Director: Andrew Niccol
Year Released: 2018
In yet another speculative, dystopian tale, in which privacy is virtually eliminated and people can just 'look at' each other and 'see' their full names and background information (like some extreme version of LinkedIn), Detective Sal (Clive Owen) has to hunt down a brilliant hacker (Amanda Seyfried) who is 'anonymous' ... and tied to various murders around the city. Niccol, best known for Big Idea movies like Gattaca and The Truman Show, brings up a relevant subject ("privacy" in the digital age) but never bothers to develop or explain his premise, leaving his barely-there characters to stare into the distance and delve into the "Ether," which looks like a very complicated series of 'connections' and playable (and editable) video clips: in his world, are people basically human computers and how, exactly, do they 'tap into' each other's heads? How is this ethically permissible? The fragile nature of the set-up is then abused for numerous contrivances to the point where little makes actual sense (the first-person-perceptive shots are amateur-level awful) ... but at least Owen and (a dark-haired) Seyfried are committed to the inanity of it all.