*obligatory "long time listener, first time caller" intro*
Well, we watched this movie last night and I had to finally create an account here to unload my thoughts. ...And wow.
I haven't listened to the whole episode yet, but right away I was 100% Team Jason: I wish I hadn't seen this movie, it is garbage. And to be fair, I unironically like Hackers, because while it is very stupid and cheesy, they at least tried to depict some of the hacker counter-culture ethos and it is kinda fun (granted it was like they machine-translated it from English to Chinese and back, but they tried). This movie, on the other hand, felt like it was just attempting to be as cruel and mean-spirited as possible at all times, not to mention criminally stupid, e.g. jumping off the cliff.
I thought I was going crazy with the volume leveling being nuts, glad that wasn't just my imagination. Also, I'm glad somebody (Paul?) mentioned The Matrix, because at some point while watching I turned to my wife and said, "THIS MOVIE IS TRYING SUPER HARD TO BE THE MATRIX, RIGHT?" (caps to depict me trying to talk over the insane noise). It's like they saw that movie and Hackers and took away all the wrong ideas.
And since I haven't been able to finish the podcast yet, I must ask: are we going to address the Halle Berry hanging scene? Was that really necessary? I (sort of) got Travolta's villainous "put the hacker in insanely stressful situations" schtick, but watching this in 2020 just feels horrible. It's even worse than the terribly aged crypto-fascist undertones of Travolta taking on terrorism By Any Means Necessary™. In a movie full of stupid and tacky ideas, those beats seem particularly gross.
I guess the soundtrack was cool though, pity it's associated with this steaming pile.