Directed by John Moore
Starring Pierce Brosnan, James Frecheville, Anna Friel, Stefanie Scott and Michael Nyqvist.
A wealthy tycoon finds his life has been taken over by an IT consultant. He, his family and his home are under attack from all the technology that they take for granted.
He’s the geek that you’d ignore most of the time – until your pc gets the jitters and he suddenly becomes a hero, the guy who can restore normality in your life. And yet, as the IT guy works his magic, we usually don’t have a clue what he’s doing. We just trust him. Which makes him really powerful.
It also makes him a decent enough starting point for a film. But it quickly loses its edge when it’s given perhaps the least inspired title of the year. And, when it becomes apparent that about the same level of imagination that went into that title has gone into the film itself, the phrase “hiding to nothing” comes to mind. If you happen to be a Pierce Brosnan fan, that might be its saving grace. If not, you’re in for a hard slog.
Brosnan is literally a high-flyer, the founder of a luxury aviation company who’s about to launch an app – “Uber for private jets”, as he describes it – but needs backing to do it. When a crucial video breaks down mid-presentation, one of the IT team is pulled in to put things right and he’s temp Ed (James Frecheville), who gets things up and running in the miraculous blink of an eye. Brosnan’s so impressed he invites him to give the IT in his fabulously high-tech house the once over. Ed is through the door, but outstays his welcome when it becomes apparent that he doesn’t understand the difference between “boss” and “friend.”
And if you’ve guessed what he got up to in the house and how he gets his revenge, join the club, because it’s obvious from the moment he walks through the door of the Brosnan residence. It’s dominated by technology, with control panels on every wall so that everything is controlled by simply touching a pad – music, water, lights inside and outside, the lot. It’s a fabulous house, all white walls, glass and chrome, but even though Brosnan, his wife Rose (Anna Friel) and teenage daughter Kaitlyn (Stefanie Scott) live there, it’s not very welcoming and feels anything but homely.
So it comes as no surprise whatsoever that Ed starts to interfere in their lives, using all the technology at his fingertips to disrupt everything when they least expect it. It might put them on edge, but it doesn’t do much for the audience, nor does James Frecheville’s performance which is neither creepy nor sinister, just vaguely bonkers. Brosnan tries to fight fire with fire, employing a batty tech specialist (Michael Nyqvist) of his own so he can put a stop to Ed’s shenanigans, but eventually has to resort to something more old-fashioned.
Despite all the technology and the slick, streamlined house, the overall effect is clumsy. As the symbol of everything that Brosnan’s character has achieved, the house has to be seriously damaged, if not destroyed. As if that image isn’t heavy handed enough, everything comes to a climax during everybody’s favourite piece of pathetic fallacy, a violent storm. There are moments when it looks like director John Moore has other films in the back of his mind – Cape Fear for one – but it doesn’t get anywhere close. The original premise for I.T. could have taken us somewhere interesting. Instead, the film just keeps buffering.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★