Hey guys have you heard about this hip new thing called The Net? It’s freaking awesome, you can order pizza or chat with people from the comfort of your home. I know, I know, it sounds like science fiction but these are the nineties and the future is now. But I should also warn you about the dangers of this new technology. If all your info is online and the bank is online and the freaking FBI is online, that’s like really dangerous. Mostly because all your life could be forever changed with a click of a button.
The Net is another one of those nineties computer fad movies, much like Hackers, another movie about ‘puters. It’s adorably mainstream, with probably the sexiest computer programmer ever to grace the screens. Sandra Bullock was great as Angela Bennet, an anti-social IT expert on the run. So they basically took the plot of The Fugitive, a movie that came out two years earlier, and put a technological twist on it. And it worked surprisingly well. This is a robust nineties thriller with great atmosphere and pacing. Complete with a drawbridge scene that was obligatory back then.
Angela Bennett, an overworked computer programmer is finally going on vacation. She spends most of her time online, rarely going out so she’s looking forward to taking a time out. Just as she’s about to leave, her colleague Dale sends her a diskette containing a suspicious program. A program that will soon cause a whole lot of trouble for Angela.
After a quarter of a century, it’s delightfully dated and if you’re feeling nostalgic about the nineties or ye olde technology, it will do just fine. Ahh, to hear the sound of a dial-up modem connecting to the Internet over the phone line is like music to my ears. The Net also explores several important technological issues like identity theft, hacking, and other types of online manipulation. If you’re looking for a more comical rendition of one of these subjects I recommend you check out Identity Thief from 2013.
The Net is a wholesome experience meaning there will be no nudity, explicit violence, or explosions. It plays like a really well-thought-out government-issued movie about the dangers of this new thing called The Internet. The same way people were shitting bricks when the electricity was making the rounds. Today, it’s funny to look back at this time and think what’s the thing we’re fearing now. Could it be artificial intelligence?
Anywhoo, I also wanted to talk about how they developed the shit out of Angela’s character. You really could empathize with her, especially now when most of us are living these virtual lives. Not to mention the whole subplot involving her mother suffering from dementia. You can see where they were going with it but it also gave a very emotional note to the movie. Finally, if you’re looking for more similar movies check out Enemy of the State. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Lawnmower Man, a 1992 cult classic. Enjoy.
Director: Irwin Winkler
Writers: John Brancato, Michael Ferris
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Jeremy Northam, Dennis Miller, Diane Baker, Ray McKinnon, Wendy Gazelle
Fun Facts: On the checklist on Angela’s computer, it says “Bring 2600 Mag,” and 2600 is a real hacker’s magazine.