Run time: 107 mins
In Theaters: Friday 15th September 1995
Distributed by: MGM Home Entertainment
Production compaines: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 34%
Fresh: 14 Rotten: 27
IMDB: 6.2 / 10
Director: Iain Softley
Screenwriter: Rafael Moreu
Starring: Jonny Lee Miller as Dade Murphy / 'Crash Override' / 'Zero Cool', Angelina Jolie as Kate Libby / 'Acid Burn', Jesse Bradford as Joey Pardella, Matthew Lillard as Emmanuel Goldstein / 'Cereal Killer', Renoly Santiago as Ramon Sanchez / 'Phantom Phreak', Fisher Stevens as Eugene Belford / 'The Plague' / Mr. Babbage, Alberta Watson as Lauren Murphy, Laurence Mason as Paul Cook / 'Lord Nikon', Lorraine Bracco as Margo, Wendell Pierce as S.S. Agent Richard Gill, Michael Gaston as S.S. Agent Bob, Marc Anthony as S.S. Agent Ray, Penn Jillette as Hal, Peter Y. Kim as Blade, Darren Lee as Razor, Liza Walker as Laura, Bob Sessions as Duke Ellingson, Ethan Browne as Curtis, Blake Willett as S.S. Agent, Seattle, Max Ligosh as Young Dade Murphy / 'Zero Cool'
Okay, so some liberties have been taken with technology (an Intel P6 chip powers an Apple PowerBook), but at least the terminology the hackers use is essentially right. The story may sound familiar. Bad corporate computer dude Eugene aka Plague (Fisher Stevens) and his accomplice (Lorraine Bracco) team up for a little multi-million dollar theft, when a bunch of young punks stumble upon the plan. The gaggle of teen-aged of hackers includes Dade aka Crash Override (Jonny Lee Miller), Kate aka Acid Burn (Angelina Jolie), and the show-stealing Cereal Killer (Matthew Lillard), among others. Together, the hackers have to foil the theft and avoid having numerous felony charges pinned on them, plus save the world from ecological disaster thanks to a Plague-written virus that capsizes oil tankers.
Whatever. The plot is pretty silly, thanks in part to the combined efforts of the ridiculous Stevens-Bracco combination, who you just can't stop laughing at. And of course, the premise is absurd, placing technology we probably won't see for another 15 years in the hands of kids. Every hacker worth his salt knows that it just isn't that easy to crack systems. At least Matthew Broderick had to resort to a lot of research.
But this is all beside the point, because the film is actually worthwhile. The real draw to Hackers is that it is so unexpectedly funny. Really funny. The comic scenes with the kids (and there are lots of them) are totally hilarious. The "serious" scenes are too, because they are often so ridiculous. Watching the woefully miscast Bracco trying to pull off her role as "the sultry executive accessory to the crime" is worth the cost of admission alone.
In the end, seeing Hackers is a lot like watching MTV for two hours. There's not a lot under the surface, the music is fast and loud, the camera shakes around a lot, but it's really colorful and generally fun.