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.

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.

Hacker

Poland

Production

An MGE release of a Bow and Axe Entertainment production, in association with HBO Poland Partners, Monolith Films, WFDiF. (International sales: Monolith Films.) Produced by Marek Nowowiejski. Directed by Janusz Zaorski. Screenplay, Marek Nowowiejski, Zaorski.

Crew

Camera (color), Lukasz Kosmicki; editor, Milenia Fiedler; music, Marek Koscikiewicz; production designer, Magdalena Dipont; set decorator, Anna Rzadkowska; costume designer, Joanna Kedziorek. Reviewed at Polish Film Festival, Los Angeles, April 27, 2003. Running time: 86 MIN.

With

Marcin "Mac Fly" Makowski - Bartosz Obuchowski Laura - Katarzyna Smutniak Adam "Turbo" Nowak - Piotr Miazga Kosa - Pawel Wilczak Tosiek - Boguslaw Linda Daniel - Pawel Delag
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