#221: Hackers 2: Hacksploitation

Last week we discussed one 1995 movie that attempted to reckon with the brave new world of the internet. This week, we’re discussing the other. Hackers was far less financially successful than The Net at the time, but it has arguably achieved a far greater legacy, thanks to its iconic soundtrack and status as a minor cult classic.

Where The Net used the conceit of the internet to construct a fairly run-of-the-mill thriller, Hackers taps into the emerging youth culture that would embrace the new digital era. The details may at times be laughably inaccurate, but it’s a smarter, more distinctive movie all the same.

It’s also notable for being one of the first notable roles for Angelina Jolie, who stars as elite cyber-hacker Kate ‘Acid Burn’ Lilly. Alongside co-star (and future husband) Jonny Lee Miller, her character is pitted against Fisher Stevens’ villainous corporate cyber criminal known, hilariously, as The Plague.

The plot of the film is… convoluted, to say the least. Even moreso than The Net, Hackers makes little to no effort to dig into the logistics of how hacking – or computing in general – actually works. The characters are instead treated as though their coding abilities are magical powers, and cyberspace is another dimension they can tap and out of at will. It’s confusing as all hell, but undeniably entertaining if you put any questions aside and just let it wash over you.

On this week’s episode, we recap the movie and discuss some of our highlights, including random skateboarding, Lorraine Bracco’s highly distracting wig work and some genuinely quite cool gender fluid costume choices. We also brainstorm some drinking games, pitch sequel ideas and check in with our listeners for their reactions.

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Next week, we’re landing on an actor whose oeuvre we’ve never covered before, with a time travel action classic for the ages! Until then, happy listening and remember – update your passwords regularly!