The advent of information technology has made a great many things possible—including crime. In Anonymous¸ Alex (Callen McAuliffe), a young man who is upset with the bank that fired his mother, sets off to disrupt the system through hacking. He learns of DarkWeb, a group that shares that goal and he seeks a way to get in. At first, he is given some stuff to sell, then he is given credit card numbers. He has entered the world of cyber-crime: credit card fraud and identity theft. He connects with the streetwise Sye (Daniel Eric Gold) and Kira (Lorraine Nicholson) and together they expand their criminal enterprise trying to find their way to Z, the mastermind behind DarkWeb. However, it may well be that they are all just pawns in a game that could become very dangerous.
It’s hard to feel much sympathy for Alex. We understand his anger, but it is clear that he has chosen to set aside morality for what he sees as a just cause. But even after it becomes obvious to him that in reality they are making money, but not “messing with the system” he makes no effort to change. There is no sense of remorse for the victims of the crimes he is committing. And, no, the crimes are not against the financial system he wants to be targeting.
Actually, the cyber aspect of the crimes is really just a detail. The crimes themselves are just everyday larceny. As to the motivation for the crimes, what may seem noble to Alex in his anger really is tied to his hubris and other people’s greed. There is very little here that is not an age-old tale of losing oneself in a string of bad decisions. Unfortunately, it is told without a great deal of redeeming insight that Alex will come out better in the end, so we come away from the film without a sense that the character has grown.
Photos courtesy of Hacker Productions