Written and directed by Joe Kawasaki.
DISCLAIMER: Some plot details are discussed, but the ending isn’t given away.
Here’s a story about hackers unleashing anger upon other hackers and to the public. Stat, a security expert, awakens from being beaten and her abode thrashed. She gets another nasty surprise: her iPhone is glued to her hand with a timer running. With the help of two fellow hackers over remote video (Martin Copping, Sonalii Castillo), she tries to stop the timer and seeks out black hat hacker Jesse (Travis Aaron Wade), who had earlier assaulted her. What point is Jesse trying to make? Will Stat avert disaster?
As I have taken Computer Science classes, I have to air my grievances. First, Apple devices don’t use Microsoft-based command prompt/terminal software. Stat should furiously type Unix commands as Unix is the underlying part of Mac OS X.
Second, a mere text editor can’t be used to properly dissect an executable file. As an .exe file is filled with gibberish-looking machine code, it’s more appropriate to use a hex editor and other tools. I would expect Stat, a talented hacker herself, to arm herself with knowledge like an Old West card sharp protects himself from card cheats.
Also, when there’s an aspiring hacktivist explicitly assaulting or threatening several women, his threat should’ve been tied to the values of womanhood for a more interesting plot.
Now that the inner programmer is put away, I have no issues with the actors’ performances. It’s a pleasure seeing Emily Somers, and an even bigger pleasure speaking with her, playing an unglamorous hacker. Travis Aaron Wade, a former Marine, convinces as an anti-social, network-knowing menace. Kawasaki’s gritty production values fit the peril facing the hackers and never seems cheap.
Reboot’s messages about the dangers of a Internet-dependent world ring true. Joe’s direction and the actors are solid. Despite a good amount of tension, Stat’s hacking heroics could’ve been better. Two hooves out of four (limited recommendation). In spite of my nitpicking, Reboot is not considered harmful.
Many thanks go to Joe Kawasaki and Sidney Sherman of Rosa Entertainment for allowing me access to the movie and giving the world an intriguing look at hackerdom.
Star Emily Somers