Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • 12
  • Action, Crime
  • 1995
  • 105 mins

Hackers

Hackers

Synopsis

Johnny Lee Miller and Angelina Jolie star in an enjoyably daft cyberspace thriller. A bunch of high-school kids uncover a plan to unleash a deadly virus for which the authorities think they're responsible

About

The mid-90s saw a rush of movies cashing in on the birth of the internet, most of them hamstrung by the fact that a) their target audiences knew far more about virtual reality than the filmmakers, and b) there's nothing very exciting about watching people type anyway. Hackers avoids the second pitfall by incorporating lots of comic-book action, but IT consultants may be crying into their coffee at the risible plot.

Teenage hacker Dade (Miller, just prior to Trainspotting) aka 'Crash Override' aka 'Zero Cool' (isn't the latter a bit insulting?) breaks into the files of evil genius 'The Plague' (Stevens) - it not what his mother calls him - and discovers plans for a multi-million dollar fraud. Furthermore, Plague has created a virus intended to wreak environmental havoc by sinking oil tankers. Cue a race against the clock as Dade tries to foil Plague, shake off the authorities and impress feisty skate-punk Kate (Jolie, then a newcomer) aka 'Acid Burn'.

Backbeat and later K-PAX director Iain Softley draws on War Games and Bond but it's MTV that exerts the greatest influence. It's largely down to Miller and Jolie - fantastically cool, or at least a mid-90s Hollywood producer's idea of it, in their skate gear and piercings - that the film succeeds. Matthew Lilliard is great as wise-ass hacker 'Cereal Killer'. The kids' interaction is nicely observed and there are plenty of decent gags. As a convincing thriller however, it's baggier than a pair of skater's pants.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Angelina Jolie, Jesse Bradford, Laurence Mason, Fisher Stevens, Renoly Santiago, Jonny Lee Miller, Matthew Lillard
  • Director: Iain Softley
  • Writer: Rafael Moreu
  • Producer: Ralph Winter, Michael Peyser
  • Photographer: Andrzej Sekula
  • Composer: Simon Boswell

In a nutshell

Verdict
Silly but enjoyable Generation Y adventure that gets away with it thanks to some good looking action and the visible spark between Miller and his future missus Jolie.

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4

    About Elly

    Taraneh Alidoosti stars in a gripping, award-winning mystery-thriller from Oscar-winning Iranian writer-director Asghar Farhadi.

  • Film4

    Odd Thomas

    Anton Yelchin stars in Stephen Sommers' charged adaptation of Dean Koontz's supernatural novel.

  • Film4

    Action Month 2016 on Film4

    A whole month of action favourites every night at 9.00pm throughout June.

  • Film4

    Kick-Ass 2 on Film4

    Jim Carrey, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Chloƫ Grace Moretz star in Film4's first play of the darkly comic sequel to Kick-Ass.

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Five questions for Jim Gillespie

    We grabbed five minutes with Jim Gillespie after his Edinburgh International Film Festival directing masterclass to put five burning questions to the man behind I Know What You Did Last Summer, whose

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Clio Barnard's Dark River starts shooting

    Principal photography has commenced on Dark River, the third feature film from writer/director Clio Barnard (The Arbor, The Selfish Giant), starring Ruth Wilson (The Affair, Saving Mr Banks), Mark Sta

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share