Find That Film: Sneakers

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I thought he posted it. He thought I posted it. I don’t know what’s going on anymore. Things seem to sneak by more and more everyday. Episode 19 is one of those movies with a super cast. The kind that will delight everyone. The premise. while ridiculous, is just believable enough to help you enjoy the movie. Settle in for Phil Alden Robinson‘s 1992 Sneakers.

Sneakers can be considered a caper film, a spy film, a comedy, and a benign technopunk movie.  If your technopunks are old enough to collect social security, that is.  Well written, definitely well cast, and fantastically acted, Sneakers is nothing short of one of the better movies that the 90s ever produced.  But what can you expect with Robert Redford, Sidney Poitier, Dan Aykroyd, River Phoenix, Ben Kingsley, David Straithairn, and Mary McDonnell in your movie?  Not to mention a subversively scene stealing Stephen Tobolowsky?

Sneakers tells the story of Martin Bishop, manager of a security consultant firm whose strategy is to attack your electronic defensive systems to show their weaknesses.  What no one knows about Martin is that several decades ago, he and his buddy Cosmo pulled some felony level pranks with a phone and a modem.  While the police caught Cosmo and sent him to prison, Martin escaped.  Now a shadow group of federal agents are enlisting Martin and his security firm to track down a brilliant scientist’s little black box, THE code breaker that allows anyone to access anything.  When the prize is so great, is it little wonder, then, that it brings a host of enemies to Martin’s door?  Including the dead?

Ridiculous, and ridiculously entertaining, Reford and company take this unwieldly premise and hammers it into something  that not only seems credible, but manages to be fun along the way.  No small feat given that you are essentially talking about a film revolving around complex mathematical algorithms.  While it wasn’t a critical darling or any type of award bait, this is the movie about this subject that you want to see, simply because the cast and the execution are carried off so well.  So plug in your answering machine and verify that your voice is your passport.  It’s time to sneak off and find Sneakers.

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