Movies can be interesting. Especially when you get the chance to watch an example in which the writers tried to tell a message but forgot to fill some massive plot holes along the way.

So, what am I writing about? Exactly, UNTRACEABLE. I recently watched this serial-killer movie in which an FBI Agent has to track down a really nasty guy who uses the internet and its geeks/nerds/users for his “work”. In other words: he showcases a victim on the net and the higher the hits/views on the video stream the faster the victims dies.

Now, this is something that would sound to be material from Awesome-Land which cannot fail. But for some reason unknown to me, the writers not only managed to fill in some “politics”, but also built a monumental amount of plot holes besides filling thousands of books called Cliché.

I am not sure who is the cause for this (the original writing team or the successive one), but I would assume it was the initial writing team consisting of Robert Foylent and Mark Brinker, since this movie was their first screenplay. Later the veteran Allison Burnett must have been called by the executives as a script doctor or the rewrite guy.

It is a good work for two first timers, this is for sure. But…

  • It is never good to let the protagonist be Mrs. Wise-Guy when you don’t give the information necessary for the audience to understand it (at the beginning she knew who was stealing her credit card number she placed. The audience couldn’t guess from the onscreen action)
  • It is bad to include politics when you don’t elaborate both sides (The internet and its users really get some bad press here). It even gets worse when the politics is later marked as a false assumption because of other connections
  • When you create an FBI agent as the main character, it is never good to let him/her act like a genius at work but like an idiot at home (I write only one word: Firewall)
  • It is bad to write about something which you don’t understand and hence not investigate the matter at all. Some examples of wrong assumptions of the net and computers:
    • In one scene the agent can see the actions of the mouse pointer of a criminal. Although in theory this is possible it is simply bullshit in this movie
    • When the criminal streams the video, the FBI watches the actions but don’t record it. A camera pointing to the video wall would have been enough for a start
    • In some scenes you can see the counter of the web site flying. Hundreds of thousands of visitors in mere seconds. Watching a video stream. And adding comments to it. Instead of 25 Million it wouldn’t have hurt to reduce that number to 250.000. Or 100. After all, the net is fast but it has its limits
    • Remember this? The killer uses thousands of computers, so the FBI cannot shut down the site. But, you know, when you enter an address like www.madmind.de your browser sends a request to a so called DNS (Domain Name Server) which translates this address to something the computer does understand: the IP (92.154.23.22). So when you delete the domain name on the DNS, all those thousand PC’s are worth nothing because nobody knows the exact IP adress
  • And the most important thing: it is never good to add clichés of stupidity. It ruins everything. Especially when a car is involved near the end. Avoid it at any time.

End of Line.

Comments

  • Andrei Sipos

    I watched this movie today and it is full of plot holes. I totally agree with what you have said.

  • madmind

    Thanks a lot for your comment Andrei.

    Although the experience is some weeks old by now I still can remember all those plot holes.

    Is that good? Or bad?

  • Danielle Colwood

    i watched this film but i dont understand the end!

    • Gunther Heinrich

      I wouldn’t worry too much as of the various errors.

      What part of the end did you not understand? Perhaps I can help.

  • Gute Arbeit hier! Gute Inhalte.

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