With “Hacker,” veteran Polish director Janusz Zaorski has crafted a likable, if hardly startling, variation on the teen-hacker genre. For non-Polish auds, pic is marred by a running gag meaningless to most viewers. Still, its modest ambitions are realized well enough to justify cable exposure.
Story centers on Marcin Makowski (Bartosz Obuchowski), a high-school computer whiz, whose nickname “Mac Fly” plays on similarity of his last name to ubergeek George McFly’s in “Back to the Future.” Marcin is always being talked into risky schemes by buddy Turbo (Piotr Miazga), whose slight resemblance to Nicolas Cage obviously influenced his behavior. He promises to teach Marcin how to score with hottie Laura (Katarzyna Smutniak) if Marcin helps him implement practical jokes and petty larcenies. Their escapades attract the attention of the police — and of a gangster (Pawel Wilczak), who scares them into hacking a store security system. (How he traces them more rapidly than the cops is never explained.) Zaorski nicely intertwines crime plot with Marcin’s attempts to woo Laura. Pic portrays Polish youth as steeped in Hollywood culture; the only moments that feel specifically Polish are joke references to Tosiek (Boguslaw Linda) looking just like well-known actor Boguslaw Linda. Tech work is uninspired but professional.