Hackers (1995): A Review

Hackers (1995): A Review

Hackers is a film released in 1995 loosely falling into the cyberpunk genre of sci-fi films - IMDB Link. Unfortunately I had never seen this movie, however, I was extremely interested in delving more deeply into the cyberpunk genre than I previously had. Cyberpunk is a well known genre within the sci-fi community that I will post a totally different article to explain to any “noobs” in the area.

Dade Murphy (Johnny Lee Miller) a computer genius at only the age of eleven, hacks a group of computers and sends out a virus that crashes 1507 computers in a single day. His alias was “Zero Cool” and he was put on probation which made it illegal for him to own or operate a computer or touchtone telephone until his 18th birthday. Apparently Dade’s parents split up and Dade stays with his mother who moves to New York City. As you might imagine, his 18th birthday rolls around and he gets back into his old habits. He first hacks into the local television station and change’s the programming to suit his nightly viewing habits. That is until another competing hacker finds him and boots him out because he is on “Acid Burn’s” turf. Dade is due to start school the next day and quickly takes a shine to Kate Libby (Angelina Jolie), who wouldn’t.

She ends up playing a prank on Dade which leaves him rather wet and he decides he wants to take revenge upon this new nemesis. In his next class he hacks into the school database which gets him noticed by a fellow classmate named Ramon (Renoly Santiago) or ‘Phantom Phreak’ who is also a hacker and he finds his gateway into the exclusive local hacker community. After meeting the local hackers ‘Cereal Killer’ Emmanuel Goldstein (Matthew Lillard) and Joey Pardella (Jesse Bradford), they raze Joey about not having any genuine hacks and tell him that if he wants a handle he needs to do a legit none accidental hack. Joey attempts, and succeeds, in hacking a Gibson server and finds some data that was not for prying eyes.

I don’t want to go too much more into the film for fear that I will give away secrets that need to be seen not read. Although this is not one of my favorite movies, it is most definitely worth taking a look at. The acting, for a group of young adults, is actually quite good and the storyline has the benefit of being unique. Not a Matrix type film at all, but it is in fact cyberpunk. I’ll give it an overall of 8/10.

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