Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Net 1

The Net 1


The Net (1995)

The film opens with United States Undersecretary of Defense Michael Bergstrom (Ken Howard), who commits suicide after learning that he has tested positive for HIV.
Angela Bennett (Bullock) is a Venice, California systems analyst who telecommutes to Cathedral Software in San Francisco. Her interpersonal relationships are completely online and on the phone, limiting interactions with neighbors, and her mother (Diane Baker) who is institutionalized with Alzheimer's disease. Bennett's coworker Dale sends her a floppy disk with a backdoor, labeled with "π", to a commonly used computer security system called "Gatekeeper" sold by Gregg Microsystems. Dale and Bennett agree to meet, but his private plane's navigation system malfunctions and it crashes.
Bennett travels to Cozumel, Mexico on vacation, where she meets Jack Devlin (Northam). Devlin pays a mugger to steal Bennett's purse with the disk, then shoots the thief. He seduces Bennett on his speedboat, but she finds his gun and confronts him. While fleeing with the disk and Devlin's wallet Bennett's dinghy collides with rocks, destroying the disk and hospitalizing her, unconscious, for three days.
When Bennett wakes up, she finds that all records of her life have been erased: She was checked out of her hotel room, her car is no longer at the LAX parking lot, and her credit cards are invalid. Bennett's home is empty and listed for sale, and since none of the neighbors ever saw her they cannot confirm her identity. Bennett's Social Security number is now assigned to a "Ruth Marx", who has an arrest record. Another woman has taken her identity at Cathedral; the impostor offers Bennett her old life back in exchange for the disk. She contacts the only other person who knows her by sight, psychiatrist and former lover Alan Champion (Miller). He checks her into a hotel, offers to contact a friend at the FBI, and arranges to have her mother moved for her safety.
Using her knowledge of the backdoor and a password found in Devlin's wallet, Bennett logs into the Bethesda Naval Hospital's computers and learns that Bergstrom, who had opposed Gatekeeper's use by the federal government, was misdiagnosed. Fellow hacker "Cyberbob" identifies π with the "Praetorians", a notorious group of cyberterrorists linked to recent computer failures around the country. They plan to meet at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier, but the Praetorians intercept their online chat. Bennett escapes from Devlin—a contract killer for the cyberterrorists—at the park, but the Praetorians kill Champion by tampering with pharmacy and hospital computer records. After Bennett is arrested by the California Highway Patrol a man identifying himself as Champion's FBI friend frees her from jail, but she discovers he is an impostor and escapes again.
Now wanted for murder, Bennett travels to Cathedral's office where, using her impostor's computer, she connects the terrorists to Gregg Microsystems and uncovers their scheme; once the Praetorians sabotage an organization's computer system, Gregg sells his Gatekeeper product to them and gains unlimited access through the backdoor. Bennett emails evidence of the backdoor to the FBI from the Moscone Center and tricks Devlin into crashing Gregg's mainframe, undoing the erasing of her identity. They battle on the convention center's catwalks, where Devlin accidentally shoots and kills Marx. Bennett then ambushes Devlin with a fire extinguisher, causing him to fall to his death. The film closes with Bennett reunited with her mother and the conspiracy exposed.


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