I really have been flummoxed about how to write about Hackers; between the frustrating hubbub of the holiday season, the mad dash to get all the shopping done and the fact that I’ve had some sort of odd malaise that’s made me feel downright exhausted most of the time, all I could brainstorm was LOLINTERNETS. Because that, essentially, is what Hackers boils down to.
Instead of giving you LOLINTERNETS (you come here for more than that, right? I’m not sure what you’re coming for, the witty banter, the inspired comedy, or any of the other number of things I attempt and fail at), I give you the five best things about Hackers:
1. Fisher Stevens
Stevens plays the network security dude for a large corporation who attempts to pawn the blame off for his nefarious theft scheme on a group of high school hackers, headed by the unnaturally attractive Angelina Jolie and Jonny Lee Miller. Stevens’ baddie isn’t content to just scheme and plot in dastardly ways, nor is he happy to just mess around with one of the executives, played by Lorraine Bracco. No, he must mess with Dade Murphey (Miller’s character), a computer genius struggling to stay out of trouble after he hacked the NYSE at a young age. And it’s there that Stevens’ character really shines, after all, since he’s working for the man and yet totally against the man. Hell, Stevens’ character is against everyone who’s not Fisher Stevens. And he skateboards everywhere, even holding on to his super fancy limo and skateboarding down an abandoned street to pick up a floppy disc (remember those?) from Dade.
2. The Internet Is Fluorescent
Image found here.
While it’s a definite upgrade from Johnny Mnemonic‘s surfer dude meets Japanese fashion sense interpretation of the Internet, Hackers‘ vision is no less funny, with shots running through circuit boards and wiring lit up neon and bright. Even funnier is the depictions of a massive corporation’s networked computers, with Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller fame as the computer jockey running the board.
3. The Random Celebrities
Dude, everyone is in this movie. Angelina Jolie, before she was famous. Poor Jonny Lee Miller, who married and divorced Jolie and went on to star in such abysmal fare as Dracula 2000 and Mansfield Park and lead a quiet, ‘hey, it’s that dude’ sort of existence. Marc Anthony who was a singer once upon a time and is probably most famous for being Mr. J-Lo pops up as an FBI Agent. Matthew Lillard is freaking hilarious as a permastoned hacker named Cereal Killer; Lorraine Bracco portrays a nervy corporate exec in league with Fisher Stevens’ villain. And as mentioned before, Penn Jillette took a break from his busy magic schedule to be in this one.
4. Teenager Hackers Save The Planet
Environmentally conscious and disgusted with corporate greed, these teenagers can tackle anything! Sure, they can barely attend Pre-Calculus, but when they’re not taking down anti-hacker government agents and uncovering plots to destroy oil tankers and steal money, these kids are always up for a good time. They’re like the cyberpunk Planeteers or something, but hotter.
5. The Takedown of Richard Gill
One word: Montage-tastic! The hacker teens conspire to figure out who’s the best hacker – Jolie or Miller – by having a competition to see who can ruin Richard Gill’s life the most. Gill’s a government agent who focuses on cybercrime, so it’s only natural that he’s hacker enemy number one. The hackers add Gill’s name to an erotic personal ad, nearly bankrupt him, ruin his credit rating and have him classified as ‘deceased’. It’s a funny sequence of moments, mainly because the guy who plays Richard Gill plays the straight man exceptionally well, but also because of the slightly inventive ways in which the hackers take him down.