Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Net

Watched August 25, 2015

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Jeremy Northam, Dennis Miller

I've continued watching movies based around the internet that were made in the mid-1990's. The Net is another one on the list, it's less about virtual reality and more about the fear of all your information being accessible online.

Angela Bennett (Sandra Bullock) is a computer beta tester who loves the internet. She barely needs to leave the house because she can always order out from, her favorite online pizza delivery site. She lives in the larger Los Angeles area somewhere and works for Cathedral systems, an IT company based in San Francisco. Her mother has Alzheimer's and is in an assisted living facility. Angela visits her regularly, but it's hard watching her mother forget who she is. She doesn't have a lot of friends because she loves computer so much. A coworker from Cathedral Systems sends her a disk for a program they've been debugging called Mozart's Ghost. Once the program launches, there is a pi symbol in the bottom right corner, once pressed it opens a back door to top secret files. She talks to her coworker and they are both curious about what the pi symbol means. Her coworker wants to talk in person so her and he flies down in his personal plane down but a glitch in air traffic control computer makes him crash into some power plant towers. 

The next day Angela heads to Mexico for a beach vacation. That's where she meets Jack (Jeremy Northam.) He's kind of charming and creepy, but he manages to trick her into a date on his boat. A weird dude keeps watching them, eventually he steals Angela's purse on a beach walk. It's all a trap because Jack just wanted the Mozart's Ghost disk. He takes Angela further out on the boat to kill her, but she just thinks it's a nice date and they have sex. While he is below deck, she puts on her clothes and his jacket where she finds his gun. She asks him about the gun and he takes it from her saying it's for shark fishing, with a silencer. Luckily she took clip out so he couldn't shoot her.  She hits him with a bottle of wine, and escapes in the little motor boat only to crash into some nearby rocks. 

Several days later she wakes up in a Mexican hospital without any personal identification. At the US embassy they grant her a temporary visa with the name Ruth Marx, she reluctantly signs it even though the name is wrong. At the airport she goes to where she had left her car and it's gone. When  she gets to her house, it's for sale and open house is going on. Angela goes in and starts freaking out at the realtor.  The cops are called and Angela tries to explain her situation.  The cops run Ruth Marx's name, since that who they think Angela is and she has a bunch of warrants that Jack just added to get her into trouble. Angela escapes out the back door and steals the realtor's phone. She doesn't have any real life friends, but she has an ex-boyfriend Alan (Dennis Miller), who also used to be her therapist. Alan doesn't believe Angela's story at first, that her identity has been switched. They do get Angela checked into a hotel. 

Jack is still tracking Angela since he botched up killing her.  Jack and his group of bad guys mess with Alan's medication and give him penicillin which he is allergic to and he ends up in the hospital. He starts to recover but is then killed. He was the last person who could verify her identity, since her mom has Alzheimer's.

Angela is arrested and tells her story to her court appointed attorney, who doesn't believe her anyway. She is released from jail by a supposed FBI agent who turns out to being working for Jack. She manages to escape the clutches of the fake FBI guy and hitchhikes to San Francisco to the Cathedral offices to figure out who is behind the Pi symbol. She gets into the office and forces everyone out with a fire alarm. She finds out that Jeff Gregg Microsystems guy who created the whole Gateway security system included the Pi back door to manipulate information and people. She copies the info and runs to the Pan Pacific Computer Convention that just happens to be going on down the street. She finds a computer and emails the info to the FBI. Jack finds her chases her onto a cat walk where she hits him with a fire extinguisher and he falls, presumably to his death. The movie ends with her and her still Alzheimer's afflicted mom back at her house. She got her identity back, she is Angela Bennett again.

One of the funniest parts to me is when Jack is flirting with Angela at the Mexican resort. He traces her accent to Southeastern Colorado, which to my knowledge is not a region specific accent at all. Jack also call Angela a clever girl just like in Jurassic Park.

While Jack is still trying to seduce Angela and they are walking on the beach at night she gets cold. She is only wearing a crop top and Jack has a casual suit jacket on. Instead of offering her his jacket, her pulls a large napkin out of his pocket and ties it around her waist. 

It was alright, but overall too long. The pace could have been sped up. The hacking and internet stuff was pretty realistic. She ordered pizza on the net, which is something you can do today. It could easily be remade, the same security issues exist, but that doesn't necessarily make it a compelling movie.

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