Sunday, April 5

The Net

The Net

By Colburn Tseng

This suspense-thriller, the first of three upcoming movies to
jump on the Internet band-wagon, makes several wrong turns while
negotiating the Information Superhighway, and the result is less
than pretty.

Sandra Bullock stars as Angela Bennett, a reclusive program
tester who becomes entangled in a massive plot to undermine the
security of the nation’s most important computer networks. As
people around her start dropping like flies, Angela finds herself
bereft of passport, credit cards, and identity. According to the
California DMV’s computers, she is Ruth Marx, a convicted
prostitute and drug user with outstanding warrants. On the run from
a British assassin (Jeremy Northam) and the police, Angela turns to
the one person who can vouch for her identity, ex-boyfriend Alan
Champion (Dennis Miller).

The Net touches on some very relevant issues of security in the
computerized world we live in today. As a character modeled after
Microsoft Corporation co-founder and ruler of the universe Bill
Gates says, "Information is power." What would happen if a single
group gained the ability to break into any computer system in the
nation at will?

Unfortunately, the film foregoes in-depth exploration of this
question for standard run-for-your-life chase scenes. This is
largely due to the screenwriters’ apparent ignorance of how
computers work. The internet Angela Bennett accesses and the is
nothing like the one you are using right now. And a lot of the
high-tech shenanigans the so-called internet terrorists pull off
simply can’t be done. These discrepancies create enormous holes in
the film’s plot and logic that will make those with moderate
computer literacy roll their eyes with disbelief. Though Bullock
has never been better and Dennis Miller steals every scene he’s in,
the actors are unable to save The Net from its crappy script. Let’s
hope Virtuosity and Hackers are better.

FILM: The Net. Directed by Irwin Winkler. Written by John
Brancato & Michael Ferris. Starring Sandra Bullock, Jeremy
Northam, and Dennis Miller

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