In 1995 a film came out called Hackers, starring a Angelina Jolie with short hair and also introduced us to the wild antics of Matthew Lillard, even though he wasn’t the lead. The movie become a cult hit entertaining nerds worldwide and inspiring hackers and non-hackers to explore deeper technological philosophies. A sequel was put into the works, however, the sequel never surfaced under the name Hackers 2 for many mysterious reasons one of which involved controversy over the subject matter. Hackers 2 is out on Dvd, however it is titled: Track Down or some versions are titled: Takedown. Yes, one movie and over 3 titles, but for me just one review.

Track Down, is what it said on my Dvd, was directed by Joe Chappelle and stars Skeet Ulrich and Russel Wong as Kevin Mitnick and Tsutomu Shimomura; hacker and computer security guy. The story is based on the true story of one of the world’s most notorious hacker cases and the book as written by Shimomura who was tracking Mitnick. This time around the story wasn’t getting the same support from Hackers as the first film did, glorifying young teens and their hacking skills, this time the film is based more in reality and Mitnick fans did not want their idol turned into a villain.

Looking back at the first film one may wonder why it seemed so cool at the time. In retrospect it is fairly corny, though still rather entertaining. In Track Down the story is a well told drama without the flashy character and colors of the first film. You might think suspense cannot be properly achieved in a movie where people are looking at computer screens and pretending to type a bunch, but you might be wrong. The film is very well paced and I found myself actively rooting for Mitnick. Mitnick? Contrary to the complaints of the Hacker underground I found that his character was indeed given a fair shake at things and was kept human and almost made to be the victim. Good movie.

The acting fits, this isn’t an Oscar caliber film, but rather a nice find for plopping into an online rental que. Fan of the first film should have already seen this movie by now, however it did do a god job of staying off of the release radar. Track Down a copy and enjoy because it is worth a rent.