• Review: I.T. (2016)

    From Mark R. Leeper@21:1/5 to All on Sun Sep 18 23:25:17 2016
    (a film review by Mark R. Leeper)

    CAPSULE: 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.
    But 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
    superpower 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., 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.

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    Mark R. Leeper
    Copyright 2016 Mark R. Leeper

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