I.T. is one of those VOD sleepers you expect absolutely nothing from, yet – in the most base-value sense – John Moore’s creepy tech-driven thriller gets the job done. Scenes may feel like a tutorial in suspense and predictable plot movement, but Pierce Brosnan is just too damn smooth to ignore (like that matured, smokey Scotch he’s sipping on above).
Age hasn’t dampened this ex-Bond stud’s charms in the least, and he works well as a billionaire family man who turns primal when some jabroni threatens the ones he loves. Admittedly, you won’t be challenged by material here, but minimal genre satiation is achieved through “Peeping Tom” surveillance and satirical warnings directed towards our own internet-obsessed lifestyles.
Hey, not everything can be a five-star experience – there’s a time and place for a Burger King quickie.
Brosnan stars as company man Mike Regan, whose aviation conglomerate is about to launch a life-changing app touted as “Uber for planes.” During Mike’s pitch, his presentation glitches out and a new I.T. temp – Ed Porter (James Frecheville) – is called in to save the day. Later that night, Mike asks Ed to give his home WiFi a look-over, extending an invitation to visit that weekend. Ed shows up, and upgrades a few other things around Mike’s abode while he’s there. Before leaving, though, Ed notices Mike’s attractive SEVENTEEN year old daughter, Kaitlyn (Stefanie Scott), who catches the TWENTY-EIGHT-YEAR-OLD’s eye. Before long, Ed is showing up at Mike’s family functions, and after a few awkward encounters, the stalky tech guy is fired on the spot. Ed doesn’t take rejection well though and begins to start tormenting Mike and his family. Turns out those upgrades around Mike’s house weren’t just for safety….
James Frecheville’s socially awkward predator is a 21st century deviant, so disconnected from reality because of his obsession with a life behind monitors. He watches Kaitlyn pleasure herself in the shower (using implanted cameras Mike initially shut down) – hitting on “harmless” voyeurism – but also retains the ability to lash out in violent ways. This makes Ed a bit more than some hacker asshole, and gives Brosnan’s character something to fear. Sure, select confrontations might appear too easy based on Ed’s all-controlling computer keys, but the cyber cat-and-mouse game at play isn’t without some fun and a few tense moments. It’s enough to score a cheap thrills, without drifting too mindlessly into computer overlord status.
Listen, I love me some Pierce Brosnan (even after Mama Mia!), and I.T. uses him exactly as he should be. At first, he’s the dough-stuffed CEO who’s slick, suave and hates technology even though it’s about to make him even filthier rich. Then Ed starts making his moves, and smirks turn to stern, decisive talks. Yet, Ed still doesn’t get the picture – and then Mike gets aggressive. Brosnan kicks over trash cans and rips wires out of his dry wall like he’s disarming Skynet, now coming at Ed with an enraged ferocity. Nothing like Liam Neeson in Taken or Mel Gibson in Blood Father, but Brosnan earns his personal take on fathers who kick ass.
That said, I.T. is about as generic a thriller as I can recommend. From Ed’s “shirtless monitor gazing while reflecting strings of code light his face” to Brosnan’s wishes for privacy, Moore doesn’t do much to set this standard thrill ride apart from similar conflicts. Locations range from monotone millionaire fortresses to Ed’s green-tinted nerd lair, while cops jaw away with their disconcerting gaze.
Ed is able to mess with Mike’s entire life pretty easily – given how Mike essentially hands over his entire internet fingerprint while “upgrades” are taking place – so the set-up isn’t much to ponder. Success relies completely on execution, and a no-bullshit approach to hiding Ed’s inevitable insanity. Moore straps in, gets right to it and finishes things off with a nice little bow – compact and neat-ish-ly tied together.
Will history remember I.T.? Through syndication on random cable showings, yes. I’m not saying you should rush out for this one, but given the opportunity, you’ll find enough entertainment if your interest has already been piqued. Many have done much worse with the same blueprints, so give John Moore some credit for debugging an otherwise glitchy script. Come for the Brosnan, stay for the Brosnan, and remember once again why you love Pierce Brosnan so damn much.
Oh, and if you DON’T share my Brosnan appreciation, then run. Run far away. You’d probably be bored to death and horridly disappointed. Let me make that perfectly clear.
Many have done worse with similar setups, which isn't exactly a glowing recommendation - but hey, if you love Pierce Brosnan enough, you should be fine with I.T.