OK, so Blk Hack really has nothing to do with computer hacking (see Erica Thompson's People feature on page 10 for more about the actual group). Even so, we thought we'd take the opportunity to rank fictional hackers in the order in which we'd recruit them to assist in a random criminal caper (think an "Ocean's Eleven"-style robbery). Here's what we came up with.
OK, so Blk Hack really has nothing to do with computer hacking (see Erica Thompson's People feature for more about the actual group). Even so, we thought we'd take the opportunity to rank fictional hackers in the order in which we'd recruit them to assist in a random criminal caper (think an "Ocean's Eleven"-style robbery). Here's what we came up with.11. The "Office Space" crew
Michael Bolton, Samir Nagheenanajar and Peter Gibbons bumbled their way through a plan to bilk funds from Initech, so there's no chance we'd want them heading up a covert team. They'd make a fine demolition crew for the dispatching of computers/printers/etc. post operation, though.10. Neo
Sure, Keanu Reeves can navigate the Matrix, but this here is real life, and we're going to need someone who can do more than jam wires into the back of his head and nap in a recliner.9. Gus Gorman
Richard Pryor's "Superman III" character is described as a computer genius, but how smart can one really be if you get mixed up in a scheme that plots you against Superman?8. The Warlock
Kevin Smith's "Live Free or Die Hard" hacker would be an ideal choice if we needed someone to go undercover at a jorts convention.7. Mr. Robot
Elliot/Mr. Robot is undoubtedly a computer genius, but the instability that comes with the whole dual-personality thing is too big a risk to take on.6. Angela Bennett in "The Net"
Sandra Bullock's character is more a wrong-place-wrong-time drone than bona fide computer genius, but she showed some pluck navigating the unfolding conspiracy. Also, is this one of the last films to feature a floppy disk as a key plot device?5. Lisbeth Salander
Salander, aka the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, can keep a low profile and knows her way around a server, but her 1,000-yard death stare might be too intimidating in the planning stages.4. The cast of "Hackers"
On the plus side, the accumulated brain power of this group, which counts Angelina Jolie's Kate Libby among its ranks, would be unprecedented. The downside? That's at least a half-dozen more people sharing in the eventual bounty.3. Chloe O'Brian of "24"
The terse brains at the center of CTU's computer operations, O'Brian, as portrayed by Mary Lynn Rajskub, can coordinate satellites, hack a corporation's server and deliver withering side-eye glances.2. David Levinson
I mean, c'mon, Jeff Goldblum's "Independence Day" whiz hacked an alien mothership! We also bumped this up for the whole "Independence Day"/Independents' Day connection.1. Luther Stickell
And still we're going with Ving Rhames' "Mission Impossible" computer tech as our top choice - for his calming-yet-intimidating presence as much as his brainpower.