Article 4895 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Steven Lisberger
Featuring Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner, David Warner
What it is: Good vs. Evil in VideoGameLand
A hacker intent on finding proof that his work was pirated by an executive at a corporation joins forces with the author of a security program in order to get that evidence, and to break the iron hold a Master Control Program has over the corporation’s computer system.
The primary appeal of this movie is visual; the virtual world of the inside of a computer system in which much of the action takes place makes for some marvelous eye candy. Not that there’s anything wrong with the acting, which is good (my favorite performance here is from David Warner, who excels in villainous roles); it’s just that the type of movie it is doesn’t really require much from the actors other than a certain level of competence. The story has a few problems, largely because its reliance on trying to create visual manifestations of abstract and non-physical concepts occasionally leaves us in a confused muddle; there are moments where it’s rather difficult to tell what’s going on. There are touches that I really like about the movie; the use of color coding to help us separate the good guys from the bad guys is well done, as is the design for David Warner’s desk with a built-in computer in its jet-black top. Fortunately, for the most part, the eye candy is enough to hold the interest here, and for what it’s worth, I like the movie a lot more than I like the video-game it inevitably spawned.