Angela Bennett (Sandra Bullock) is a freelance computer systems analyst who tracks down software viruses. At night she hooks up to the internet and chats to others 'surfing the net'. While de-bugging a high-tech game, she comes across a top secret programme and becomes the target of a mysterious organisation who will stop at nothing to erase her identity and her existence, in order to protect the project.
, the first of Hollywood's big cyber-thrillers of the mid-1990s, was also the most successful, thanks in large part to the natural appeal of star Sandra Bullock. Still riding high from Speed
and While You Were Sleeping
, Bullock plays a computer expert victimised by sinister cyber-forces who steal her identity for reasons unknown. It's a clever combination of high-tech paranoia and Hitchcockian references (including Jeremy Northam as a romantic stranger named Devlin, after Cary Grant in Notorious
). Film historians may look back someday on films like this--Roger Ebert calls them "hacksploitation"--to see what they reveal about our society's reaction to the increasing role of technology in our lives, just as we now study the fears of Communism and the atom bomb reflected in films of the 1950s. Dennis Miller and Diane Baker co-star. --Jim Emerson, Amazon.com