HACKERS 1995,
my favourite movie of all time

I used to be joking when I said that, but after 10+ viewings, I don't think I ever was. Hackers (1995), directed by Iain Softley and starring Jonny Lee Miller, Matthew Lillard, Renoly Santiago, Angelina Jolie, and a whole host of other colorful characters, really is just that good.
Hackers follows a group of, well, teenage hackers in New York City and their fight against FBI agents, corrupt corporate techheads, and a city that is being phased into the unreal, that of the World Wide Web. Through Macintoshes and pagers and floppy disc drives, we follow our cast of characters - ranging from the overeager Joey (Jesse Bradford), to the effortlessly cool and clever Lord Nikon (Laurence Mason) and his boyfriend/best friend, I swear, the wild Cereal Killer (Matthew Lillard), to our main characters, Crash and Burn - Crash Override and Acid Burn, played by Jonny Lee Miller and Angelina Jolie.
I don't want to say much about the main plot here, because if you're interested already, I urge you to go watch it now! Despite it's reputation as a "so bad it's good" movie, I refute that and promise you, dear reader, Hackers (1995) is a real fun time that you won't regret.

Anyway, into my thoughts!

If it wasn't immediately obvious, I adore this movie. Everything, from it's elaborate costuming (I mean, seriously, look at the amount of drip these guys have), fantastic soundtrack (including hits from the Prodigy, Orbital, Stereo MCs, and more) and trippy visuals, to the message it perpetuates. These kids are hackers, sure, vandals of a modern, second inseperable world, and they get arrested and tracked and framed, but it's all about them and their liberation. They're fighting for something that they've claimed as their own, and they'll do anything to keep it.
Something that Dade Murphy, Crash Override, is concerned with throughout the movie, is his criminal record from previous cybercrimes. It's held above his head by authority figures, by his mother, even invisibly by the adult world that he's searching to inhabit.
In the end, though, it's only when he lets go of expectations and these fears is he truly able to come into his own alongside his hacker friends and save the day.
Instead of this surface reality he's expected to join, he finds his real friends underground; in the subway, in televisioned clubs, in the cavelike Cyberdelia, where all the young hackers of NYC hang out, illegal tape vendors outside and phone phreakers inside.


Hackers doesn't care about if this is what this new age was designed for - it only cares about the fact that it's become that, that the bad guys will be stopped and righteous hacks remain true.
I watch the Fantom Phreak use a mini cassette recorder (although it had been a proper phreaker's blue/red box in the script, as far as I can tell) to get a free long-distance phone call and I wonder;
"Why does he have to do that, actually?" or "Why did someone have to find a solution to that?" and sometimes, "Why can't I do that?"



if you enjoyed HACKERS, you should try:
Jet Set Radio Future: an OG XBOX game where you play as cel-shaded rollerbladers in the fictional Tokyo-To, fighting rival gangs and the police
.hack// (dot hack): a ps2/ps4/anime/etc series, where you play as MMORPG hackers uncovering secrets about the games
the Matrix: self explanatory. but just in case, you know?


HACK THE PLANET!!!!!!