Tuesday, January 21, 2003

The Movie I Watched Last Night LIII
Oh, I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed this movie. You've got rebellious teenage hackers saying things like "elite" and "righteous hack." You've got one of the first soundtracks featuring pop electronica music. You've got Penn Jillette. You've got a young Angelina Jolie (meow). You've got the characteristically irritating Matthew Lillard. You've got the graffiti-ridden teen hangout, roller blades, and futuristic "hacker fashion." You've got clueless but caring parents. And you've got graphic representations of networks and the net that put The Net to shame but nonetheless scream of implausibility. There's a virus hidden in a worm wrapped up in a virus (or something) that's going to scuttle oil tankers if this wily bunch of computer kids doesn't save the day -- and their own bacon. It's a shallow, silly plot, and the characters are likewise, but the interactions among the teens, the representation of hacker culture -- just this side of realistic -- and the Dawson's Creek-styled male lead hero's puppy-dog affection for Jolie's character (meow) make it all worthwhile. Oh, the Richard Kadrey-lookalike evil mastermind is a goon. And the hackers pranking of the federal agent is a nice riff on The Net's fear of identity theft.

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