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The Net

If you’re looking for an uneven movie about computer programs, murders, and dated computers, look no further than 1995’s The Net – or another movie that sounds similar to this but isn’t The Net. This sums up much of my thoughts about the movie but when I ended up sitting through the whole ordeal thinking ‘it’s not so terrible but still really bland’, why not write about it?

The Net stars Sandra Bullock as Angela Bennett, a software specialist that keeps to herself most of the time. Her woes began when her employer sends her a floppy disk and asks her what she makes of it. The knowledge of the program soon sends her into a mess as the program is inevitably powerful stuff and people are trying to recover the disk and kill her in the process. 

The story was very uneven. Despite the number of events that amass due to the program, it wasn’t given much emphasis on; rather it was mentioned in passing and that was that. The reason why the need for the program’s back door to be undiscovered wasn’t strongly pushed; it would have helped if the actual mastermind had more of a role in pursuing Bennett rather than the movie heavily relying on Jack Devlin, who isn’t the best henchman. 

Because the development of the main problem was weak, the narrative relies solely on discrediting Bennett – deleting her entire existence, infiltrating her workplace with a namesake, and harming those she comes contact with. While it provides that thrilling pace for a cyber-related movie, the content and context of the narrative gets wiped out. Instead of having a thriller with actual content (no matter how dated it is), it stays on the thriller side without any explanation and is left with character indifference and gaping plot holes. 

I never felt that Sandra Bullock phones in any of her performances, no matter how mindless the material seems to be. Despite the number of successes she makes, she still ends up starring in unimaginative movies and tries to sell them. It doesn’t help her cause that her co-star was uncharismatic. Despite Jeremy Northam having a really debonair-sounding character, his antagonist was so uninspired that he doesn’t make any sort of impact when he’s onscreen. 

The synopsis of this movie makes it sound more interesting than it really is. I also feel that this was somehow generic, and that I have seen something similar to its tone that might even starred Sandra Bullock. It might have even been this same movie for all I know!


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