NetForce (TV Movie 1999) Poster

(1999 TV Movie)

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Takes itself WAY too seriously
neil_mc6 October 2005
For a film based upon such a refined subject as computers and the intricacies of the internet, I felt sure that there'd have to be some sort of off-the-cuff humour injected somewhere during proceedings to offset the technical detail. Surely they couldn't expect everybody to get excited about firewalls, web browsers and computer crime without something else to keep it company. Well, as it turns out, that's exactly what they expected and the film turns out to be drier than dust.

Some of the technical detail was stretched to the very limit of credibility - it seems they severely overshot what the internet would be like in 2005 - yet they still imagined we'd be using floppy disks? More research, and effort, was called for in places that's for sure.

Plus, it was an hour too long. Nearly 160 minutes is far too excessive for a film of its kind and an hour could easily have been taken off without too many problems. The acting was hokey - but not as bad as some TV movies - the technology very dodgy in parts and the romance subplot extremely wobbly, but anybody with even half an interest in computers and the internet may as well give it a go.
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The Facts.
refinedsugar6 July 2001
Made for television movies can never escape the feeling they we're made for television. The taste, the sight and the scent. It's always there. Tom Clancy's Netforce itself was originally a two part television movie (how little did I know). In fact it's all still somewhat a wash. Let me break it down for you.

Flash forward to 2005. The internet has become so powerful and potentially dangerous that the US government sets up a division within the FBI entitled "Netforce" to preside over it from the evil people of the world who look to exploit it for their corrupt plans. Personally I seriously disbelieve the internet holds the future of the world in it's grasp, but that doesn't matter because the people at Netforce couldn't protect it if they had to anyway.

Upon meeting the major characters we realize they're roles we've all seen before. Like the tough male main character who's strong and dresses well. The rest of the cast fit typical molds. I especially liked how a certain character's ex-wife is a news reporter who at one point becomes a key piece in the story. Everyone is so linked together. Realistic? No. Then again none of the characters have any real in-depth characterization. They're just names and faces. There's also too many needless minor secondary characters being thrown around adding nothing but padding and viewer confusion. It gets hard remembering twenty characters throughout a two plus hour movie. I want to give the movie credit for trying to develop them, but it fails because we know they're insignificant. Frankly I expected more from such an ensemble cast too.

Scott Bakula gets to look smart in suit -- the key word being "look". This project could have benefited from someone with more clout than Bakula. He's sufficient, but that's about it. Meanwhile Kris Kristofferson gets the cliché elder role and good 'ol Brian Dennehy has been given the plum task of the President's Chief Of Staff. That means him popping up spewing 'How his ass is on the line' or 'the President's p***ed at him'. Yes even good actors can't save bad scripts. That's a fact. Which bothers me even further because this product has Tom Clancy's name written all over it. Yet it isn't anywhere near the quality of his past outings. It's a real disservice. Some of the blame has to fall straight into the writer's lap too. I say this because I find it hard to see this as an adaptation project that started well. It was bad from the get-go. The story stinks. It's like amateur hour. Especially considering how much they squeeze into their time frame. Would more have helped? I'm hesitant to say. Even with over two hours they still came back with this slop. Frankly 160 minutes is a long time and there isn't enough depth to sustain a person's interest or the holding of disbelief for such a period.

It can't even be taken seriously. Like Judge Reinhold playing the 'evil multi-billion dollar software tycoon looking to control the world' or how corny it is to have FBI agents point loaded weapons in the faces of innocent cabdrivers. It's things like these that help make Netforce such a bore. There's absolutely no atmosphere and honestly for a film dealing so heavily with computers and the internet, they sure went skimpy enough on the technical aspects too. I guess they didn't want to lose their biggest viewing demographic ... computer inept coach potatoes and patriotic Tom Clancy fans.

For what it's trying to be, there's very little (if any) paranoia, suspense or "edge of your seat excitement" as so called critics would say. Netforce draws nothing but boredom and that's not exactly new territory. Last thing too. A golden rule of movies. If they don't find a body 95% of the time that's a clear signal the person ain't dead. That's the facts.
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Not a movie I appreciated other than as humor.
Caine-107 August 1999
Netforce attempts to be a very serious technothriller in the year 2005, but fails miserably. Except for the fact that the plot is very tacky and not very well done, it's also spanned out over way to much time, the movie totals 2h40min. But this isn't really Netforce biggest problem. Being a bit of a geek myself this movie turned out to be much more of a comedy than a thriller. The technology and the events concerning it are so totally absurd that's unbelievable. Both me and my friends were virtually crying due to the sick things the director and/or Tom Clancy had in store. Some comments that sums it all up is "Phew, the Internet is intact!" and "Woah, another netcrash!". Deep, deep sigh. Not to mention the fact that the bad guys encryptions is broken in 3 seconds. Someone should tell them about, say RSA or DSS/DH algorithms. So, whatever you do, DON'T watch this movie unless a) You're totally nontechnical and can look aside all the gross mistakes or b) you're a hacker and wants a good laugh.
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Netfarce More Like
Theo Robertson6 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
When this TVM was made in 1999 I was still somewhat ignorant of the internet . Certainly I'd heard of it but being something of a Luddite I failed to see why more and more people were becoming interested in it and it wasn't until August 2001 that I become connected to the world wide web . One thing I did notice about NETFORCE is that if I remained ignorant about the internet this TVM wouldn't have appeared so bad to me


One thing that really irritated me is how the writers seem to have confused computer technology with an all encompassing thing called " the internet " . For example the bad guys are able to gain access to the security systems of a maximum security prison via the internet . What you mean the computerised door locking system must connected to the internet in some way ? We see umpteen examples of this ridiculous thinking that because something is computerised it must be connected to the internet in someway ! No . No . No . Computerised systems and the internet are not the one and the same . For example if the internet collapsed tomorrow computers would still work even if it means you can't send emails or write reviews at the IMDb . I could still use my computer as a word processor or play computer games etc the world wouldn't suddenly revert to the stone age because the internet failed

There's also several other blunders which led me to believe that the writers are nowhere near as being smart as their audience . If a computer hacker is deleting his system this can be jammed by sticking a floppy disk in the hard drive ! What a floppy disk ? It's never explained why this stops the system being deleted , perhaps the good guys were carrying a back up copy of the villains system ? We're also told to believe that some real hot internet systems can't be traced because they don't use cookies ! As for the VR sex - WTF !

There's also a ridiculous aspect to the team known as " Netforce " . Each member is a computer wizard and a crack secret agent . In effect they're a combination of a computer geek and a Delta Force member . Is this logical or realistic ? Why does a member have to be both a computer expert AND an elite law enforcement agent ? Why can't the organisation employ computer wizards to track down rogue computer operators and then send a crack team of commandos to round up the bad guys ?

The whole feel of this TVM screams " TV pilot " and I don't believe for a moment that Tom Clancey and co didn't toy with the idea that this would end up as a long running series but the flaws are instantly obvious . There's only a certain amount of plots in any genre and this techno thriller lasting three hours has used up all potential plots in one go . Be honest , just how long could you tolerate Scott Bakula as an action hero who spends 50% of an episode typing on a computer , 40% of an episode flirting with his female colleague and 10% of an episode shooting bad guys ?
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Hollywood butchers the Internet AGAIN...
EProphet11 October 1999
I rented this because of Tom Clancy's name alone. What a mistake. All adaptations of his excellent books (with the possible except of "Red October") have ruined plots, hopeless scripts and near-intolerable acting from otherwise fine performers. This, sadly, was no different. Nothing in the look and feel of the movie even suggests Hollywood involvement -- it looks, and indeed IS, so badly done it seems to be a television series pilot (complete with "cut to commercial fade-outs") that did not make it. The video release is an attempt to regain some lost revenue. Movie plots still don't handle technology, and especially the Internet, realistically unless the story is full-bore sci-fi. Don't waste your time or money on this.
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Another movie in the tradition of not being NEARLY as good as the book (POSSIBLE SPOILER)
mythicfox4 July 2000
Warning: Spoilers
I read the book long before I heard about the movie, and given past history with books being translated into movies, I expected NetForce to suck but hoped it didn't. Well, it sucks big time. I was hoping for something remotely close to the book, which it is... for about 10 minutes or so, until Steve Day is assassinated. Then, after that, it bears no resemblance to the book. I was disappointed, but based on my expectations, not THAT disappointed. 3 out of 10
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Why did I waste my time?
davideo-21 August 1999
Oh boy,this was pretty dire.I like Tom Clancy the author very much.His books are cleverly and brilliantly constructed political/modern thrillers,with expert dialouge and good,detailed charecter and story development.More's the reason I feel pretty stupid renting this cheap,low grade nonsense when I could have ordered the book out my library and tested my brain and my limits much further.I had to sit still in my bedroom for 154 flat out minutes watching this endless and poorly,pacelessly constructed tirefest.Thank goodness for competent actors eh?Not so much thanks owed to poorer ones.Judge Reinhold was ace as a snidy,confident baddie.He deserved much better material than this.It was nice to see Kris Kristofferson in one of his better,more accomplished roles of late,although he only occupies a rough cut 25 minutes of screentime.And he kept appearing in daft hallucinations of himself in wanternly unnesarsary VR moments.On the flip side,oh my,Miss.Joanna'ooh,look what an accomplished young madam I am'Going,sharing screen chemistry with the equally vacuous Scot 'Hav'nt I moved on since Quantum Leap'Bakula,having a briefly explored on screen romance with a girl who must be at least 20 years younger than he is.And Brian Dehnehy is hopelessly flat and ineffective as Bakula's superior.Basically,I'd admire this one's cover,but please,don't bother with the movie,go read the book instead.
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Big subject, small budget
robert-temple-19 May 2008
This is very much a television movie, a big idea made on a miniscule budget. Made in 1999, and set in the awesome future (everything distant is awesome) of 2005, it is still relevant, and some of its points mean more now than they did then. Tom Clancy obviously researched his subject well for his novel, and some of that made it onto the screen. In order to save money on extras, we are not shown a key funeral scene, but instead see two people sitting in a church afterwards talking about it; at the next funeral scene only two people are present, so that is cheap too. So many corners are cut, the film could be described as 'in the round'. Apart from a powerful and excellent performance by Judge Reinhold as a megalomaniac IT genius and entrepeneur, a larger than life 'down home' performance as the President's buddy by Brian Dennehy, and the super-cool acting of Kris Kristofferson, the rest of the cast are as colourless as wax dummies. The cinematography is atrocious, attempting to create dark brooding atmosphere with low lighting, but instead looking like it was all shot in an old fish tank which someone had forgotten to clean. When one is trying to follow a complex plot, it helps if one can see. Having said all this, the film deals with big issues. It also specifically names 'the evil behind the problem' as 'the New World Order', which is a surefire way not to be given a big budget, so maybe that is why this had to sneak onto the TV screens and not get the full treatment. It is more convincing than less realistic films like 'The Matrix', and has more to say about the real issues as opposed to big screen fantasies. Sometimes the lack of a budget concentrates the mind wonderfully, as Val Lewton proved. If you think about it, it is what we don't see in this film because they couldn't afford it, that we ought to be really worried about. The story was certainly ahead of its time in addressing the deadly issue of the monopolistic bundling of software, and it appears to be a savage attack on Bill Gates, while being careful to avoid getting sued by mentioning him explicitly as someone we don't see, so that they could not be accused of Judge Reinhold's character being a direct portrait of him. However, the messages are there. As one of the main characters says: 'the net has become a means of spreading greed and lust'. If that's what people have inside them, then that is what the amplifier of the net will blast back at us. All of human reality is basically a feedback loop in which we see ourselves for what we are. Maybe the only way to see that truth and still live with it is to see it shot inside a fishtank, so that we can dismiss it. After all, Planet Earth's budget is also too small.
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humorously poor
DrK0H13 June 2004
This movie is actually pretty watchable if you are a bit technical and don't mind viewing a film to laugh at its inherent badness. The script repeatedly uses networking lingo out of context and demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of networking principles. My favorite scene is when they're searching logs for traces of a computer break-in and the hero exclaims when no traces are found "There's not even a cookie?!?". I expect even a non-tech should be able to find a couple of laughs about the overwhelming lack of technical advisement. Some understanding of distributed attacks and viruses might have helped, but I guess the idea of two hackers trying to out type each other works better for Hollywood. The cinematography is low-average for a made for TV. I liked Judge Reinhold's acting, and Kris Kristofferson, Bakula I found to be often flat or alternately overacted. Conclusion: Don't rent it unless you're into bad movies, worth catching on Cable on a slow day.
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If you come within 10 feet of this movie, you might die of boredom.
diovorez21 April 2000
Being a fan of cyberflics like Hackers and The Net, and having a thing for movies based on Tom Clancy novels, I thought this movie was sure to be a winner. Too bad it turned out to be one of the worst movies I have ever seen; the kind that gives me a new-found respect for movies that I thought were bad before. Seriously. This movie is quite possibly the worst movie ever.

Where do I start? Let's go with plot. It's unbelievably boring, from start to finish. Not only that, but it's hopelessly confusing, with new characters being introduced every 2 seconds, so you can't keep all of them straight. Plus, the plot is so unrealistic and cheezy, I found myself frequently rolling my eyes. The endless baricade of cliches doesn't help any. I could guess what was coming next at almost every part of the movie.

The acting was just plain awful. Everyone did a terrible job of portraying emotions, or lack thereof. It was often hard to tell if they were even trying to do a good job.

I wanted to kick the man in charge of filming the movie nearly every other scene. Nearly 75% of the movie is shot with what appears to be an 8mm videocamera rather than movie film. This is probably the biggest mistake, as it only adds to the shoddy atmosphere, making it look like a home movie rather than a commercial production.

I never turn off a movie before it is finished, even if it is really bad. This is because there is always the possibility that the movie will suddenly get good, and I fall in love with it (which has happened before quite a few times). Actually, the final action scene was almost half-good. However, it was too little, too late. If the producers of this film expected one semi-decent scene to make up for 3 hours of crap, they are utterly mistaken.

Fortunately, some good things can come from this movie. It makes a nifty doorstop, paperweight, and doggy chew toy.

I recommend this movie to.. absolutely no one. If you come across a Netforce tape, drop it onto the floor and smash it by jumping on it repeatedly. Afterwards, be sure to grind your heel into it.

I give this movie a 1 out of 10.
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A most annoying, lousy piece of work
Pooh-5010 August 1999
At least the first 30 minutes, which is all I managed before I had to race up to the video rental and get another movie. As Robert Cooper commented: It's not often that I watch a movie, and feel it necessary to jump straight onto IMDb and write about it, but for an entirely different reason. The first half hour of this movie is so full of clichés, bad acting and cheap effects, I couldn't watch another minute.

Having enjoyed several good movies based on Clancy's novels (Patriot Games, Red October...) I was genuinely disappointed by this botch. I actually get the feeling that these people are acting (not the actors, the characters!).

It's difficult to say anything about the storyline, having seen but a small part of the movie, but I did get the impression I usually get when watching movies about hacking, Internet etc, that these people don't know much about what the Internet is, and how it works. Of course, that MAY have changed later in the movie...

If you're gonna watch this movie, keep your expectations low. My advice: pick another!
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A Cautionary Tale OF Futuristic Cyberterrorism
Desertman847 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Best-selling author Tom Clancy was executive producer of this made-for- TV spy thriller entitled Netforce was shown on ABC back in 1999.It stars Scott Bakula and Joanna Going together with Xander Berkeley,Anjul Nigam and Judge Reinhold.The supporting cast includes Brian Dennehy, Joanna Going,C.C.H. Pounder and Kris Kristofferson.

In the year 2005, the FBI has established a special division called "Netforce".It is responsible to investigate crimes committed using the Internet. Agents Alex Michaels and Steve Day are put on the case when software genius Will Stiles designs a Web browser that allows him to hack into Netforce's computer system and take control of the entire Internet for his own purposes.

It is a TV movie that is essentially a cautionary tale of futuristic cyberterrorism. Unfortunately,it is a blunt and somewhat rushed thriller with little time for character or relationship development. What it does offer is a scenario for the prospect of organized crime uniting with computer geeks and malevolent industrialists to sabotage national security through attacks on the Internet.The action bounces around from good guys to sundry bad guys, but there's no question that a creeping paranoia about Net vulnerability and its disastrous implications grows on the viewers especially of what could possibly happen in the future.
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Glossy but not very exciting
Lawson25 January 2002
At 2h40mins, this movie runs waaaay too long. The pace is kept at a moderate level most of the way with above-average-for-a-tv-movie sounds and visuals, intended to keep the average person watching. But I'm not Mr Average and I was zoning in and out throughout the movie. I was motivated to rent this movie because I just read Jeffery Deaver's 'The Blue Nowhere,' which is an excellent thriller abt hacking. This movie seems more like a slow-moving FBI show. How can Scott Bakula, the leader of 'Netforce,' look as clueless as he does when his system is hacked? And for Internet cops, there sure is a lot of physical chasing and shooting. Sure there's a lot of techno-babble thrown in, but it's all gratuitous. The coolest vision of futuristic technology - VR pubs and brothels - doesn't even involve any special effects. Hacking i s demonstrated as a flood of rotating green numbers. On the brighter side, the acting's pretty good and not exaggerated. Don't rent this, catch it on TV on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
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Read the book first and you will enjoy the movie more!
alandc5 November 1999
This enactment of Tom Clancy's book is pretty accurate to content of book aside from a little over dramatization of the "Bill Gates" character and his evil empire/web browser.

It's still not as dramatic as reading the book. I wish the pretty assassin had played a more prominent roll as well as... but, I don't want to ruin the story line for anyone.

Read the book first and you will enjoy the movie more.
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High tech and fun...
AllisonLVenezio20 March 2002
In the year 2005, not to far in the future, computer will be dominant in society. Those who can handle them will control the world. However, power like this can slip into the wrong hands. That's where Netforce comes in.

The FBI has established a team known as Netforce, a division that specializes in internet crime. Heading up the team is Commander Steve Day (Kris Kristoferson), followed by Deputy Commander Alexander "Alex" Michaels (Scott Bakula). When Day dies under unusual circumstances, Alex is given the Commander post, and appoints Toni Fiorella (Joanna Going) as his Deputy Commander, or Dep. Comm. Also on board is Jay Gridley (Paul Hewitt) a virtual reality whiz kid and his team, and Colonel John Howard, who heads up the military branch of Netforce. The team is on the case of a Bill Gates-esque computer genius named Will Stiles (Judge Reinhold). IT's up to Alex and his team of computer geniuses to stop his crimes.

The film, though it looks like a television movie (I know it is, you just can't shake that feeling) is really well-done. The action scenes are pretty fast-paced, and the plot is easy to follow. To me, it wasn't too predictable, and was able to withstand the test of time (2 hrs and 40 min). Scott Bakula, one of my favorite performers, never has ceased to amaze me in his work (ok, fine--I didn't like "Lord of Illusions"). I found him particularly appealable, much different from how the novel describes Alex Michaels (lady-wooer). Bakula embodies that typical average-guy look that I love, and those biceps and pecs in the tigh t-shirts drove me wild. Joanna Going, as Toni, was also great, and comes from a typical Italian family (I'm Italian, so the dinner scene interested me). I've never seen her in films before, but I'm sure I just haven't looked. I actually didn't really know who Scott Bakula was until I stumbled on "Quantum Leap" last September. Chelsea Field was wonderful as Alex's ex-wife Megan Michaels (in the novel, Megan is a pompus b**ch, in the film, she is actually very civil to Alex). You can see they get along ok, a departure from the books. Jay Gridley is EXACTLY what I expected, not too nerdy looking, but certainly smart (the part in the VR Brothel was hysterical). What really suprised me was Judege Reinhold, as Will Stiles. How much weight did he gain to play this part?? Jeez, he looks like an evil Bill Gates here after letting himself go.

My favorite line from this film was when Alex met his new driver and told him he was perfectly capable of driving himself, at least till that day. When the driver kept saying sir to him, Alex asked him if he could make a suggestion, the driver said "Sir yes sir" and alex said "Lighten up." You don't get much more comic timing than that. Bakula actually had some really funny lines, but you gotta break the tension somewhere. My favorite scenes were the action scenes, particularly Alex's fight with the paid femme fatale.

This is a great film with a great plot, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I wish I saw more positive comments on this movie, because it was outstanding. Acting was good on all parts and the storyline was fun. I'm reading "Netforce: Nightmoves" (3rd in series) now, so seeing this film was a real treat.

Who said computer technology can't make a good movie?
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Not bad. Probably was a short series
tle_mgr5 October 2017
I actually found the movie on the web. I thought it was just a one off TV show, but apparently there was at least two episodes. It is worth a watch if you are bored and nothing else is on. It's kind of funny watching head honchos in their 30s and 40s talking hitech gibberish about cyber security and what not. Stuff usually taken on by the younger folks
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150 minutes too long
not convinced28 September 2012
Like another viewer, this was a painful experience. Unlike that viewer, I was unable to make it to the 30-minute-mark. Fortunately, Kris Kristofferson was killed off in the first half hour. That, to me, is the climax of any film. I don't care what happened after that. Of course if you like clichés, bad acting, awful story-line, cheesy acting, grade school art project like special effects then this movie is for you. Kristofferson delivers his lines in such a distracting way, that you don't even hear what he is saying. He delivers his lines worse than Back to the Future's George McFly (George McFly: Lorraine. My density has popped me to you). Move on and find something better.
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To long and too dull
no-skyline29 October 2007
Scott Bakula (Quantum Leap's Sam Beckett) and Kris Kristofersson (Blade, Pat Garett and Billy the Kid) star in this below average TV movie. It seems quite a lot of money (for a TV movie) has been thrown at this but the pace at times is down to a crawl and Bakula's character seems to have become head of Netforce with a total lack of any computer knowledge. It's dated fairly badly but all movies about computers do that look at Wargames or Tron! But it's main problems are down to a flabby script, pedestrian direction and lack of tension as for the ending i'm not even going to go there! Let's just say it ain't great, I gave this film a 4/10 as it's not a total lost cause but i cant recommend spending 2+hours watching this when there are better films out there. If you want a hacker movie War Games (Mathew Broderick) or Sneakers (Robert Redford, River Phoenix) are better movies in the same sort of area or for a more MTV friendly teen hacker movie then go for Hackers (Angelina Jolie & Tommy Lee Miller).

4/10 - If there's nothing better on a rainy Sunday it might pass the time but thats about all, we can only hope the Quantum Leap movie gets off the ground to save Scott Bakula!
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NetFarce - The Defiling of Good Story
MobiusM117 January 2006
Like many people, I rented this movie as a Clancy fan. I had previously read his book, "NetForce", and was eager to see it on the tube. I now deeply regret my decision to see it at all.

Not only was the movie a complete waste of time, but its plot was filled with more holes than a bullet-riddled SUV on an A-10 target range, and held about as much water. If somebody asks you where some important aspect of a workable plot went, you could simply reply, "it fell into a plot hole," and that would be the end of it.

The entire movie was packed to the gills with bad acting and painfully extreme deviations from what had been the good storyline of the book. Both the original storyline and all the cool action scenes fell into some of the movie's gaping plot holes somewhere in the process of production, and Clancy's interesting and intelligent characters were also conspicuously missing. Neither the plot nor the ending resembled those of the book in any way, and the ever present boredom and disgust of the movie left you emotionally drained to the point where you'd wish all the shallow, no-can-act characters would just hurry up and die.

I don't write this review to simply be critical of this piece of poorly-conceived garbage, but rather as a warning to all the Clancy fans out there still considering seeing this movie. So here's your warning: To the Clancy fan: whether you've read the book or not, if are given the opportunity to watch this movie, don't even think about it. You turn around and you RUN AWAY. Run for your life, and don't look back, or you are likely regret it for the rest of your days.
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It's about the future: It's 2005!
ptarmigan4 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
We're here! Where's my videophone? This movie is not as bad as some of the critics here say. It is reasonably entertaining, if you can get past the first 15 minutes. It is Tom Clancy, so there is some twists and turns to the plot, which keeps it interesting. I think it is best to compare it to some of the lamer James Bond movies; on that score it looks reasonably good.

What was going through my mind as I watched it was that I bet the computer security folks have watched the movie as a warning of what could happen, sort of, if they don't do their job. And I bet some of the hackers watch it with dreams of glory.

Obviously, the problems with the Internet described in the movie haven't happened, for the most part, so the movie looks a bit foolish. Actually, I see from the book review that while the novel was written in 1999, it was set in 2010. But we have been learning in the past year or so about the dangers of spyware that abound. In that sense, the premise was remarkably prescient. Corporations just love to get their hands on all sorts of information about you, without your knowledge. And the government is not so different; often they work hand in hand, as in the airline passenger data collection. So the movie, as science fiction, is not entirely far fetched.

I'm a fan of Scott Bakula and his great work on Quanum Leap. Frankly, the TV show had better writing, not to mention better cinematography. And the critics who bemoan all the boilerplate about asschewing are right. Another point that bothers me, especially given Clancy's general penchant for veracity, is the absurdity of they guy's wife covering him on the news. No reputable news organization would allow this incest, except perhaps FOX.

But the ending is interesting enough to make it all worthwhile.

Fans of Ayn Rand should find this movie especially interesting. It follows the same theme as Rand McNally Shrugged. And the quality of writing is about equal.

Who is Steve Day???
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TV Movie (from the ABC mini-series)
iwantgizmos23 March 2005
"NetForce" has some okay shoot-em-up action scenes although otherwise it is a long "movie" at 160 minutes. If you know the typical pacing for episodic TV shows, and if you knew that this was originally an ABC TV mini-series that was first broadcast as a two-part mini-series in February 1999, then you can easily calculate that this movie was originally a two-part mini-series where each part is about 80 minutes for each part without the commercials (each part would be about 80 minutes plus 40 minutes of commercials...which would be about 40 minutes of story per hour plus the 20 minutes of commercials for each broadcast hour) and when put all together for videotape sales/rentals then you have this 160-minute movie without the commercials. (If ABC picked up "NetForce" as a regular series, each of the two parts could have been cut into two episodes each for a total of four episodes -- watch the pacing of this movie and you can guess where the commercials would go in and where each part/episode ends at each 40-minute mark and 80-minute or thereabouts.) Anyways, this 160-minute movie is the whole mini-series without the commercials.

In comparison to other more recent ABC TV shows, the fictitious "NetForce" division depicted in this 1999 ABC TV mini-series is a pre-9/11 production that is suppose to be depicting what is happening in 2005 and you may find "NetForce" could be lacking in comparison to what you would find in the 2003 ABC TV regular series "The Threat Matrix" or in the current ABC TV regular series "Alias". Although "NetForce" uses the internet as a major story angle, "NetForce" is more akin to being a like an early stumbling version of "The Threat Matrix" -- but in the pre-9/11 days you would not know any better. So it's not bad for 1999, but you would expect more today. Okay to watch, but perhaps not as good as what you may find in "The Threat Matrix" or "Alias". "NetForce" is a pre-9/11 show and so there are no "terrorists" in this movie unless if you want to say the greedy billionaire in this movie is a terrorist or if you want to say that the trigger-happy convicts he hires are terrorists or if you want to say that the genius computer programmer (who I think is suppose to be from India) is a terrorist. They actually seem to be more like a bunch of greedy crooks in this movie.

I bought this videotape for 99 cents at a local supermarket where it was in the bargain bin shelves. Since Scott Bakula was in it, then I thought why not watch it to see some of the stuff he did in the years between his work on "Quantum Leap" and "Star Trek: Enterprise". Also, I didn't watch this when this was first broadcast, so it was a good opportunity to catch on what I missed watching on the TV.

The ending of this "NetForce" movie is good for episodic television where the TV viewer is strung along to keep watching the next show to find out what happens next, but I got a little antsy having to wait through whole thing to get to the end. Maybe if they put the commercials in then I probably wouldn't have been so antsy.
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Complete and Total Bull.
Mark Wiese27 February 2005
I have never seen such an atrocious pathetic attempt at a crime thriller. The complete ignorance to the truth of the way computers and the internet work was only one of the poor elements of this film, but it managed to disappoint in every other aspect as well. The story was contrived and uninteresting. The characters were plastic and unconvincing. The manufactured suspense was nothing more than frustrating and annoying. Had there been any research done on the factual basis of this story, there may have been some interesting thread, but as any intelligent person who has even the slightest understanding of how technology or the internet works, this movie is an obvious farce. Even with only the expectation of an average fictional "techno-phobic" type story, I was disappointed by the lack of any real original content. Of all my experience of Tom Clancy's work, this is the worst and most disappointing example I have ever encountered. Even on the larger scale, this movie is one of the worst, hopeless, disgraceful, and offensive efforts I have ever had the misfortune to witness and endure. The worst 2 dollars I have ever spent.
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Not as good as I'd hoped for...
WesTurner13 August 2002
The story started off well enough, but after just a bit, the FBI's NetForce started looking like a bunch of nerds playing in cyber-space. Trying to bust someone in a VR environment just wouldn't work. They TOLD the guy, and he just logged off! <sighs> Oh, well... then they went on to imply that the Internet was actually controllable... and could be shut off by someone attacking hardlines, satellites, or fiber optic lines... as if the users could actually tell what medium was being used for the transmission of their signals. <shakes his head> It could have been better, but I couldn't rate it too low, after all, it DID have a very good twist at the end (no spoiler here!), but even that part wasn't played out very well.

I hope to see more like it (but with better technical advice/support).
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This was a very good movie...
krimzzen23 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I was impressed with the modern gadgets.

I think that the premise that in the future the internet will have to be policed is a compelling idea. The movie did lack character development in some areas, but the acting and action was well done. I also thought that Scott Bakula did a really wonderful job, as always.

I have never read the Tom Clancy novel, 'Netforce', but perhaps that was for the best. Usually movies made using novels as the basis end up feeling like tin foil. Seeing this movie without having read the novel I felt the story was complete. The storyline was interesting and without holes.
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Horrible, truly horrible
Fred M. Hung11 May 2005
Though lacking in character development, Tom Clancy novels are superb for their plot intricacies and fervent attention to detail. The Hunt for Red October -- the best film adaptation of the Jack Ryan series thus far -- still stands as my favorite film of all time.

Like any writer sensing opportunity, Clancy decided to franchise his name to such series as Op Center and Net Force. Op Center was actually a surprisingly "OK" TV mini-series, thanks to the efforts of Harry Hamlin and Lindsay Frost. Net Force, however, is a total disaster.

It's difficult even to establish blame. While the notion of an Internet investigations division of the FBI sounds appealing (isn't the Secret Service in fact charged with this responsibility?), everything in Op Center is ludicrous. The sophomoric romantic storyline of Bakula and Going, the uber Bill Gates villain played by Judge Reinhold, and the Kris Kristofferson (Can you believe he was in fact a Rhodes Scholar and former Army pilot??) dead mentor with a secret -- all of this just defies conventional wisdom or reality.

Without belaboring the point, Net Force is just plain not entertaining.
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