I.T. (2016) (a film review by Mark R. Leeper).

September 18, 2016 | By | 1 Reply More

Pierce Brosnan plays Mike Regan, a very-wealthy entrepreneur who is about to start a new enterprise that will make him super-wealthy. But no sooner is his new corporation started then his efforts are hit by an Internet hacker with seemingly unlimited cyber-powers. Regan finds he must fight to save his business and his family. John Moore directs a screenplay by Dan Kay and William Wisher, Jr. What Regan’s nemesis can do is chilling enough, but it all seems fairly credible. The film gets points for being as scary as it is plausible. It loses points because if you take out the software speculations, what is left is a rather pedestrian stalker film. ‘I.T.’ pits a man played by a former James Bond actor against a hacker and Bond does not come off so well as he does in the films.

Rating: +1 (-4 to +4) or 6/10.

We are seeing a lot of films about people with super-powers. They are all fictional but there really are people with super-powers. Their powers take the form of tech savvy. Technical expertise is a super-power that really does exist and what technical hackers really can do is fairly frightening. We do not see them often in films just because Internet hacking is not visually very exciting. There may not be someone looking at you or your private personal data at this instant but there are a lot of people who could if and when they want to. As one of the characters of ‘I.T.’ observes, privacy is over.

I.T. (2016) (a film review by Mark R. Leeper).

I.T. (2016) (a film review by Mark R. Leeper).

‘I.T.’, pronounced ‘eye-tea’, is short for ‘Information Technology’. It can also refer to a person who does I.T. works with information technology and if such a person chooses to be a hacker he/she can find a frightening range of Internet information including personal data. The I.T. in I.T. seems to have unlimited powers. Is all that he does in this film possible? I do not know. Anything I could tell you about what an I.T. can do would be hearsay and I should not state it as fact. Is what we see in this film plausible? It certainly seems that way to me.

‘I.T.’ is a fairly common stalker film combined with some frightening and, yes, plausible suggestions as to what a data hacker might well be able to do if so inclined. Pierce Brosnan plays Mike Regan, very rich now and soon to be much richer. His new enterprise is to create for private airplanes what Uber is to cars. His new app will make him very, very, rich. He knows business and he knows running companies. For his cyber connections. he has a top-flight staff to solve any technical problems he runs into and that is just what happens.

As he is officially announcing his new company, he has a computer failure. Up pops on of his ITs, Ed Porter (played by James Frecheville). In seconds, Ed is able to diagnose and fix the computer problem. Mike is very impressed and invites Ed to his high-tech home to meet his family and, incidentally, to fix up his house’s cyber-networking. Ed is happy to oblige and fixes up the electronics all over the Regan house. At this point, dear reader, if you cannot figure out what is coming, I hope you enjoy the film.

Pierce Brosnan is actually an interesting choice to play Mike. Having played Remington Steele and James Bond, we see him as someone effective at getting what he wants and he is successful at eliminating his enemies. He is the best …uh…of the Old School. Here he is matched against someone who is the best from the new school. Ed is not very good in a physical fight. He nonetheless has the technical power to take away his victim’s entire life in just a few hours. Which is the more powerful? It is fairly clear that Mike is over-matched. When they are in the same room, Mike has a physical edge. But with a modest room of equipment, it is rather clear that Ed is a much more powerful force. Ed can crash automobiles and drop planes from the sky without ever leaving his desk chair. At least, from what we see in this film, it looks like the future belongs to the hackers.

‘I.T.’ is worth seeing not for the strength of the basic story but for an idea of the sort of damage a technical hacker would actually be able to do. I rate I.T. a +1 on the -4 to +4 scale or 6/10.

 

Mark R. Leeper

(c) Mark R. Leeper 2016

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Category: Films, Horror, MEDIA

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