Hackers is, a movie to be sure. Heads up guys, this gonna be a long one. This, film, was brought up to me by a fellow member of the review crew, Man thing, also known as Pirateseatcarrots. I’ve heard of it before from the podcast “How did this get made,” but I didn’t think much about it. I just assumed it was a generic bad movie, but oooooh booy was I wrong! This film is fucking insanity, and I’m gonna try my best to condense it. Alright lets get this fucker started.
The film starts out with the police bursting into a house, completely armed and ready to shoot if they need to. It turns out they’re arresting someone for hacking into and shutting down, “1,507 networks!” and as a sort of gag in the trial they pan to the left across all the faces of the lawyers, then stops at nothing and pans down to reveal the person who did this was only an 11 year old boi! The ruling is a $4,500 fine, and the boy, named Dade, no really that’s his fucking name, not being allowed to touch a computer until he’s 18.
We then cut to 7 years later, to modern 1995! Our little shit hasn’t learned anything as he’s immediately back to hacking a television station to make them play an episode of outer limits he wanted to watch. However he gets into, I guess we’ll call it a hacker battle between him and some other hacker. It ends with him getting kicked out the system, womp womp. Later on he finds some girl at his school who he finds sexy, so since he’s a l33t h4x0r, he hacks into the schools mainframe and changes the schedule so that he and her are in a class together. Some guy also sees this and starts talking to him since he’s also a l33t h4x0r! Yes I am calling them that for the entire review.
So after a bit of messing around we get introduced to four of our main l33t h4x0rs. We already know Dade, but there’s also that guy from before named Ramon, or according to imdb Phreak so we’re just gonna call him that, Cereal, who’s basically if shaggy from scooby doo was somehow even more of a stoner, and a guy whos named Joey but we called him two smokes, since in his first scene he was for some reason smoking two cigarettes at once. They’re at a “Hacker nightclub,” discussing their recent hackings, when suddenly Dade sees Angelina Jolie’s character, Kate, and he impresses her by beating her high score in some random ass arcade game.
Later on Joey two smokes, wow that sounds like a shitty gangster name, is hacking some company just to show off that he could. He starts downloading some garbage file, when suddenly Penn Jillette is in this movie. He notices some shits going on and calls up their computer technician who looks nothing like how a computer technician looks like. His name is Hal, which is fine enough, but when we see him he rides into the room on a skateboard, wearing a black trench coat and a goatee! I’m not fucking joking when I say, there is an excessive amount of skateboarding and rollerblading in this movie.
Anyways I’m getting off track, he uses his skills to track the kid, and some message plays saying they’re infected with a virus, and if they don’t give $5,000,000 to a certain account then he’ll sink all these fully automated boats. He then pins it on the kid he tracked, but remember the kid didn’t actually do anything, hell he didn’t even save the file completely, since his mom turned off his computer before bed. Since his file is all fucked up, he takes out a floppy disk and tosses it into a secret hiding place. The next day the police raid his house, which begins the first in many unintentional jokes of the cops just kind of appearing out of nowhere in very comedic ways. Also side note, in the trailer they make it look like the kid gets shot, I don’t know why but, whatever.
The kid gets arrested, but I guess he doesn’t actually get convicted because we never see him go to jail. However we do see our main character hack into the school again, this time making it test the sprinklers during school time, so I guess they get out of school. Whatever. We also find out that the Hal guy made the virus and he’s just trying to get the money himself. There is then a huge chunk of this movie that becomes entirely devoted to Kate and Dade having a “Hacker off” where they just compete to do more and more shit. The only three things that are necessary in this part of the movie are 1. Ramon also gets arrested, and 2. They introduce a new black guy character named Nikon, and 3. they bring up this show called hack the world. The rest is just meaningless bullshit.
The biggest problem with this films plot is that it just doesn’t know what it wants to be about. First it seems like it wants to be about a bunch of l33t h4x0rs uncovering a conspiracy, but at the same time it wants to do this random hacker off between 90s hot Angelina Jolie and this one random dick who can’t wait 10 years for piracy to become a thing like the rest of us had to. I think if it just stuck to one plot it would be stronger, or at the very least have them be integrated together, so like if he made his goal in the hack off to hack Hals computer and finds the source code for the virus and that sets off this whole chain of events, but the two plots don’t really ever come together or anything like that except for the generic theme of hacking.
Oh boy here we go. Alright so these guys are the basic, generic 90s characters. Dade is the cool guy, despite being a l33t h4x0r, Cereal is the “comic relief,” from a time where filmmakers didn’t understand that there was a difference between being funny and being annoying and weird, Nikon is black, and everyone else is just, characterless. Their acting is pretty bad, but the thing that is worse about these characters is, their wardrobe.
Never thought I’d be critiquing this in one of these reviews, but these are just too weird. We already touched on Hals appearance, but there’s just so many more weird things like that! Like there’s a scene where Katie is wearing a Carmen Sandiego weird red dress suit, with a random ring in the middle of it attached to like, multiple straps that wrap around her and it looks like she’s in a red leather straight jacket. Cereal is also clearly wearing, in multiple scenes of these movie, a shirt with Angelina Jolie’s face on it. Like it’s black and white and kind of hard to tell, but once you notice it it’s like, why?
There’s also this random rave scene later on in the movie where there’s like, greasers mixed in with disco guys and this one chick with like, a chandelier as a hat and, jesus christ it’s just so fucking weird! There are also just, in one scene, randomly, rollerblading homeless people in an abandoned subway that are doing like flips and shit, Hal exclusively moves around on skateboard, and kids are just rollerblading in school and the club, just, jesus christ this is so nonsensical! But that’s not the worst designed thing in this movie!
Again, didn’t think I’d need to talk about this, but here we fucking are! The sets in this movie look like they were filled out with props that they actually found in the dump, and just randomly dumped into scenes. Like, this film is about an hour and a half, it took us probably twice that time to finally get through this fucking movie because we kept pausing to laugh at how stupid the backgrounds are!
Like, for example there’s this scene that takes place in the hacker club, and there’s a shot where if you’re not paying attention you wouldn’t notice much, but then you see directly behind our main characters there’s a strange glowing yellow statue of a guy T-posing that’s randomly melted, and then above that you just see some random fabric that’s loosely pinned to the ceiling and there’s just randomly something being projected onto it, and there’s just randomly some weird control panel in the top left, like what the fuck is this shit!? There’s also, throughout multiple points in this movie, random pieces of paper with random messages on them just, taped to walls. This films designing team was a fucking mess, and I really wish I could find screenshots of this shit, but I can’t.
Hey look the plots back, took long enough. So the guys guys find that floppy disk and decide to start looking over it since Ramon used his one phone call to tell them there was some weird shit going on. They start doing random l33t h4x0r shit until they find out that it’s actually a worm that’s been slowly sucking up money while the other virus is there to distract them from the worm that’s stealing money, honestly a kind of clever plan. But the plan also gets their pals locked up so they have to stop him!
They decide to do a massive hack attack to completely download the file, which they’ll use to expose Hal as the bad guy. They go over to the guys who run that Hack the world show and tell them about their plan, and they agree to help. The next day, the hacking begins. A big chunk of the rest of the film is that, and at the end they successfully hack the file, as well as stopping the boats from capsizing. However the cops just so happen to get there, so everyone gets arrested, everyone except for Cereal that is. Just as they’re being carried off Dade tosses the floppy disk in the trash and drops a hint to Cereal as to where it is, and he gets it.
Just as everyone’s being interrogated, Cereal broadcasts the truth on television, and gets everyone freed and the bad guys arrested. I’m not even going to give a joking hooray. After that, Dade and Kate get together and no one learns anything. The end!
Fucks sake this move was a mess! You think this review is long as is, there is so much I needed to cut out from this review! That being said, it was also a hilarious mess. The characters are bland, the story is ridiculous, and the hacking scenes are just stupid! I repeat, this film took twice as long as it should have since we just kept pausing to observe it to laugh at it more. It’s really great! I do recommend it, but don’t expect to remember much about it. I hope you guys have a nice thanksgiving, and I’ll see you guys next week.