darker, more scary in this. There was the name Torvalds. There was mention of Carnivore. 128 bit cyphers. The feeling I got was that some Hollywood fatcat had gone down to MIT and grabbed a geek out of his lab, locked him in a wire cage just off camera and would poke him with a stick every time they needed a buzzword.
Social / poltical resonance
(Miniscule spoiler warning)
Relased shortly before September 11, this film is nothing if not timely. Travolta even says something about "countries harbouring terrorists" in the dialog somewhere. Aparently in the US this film was withdrawn from cinemas after Spetember 11 because of the scenes containing exploding buildings. The only reaosn to watch the film, again IMHO is that the movie poses the interesting question of Cost Vs Reward in terms of human life. Is it OK to kill 10 people to save a million people? Is it OK for the goodies to have their own army to murder the baddies? Make up your own minds. I have.
A poor, poor movie. Not even properly poor enough to be laughable. Insulting, boring and sloppily edited. The move ends with a scene which is supposed to explain who the mysterious people are. But it seems like they forgot to budget time for the scene and had to quickly splice it in under the credits in the foyer during the premier. Everything is rushed, out of sync, cheesy, Hollywood-ised and droll. Dont even send your Line Manager to it, its that bad.
I would bet the pitch meeting for this movie went like this:
Screenwriter: One word: COMPUTERS.
FatCat1: Computers, eh? Heard people like 'em these days.
Screenwriter: Cybercrime is the bank robbery of the nineties.
FatCat1: OK, throw in some computers. Who we gonna cast?
Screenwriter1: Heard Travolta is looking.
FatCat1: Travolta, eh? Right, you give me Travolta, computers and you got yourself a deal.
FatCat2: Hang on..arent we missing something, huh? The big 'P', for instance?
FatCat1: Good God you're right. Pussy! Get Halle Berry in there too. She's purty.
FatCat2: No! Police!
FatCat1: Shit, always forget them. Get the FBI in on the act as well. I want guns. Lots of guns. And Vinnie Jones is coming to my house for a barbie on Saturday. See if you can weasel him in as well. This is going to be a dang fine flick!
Screenwriter: As you wish...
FatCat1: And see if that Michael Dell will send us some computers with blinking lights on 'em. Tell him we will shove his logo down the throats of everyone within a hundred mile radius, will ya?
As usual, I would like to thank God, my parents, the IMDB for its wonderful database and everyone else in Western Kentucky for making this node possible. I love you all....