CHANNEL 4 4SEVEN E4 MORE4 FILM4 4MUSIC 4oD

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: Jesse Bradford, Renoly Santiago, Jonny Lee Miller, Laurence Mason, Angelina Jolie, Matthew Lillard, Fisher Stevens
  • Director: Iain Softley
  • Writer: Rafael Moreu
  • Producer: Michael Peyser, Ralph Winter
  • 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 Babadook

    The Babadook

    Widowed mum Amelia (Essie Davis) finds caring for her wayward child Samuel (Noah Wiseman) a tall order. But shes more or less coping until a scary picture book about the mysterious Babadook starts to haunt this single parent family

  • Film4 This Is Where I Leave You

    This Is Where I Leave You

    Shortly after discovering his wifes infidelity, Judd (Jason Bateman) learns of the death of his father. Forced to return to his childhood home to spend a week with his mother, four siblings and his extended family, Judd tries to take stock of his life.

  • Film4 Beasts of the Southern Wild

    Beasts Of The Southern Wild on Film4

    Quvenzhané Wallis stars in an Oscar-nominated role as the six year-old Hushpuppy in Benh Zeitlin's magical realist drama on Film4

  • Film4 Killer Joe

    Killer Joe on Film4

    Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch and Juno Temple star in William Friedkin's noir thriller on Film4

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Joe Cunningham's 11 recommendations for LFF 14

    Unfortunately I haven¿t been jet setting around the world this year to the various exciting international film festivals, but that¿s what makes the London Film Festival¿s compilation approach to progr

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Michael Leader's 11 recommendations for LFF 2014

    One of the best things about the London Film Festival¿s smorgasbord approach to programming is that, amongst the world premieres and gala screenings, there¿s an eclectic collection of exciting films o

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

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

or Register

Share