"Hackers" is computer fantasy, with it's characters wandering around in a flashy, surreal cyberspace that doesn't look like anything the computers I've worked with have produced. Still, that doesn't make the effort from director Iain Softley any less enjoyable.
Johnny Lee Miller ("Trainspotting") stars as Dade, a young computer hacker who has moved to New York City, and wastes no time putting his computer to work once again. He quickly meets up with a group with similar interests, who is headed by one Kate Libby (Angelina Jolie, in the film's best performance). Both sense a challenge and spend a good deal of the film's early half trying to better each other in their skills with a computer. When a member of the group goes a little too far though, the two find themselves framed by a corrupt security offical who plans to sink a number of oil tankers.
It's all fairly light and silly, but there's an energy about it all that keeps it charming and entertaining. Performances from Jolie and Miller are good, and the two have an enjoyable chemistry together. The only failure really is the performance of Fisher Stevens as the "bad guy" of the film - he overacts and doesn't create much of a villian. "Hackers" is not great, but it makes for an entertaining time-waster.
VIDEO: Not a bad effort from MGM, but the 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer isn't very impressive. Images are crisp, but could stand to be a little sharper and more consistent. What really stands out are the colors - the picture is full of eye-popping colors and they are presented very well here, never showing signs of color bleeding or any other problems. Artifacts are kept to a minimum and never become distracting for image quality that doesn't quite reach the standards that some new releases have attained, but still manages to be pleasing.
SOUND: In terms of audio, the movie is almost nothing except for an agressive (and sometimes overwhelmingly so) techno soundtrack that blasts throughout the movie. Surrounds are used effectively on occasion and dialogue is alright, sometimes seemingly a little low in volume.
MENUS:: Basic menus with slight animation and the score playing behind them.
Final Thoughts: Maybe worth a rental.
The Film C
Video 85/B = (340/400 possible points)
Audio: 87/B = (348/400 possible points)
Extras: 65/D = (195/300 possible points)
Menus 70/C- = (140/200 possible points)
Value: 80/B- = (240/300 possible points)
FILM GRADE: C
DVD GRADE: C