An unsuspecting, disenchanted man finds himself working as a spy in the dangerous, high-stakes world of corporate espionage. Quickly getting way over-his-head, he teams up with a mysterious femme fatale.
Hoping for a more exciting life than the suburban drawl he currently inhabits, nerdy salary man Morgan Sullivan takes a job as an industrial spy at Digicorp, a global computer corporation. Digicorp assigns him the duty of flying to various conventions around America, recording the speeches that are made. But when Sullivan meets a mysterious woman he begins to realize that his job may not be what it seems, as he descends into a dark underworld of brainwashing and struggles to maintain his own identity.Written by
The film may be alluding to the Divine Comedy by Dante, in which Dante seeks a woman he has admired from afar, Beatrice. In Cypher the hero seeks Rita, a name which can be constructed from the middle four letters of Beatrice. See more »
When Morgan is given his fake California ID, it shows a Blue and a Red Bar below the name and address. The Blue line is to denote a provisional license for those under 18 at the time of issuance, and the red bar is to denote what year the ID holder turns 21. Morgan appears to be in his 30's, so there would be no colored bars on his ID. See more »
Some great visuals embedded in corporate cyber-spy silliness, but entertaining anyway
Cypher is an entertaining but irritating film. Nothing in the film is exactly as it appears, and the film reads a lot like a Dean Koontz novel . It's premise is ridiculous, and none of the characters are particularly believable, but you still feel compelled to go on because you sense that something clever is afoot. Indeed, something clever is going on here, but most alert and intelligent viewers will see each plot twist coming, and will feel (at least through most of the film) that they have seen it all before. In my opinion, Cypher is worth watching anyway - if not simply for its occasionally gorgeous photography then for its original and interesting finish.
In fact, nothing about the film itself is really what it appears. It poses as an independent project but obviously sported a sizable budget, and drew the backing of some attention of some big names. It appears to be a sci-fi film, but it's really just a pedestrian spy thriller with a few sci-fi elements tossed in to differentiate it slightly from the dozens of similar films that have been made in this popular genre.
Likable Lucy Liu plays her usual role - an ambiguous heroine who could be a savior or a slayer for Jeremy Northam - a man who has been reprogrammed, brainwashed, and seems on his way to hell with a one way ticket. Northam plays a man without a fixed identity . He is a corporate spy who has been so badly used that he no longer knows who he is and who he is working for. Yet the film only superficially resembles The Bourne Identity. To its credit, Cypher offers some amusing parodies of itself and its ilk very early on. Northam makes the film with an evolving, highly dynamic, and often annoying performance - playing a character who is, in fact, at least three different characters.
Though Cypher is somewhat predictable in terms of action and events, it is never exactly made clear what is motivating everything until the very end. And, in the end, the payoff is worth the sometimes aggravating pace and superficiality of the film.
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