Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Remake Projector: Hackers

Okay so I heard that they were remaking Wierd Science. I'm not the type of guy to shouts, "Hey remakes are awful. Why fix it if it aint broke," but I do have a few apprehensions. This movie is in a class of what I call spiritual period pieces. By that I mean what makes the movie endearing and not god awful are the traits it has because of time in which it was made. On paper the plot could be the most misogynistic piece of shit ever, but John Hughes managed to catch lighting in a bottle and make it empowering to a generation of nerds. Oingo Boingo and Kelly LeBrock didn't hurt. I doubt it could be done again.

But you know a movie screaming to be remade. Hackers. I love that movie. Or rather the first half of that movie. It is bad though. And moreover dated. Not dated in the cool nostalgic aww  yeah  "let's break out the glow sticks way" (This movie introduced me to The Prodigy to this day one of my favorite music acts). Dated in the "I can't believe we actually thought like that" way.

So how would I remake it.

Set it in Grad School Instead of High School
This fixes so many of the movies problems. Some of the characters come off as spoiled teenaged because in the movie that's what they are. Kate's mom is rich and lets Kate do whatever the hell she wants.  I get that the attitude is suppose to be somewhat nerdy wish fulfillment, but when you stop and think about it, Dade and Kate are kind of assholes. Most of the other characters are mostly likable but these are our two leads. I think aging them up would allow for them to have moments where the positively insane amounts of freedom they have kind of make sense, and could at the same time reveal more character depth.

Furthermore it was always nuts to me that these kids who only started programing maybe three years ago could outwit a million dollar megacorp that probably has guys who have been at since the old push card days.

Setting the story in grad school would allow the characters the experience and equipment to do the mega awesome stuff the plot calls for, rather than waving your hands and saying computers. Which leads to.

Realistic Computing
One of the reasons why I think a remake of this movie could be poignant is because cyber war is now a thing. We know the kinds of things someone wanting to disrupt a nation or business' computers would target.  And that stuff could be really interesting.  What Plague was trying to do in original really didn't matter. The plot wasn't about how the heroes are going to stop cyber terrorism. That wasn't the point. The point was look how cool they look while stopping terrorism. I think however that yeah. A movie about white hats is a plot worth exploring.  Especially after the South Korean thing.

The Plot
Okay. After thinking about it I want to take the bear bones of the plot and make it work. Here I go go. Dade Murphy has recently begun his post graduate research at a well respected technical University in Washington DC. An accident in the lab causes the university's computers to go hey wire resulting in not only Dade's expulsion from the program, but the university's decision to temporally suspend operations of the computer science research lab entirely.

This causes a rift between him and his former friends who are left in the learch. When major cyber attacks begin to occur they however see it as an opportunity to get the Computer Science program reinstated by getting the government to use it as a technical consultant in discovering the source of the attacks.

(Yeah this is where I said, "Screw it. I'm just going to write it" so I'm stopping soon.)

Because of Dade's actions and a wariness of hackers in general the government distrusts the protagonists, but because of the university's reputation believes that they are one the closest and best qualified research institutions available for this type of work.

While some but not all of his old friends are begrudgingly on speaking terms with him, it's clear he's not getting anywhere near that school again. As a result the guys behind the cyber attacks approach him to be a mole.

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