Untraceable (2008)

Remember, way back in like 1995 or 1996 when the totality of mainstream media coverage of “The Internet” was pretty much that it was for bomb making recipes and pedos?  Well that really seems like forever ago now, particularly given that they’ve all embraced what we already knew was a great thing, so things are pretty much as they should be.

(The next battle is “them” trying, increasingly desperately, to take it over from us.  But they’ll fail in the end – because they’re stupid and greedy and closed minded, and we’re smart and greedy and free.  Their greed is for money, ours is for information – and information wants to be free on The Great Big Planetary Copying Machine that we all take such delight in plugging our brains into every day.)

So to have a movie like Untraceable come out, in two thousand and fucking eight, all about the dangers of the Evil Immoral Internet…  It just seems like some sort of bizarre, anachronistic joke.

Evil Genius sets up an untraceable video stream, plumps a victim down in front of the camera, and sets the pace of their death to the number of viewers of the stream – more people watching means faster murder.  So of course the stream goes crazy.  It’s grim as hell.  And utterly ridiculous.  But I tolerate these things for the sake of movies.

But what I don’t necessarily tolerate is dialog in my movies that is serving the interests of the corporate owners of the movie producer.  For instance there’s an interaction at one point, completely out of left field, about network neutrality, and how the killer is in favour of it – because obviously only insane killers want the free, open, level playing field that made the internet the incredible outlet of artistic & technical innovation (and kitten photos) that it is.

This is just dropped into a scene, for no obvious reason.

Not long before that, there’s a brief discussion of a file sharing site  – but if you download the free music, you’ll be infected with a backdoor that steals your bank records and passwords.  Oh, obviously.  That must be why no one downloads TV, movies, or music online – because they’re all instantly pwned by The Evil Blackhats.  Or, millions of people do in fact download exactly such things every single day with only the very occasional piss-weak little virus to be seen, and this is all just complete scaremongering bullshit.

Occams razor comes to our rescue once again.

All of which leads me to believe that the whole damn movie is a nasty stinking piece of vile PR oozed from the backroom of a smokey private club, produced as part of the marketing campaign for a cabal of Big Media Companies, probably written by people who usually provide spin and damage control for the RIAA and MPAA, when they sue solo mothers, crippled children, and laser printers.  (I’m not kidding about that last one, these fucking tools served notice on a laser printer for downloading music.)

Some of the performances are ok, but I just cannot tolerate this kind of bald-faced, anti-individual freedom, pro-Corporate… rhetoric.

(The pro-corporate stuff is only present “between the lines”, the other side of it isn’t nearly as subtle though – it’s a simple rhetorical device, find something that everyone can agree is bad, i.e. torturing a kitten to death, and then pretend that you need to take away everyone’s freedom to vote or fly in an aeroplane, or more kittens will be killed.)

Please, just let this movie, and any others that follow it, die.