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: Laurence Mason, Angelina Jolie, Fisher Stevens, Jonny Lee Miller, Matthew Lillard, Renoly Santiago, Jesse Bradford
  • 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

    The Five-Year Engagement

    Jason Segel and Emily Blunt are Tom and Violet, a happy couple whose plans to marry become increasingly hopeless. Co-starring Chris Pratt and a host of sit-com favourites, expect sincerely romantic moments amongst Segel's signature frat boy humour.

    On Film4: 4 Aug 9:00PM

  • Film4

    Maidan

    Documentary portrait of the winter 2013/14 Ukrainian demonstrations in Kiev against the pro-Moscow presidency of Viktor Yanukovych and for a greater integration with Europe.

  • Film4

    Damsels in Distress on Film4

    Whit Stillman returns to directing, with a twee comedy that follows Greta Gerwig and her pompous college buddies as they set about improving campus life for all

  • Film4

    The Five-Year Engagement on Film4

    Jason Segel and Emily Blunt are Tom and Violet, a happy couple whose plans to marry become increasingly hopeless. Co-starring Chris Pratt and a host of sit-com favourites, expect sincerely romantic moments amongst Segel's signature frat boy humour.

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

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

or Register

Share