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.
It’s surprising that “from one of the writers of Terminator 2: Judgement Day” wasn’t plastered all over the marketing for Pierce Brosnan’s latest low-rent thriller romp, because William Wisher Jr.’s involvement is just about the only remotely promising thing this film has going for it. Then you remember T2 was 25 years ago and Wisher has since written Sylvester Stallone’s Judge Dredd and two Exorcist prequels nobody asked for. I.T., arriving amid little enthusiasm or reason to exist, is like-minded company.
Aviation mogul Mike Regan (Brosnan) is on the eve of taking his company public and launching a nifty new phone app that will serve as “Uber for planes” for the wealthy elite. When Regan encounters a technical hiccup during a business presentation, he’s bailed out by IT consultant Ed Porter (James Frecheville), and though Regan initially takes kindly to the young techie, he quickly becomes bothered by his attempts to invade both Regan’s personal and professional life, using his technological know-how as a powerful weapon.
Following on from the former Bond star’s recent sojourns into the made-for-video market with Survivor and Urge comes a howlingly undercooked cyber-thriller helmed by hack-for-hire John Moore (Max Payne, A Good Day to Die Hard). Though competently made, I.T.‘s worst sin ultimately isn’t that it’s an inane B-movie, but rather that long stretches of it are stamina-drainingly dull.
Is there any particular reason to care about Regan’s fancy phone app or his pending meeting with the Securities and Exchange Commission? Not really; it’s boring as Hell, and the cast frequently seems tired as they try to act their way through some truly stodgy dialogue.
Brosnan still has a certain welcome grit and gravitas here and he’s probably trying harder than anyone to make it work (not saying much, though), yet Animal Kingdom’s immensely talented James Frecheville is thoroughly wasted as the oddball antagonist. As for Anna Friel (playing Regan’s wife) and Michael Nyquist (playing a tech expert attempting to stop Porter’s activities), their work doesn’t even touch the sides here, and Stefanie Scott (as Regan’s school-age daughter) is little more than somewhat queasy eye candy.
The initial set-up falters because it actually feels like entire scenes of context and character-building are missing; Regan goes from befriending Ed to being standoffish in the blink of an eye, and it doesn’t quite fit. In fact, nobody really behaves all that realistically throughout – even for the dramatically heightened standards of tosh like this – and as such the whole film ends up feeling rather off.
For fans of cringe cinema, however, there is a treasure trove of unintentional comedy, especially a preposterously misplaced scene of the villain lip syncing to a pop song and a ludicrous third-act sequence in which the family tries to scrub their presence from the web, apparently unaware of web caching which makes such attempts rather futile. Logic as a whole isn’t placed at a premium, which in addition to slippery character motivations leads to a third-act showdown both hilariously convoluted and mostly lacking in suspense.
At least it’s relatively well produced, and that’s really the one aspect here that actually succeeds. Moore may yet to make an especially good movie, but almost all of his films are visually enticing, and I.T. benefits from relatively sharp cinematography and solid composition, but that’s largely where the praise ends. It’s good for a few unintended chuckles and might do something for the hardcore Brosnan acolytes, but largely it’s just the same old hat techno-thriller cliches in a shiny new wrapper.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★
Shaun Munro – Follow me on Twitter for more film rambling.