This is a bizarre hybrid, a hi-tech caper movie with lo-tech charm; an action pic with incongruously mellow Californian pacing; a post-Cold War thriller with sassy wit. Redford heads a team of 'sneakers' - freelance tech-heads who execute computer heists to test corporate security systems. It's basically an old folks' operation, with crusty CIA vet Poitier, wild card conspiracy nut Aykroyd, blind genius Strathairn, and McDonnell as a mature femme fatale; only Phoenix guarantees the teen market. When Redford's radical past catches up with him, so do the intelligence goons, who want him to procure a black box, the ultimate hackers' McGuffin. The plot gets twistier than a Mandelbrot curve, leading to Kingsley as a slimy master criminal. A '60s-radical alternative to the 'flying glass' action pic prevalent in Hollywood, the film is sustained by a personable ensemble who generously trade off each other rather than grandstand. Right up to an ending designed to crack the sternest critical poker-face, this is gourmet popcorn of the highest order.
Cast and crew
|Director:||Phil Alden Robinson|
|Screenwriter:||Walter F Parkes, Phil Alden Robinson, Lawrence Lasker|
James Earl Jones