Hops and Box Office Flops: ‘HACKERS – Crash and Burn’
Hackers is the 1990s personified. From its aesthetic to its central narrative, everything in it screams the decade that it’s rooted in. This is both a good and a bad thing. In terms of nostalgia, there is certainly plenty.
And like most high school films of its era, it features a young, attractive cast of up and comers — Johnny Lee Miller, Angelina Jolie, and Matthew Lillard, to name a few.
The trouble is: None of it is relatable or compelling. There is a diverse set of characters, but they aren’t particularly deep. The script just doesn’t flesh them out. Aside from being anti-authority, a staple of teenage movies, there isn’t much else known about them. They like hacking, rollerblading, and smoking; a lot of bones are burned through — sometimes two at a time. Admittedly, two of these things were once actually cool.
It has also never been interesting to watch people type furiously. They did try and stylize this effect, using three-dimensional models to simulate the interworking of a computer, but, alas, it is still just people hurriedly smacking keys that for some reason echo.
That lack of depth is why the movie probably flopped, earning just $7.5 million on a budget of $20 million. Its poor performance is somewhat surprising, though. It had the elements to be a hit — mainly those mentioned above — like the hip cast and the thematic use of computers to stick it to the man.
And, if you’re a child of the 90s, it is sort of fun as a time capsule piece. As silly as all the computer elements may seem now, it’s hilarious to reflect on how things used to be.
So sit back, splice into a Rewired IPA from Red Hare Brewing, and lace up those rollerblades! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. Cash, Chumpzilla, and special guest Mayor McCheese are hacking into the Gibson to take down an egomaniacal corporate security stooge who hangs out with a magician!
This Week’s Segments:
- Introduction/Plot Breakdown – Unfortunately for Hackers, its presentation of groundbreaking technology is quite dated; but does that make it any less enjoyable? (00:00)
- The Mess with the Best, Die Like the Rest Trivia Challenge – I challenge the crew to trivia centered around the movie. (1:03:58)
- Recommendations – Next up: We do what all teens of the 90s did and head to our local shopping mall to hang out and have mindless conversations about all sorts of inconsequential topics. It’s Mallrats! (1:11:46)