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Monday, August 22, 2011

My 100 Worst Movies of the 90's - 100 - Hackers (1995)

At the dawn of the Internet craze, a little film came about that introduced America to the growing underground culture of hackers.  This movie is one of those niche films that focuses on a subject that attracts (at least at the time of its release) a very limited audience.  This category also covers the numerous films about cheerleading and break dancing.

Where Hackers goes off the tracks is the plot focusing on too many things: a group of hacker friends told from the perspective of an outsider named Dade that just came to town, a police officer who is obsessed with taking out the hackers, and a network security specialist who is working with a female executive to steal a fortune from his employing company.  While all of this goes on, there are countless subplots involving Dade's romance with Kate (played by a young Angelina Jolie), a young inept hacker-in-training that is constantly being quizzed by his mentor "Cereal Killer" (Matthew Lillard) and is constantly embarrassing himself as he stumbles and stutters as he tries to please his "master" or whatever, and then there’s the weak prologue about Dade moving to LA to escape his past as a notorious child hacker.

As bad movies go, there are worse films, and this one is often saved due to the ever-deceptive nostalgia goggles, but, as a stand-alone title, this one is a weak, unfunny, suspense-free mess of a movie.  It is basking in its bombast as it tries to convince us that these hackers really live in this strange world filled with secret hacked television shows, arcade machines the size of a game show set, and computer programs that resemble 3D cities complete with circuit streets.  The fake computer programs that are meant to look "cool" are a big pet peeve of mine and this film is one of the biggest perpetrators of this clich√©.

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