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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The Net 2.0
The Net 2.0
Sony Pictures // R // February 7, 2006
List Price: $24.96 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Jeffrey Robinson | posted February 2, 2006 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie

The 1995 movie The Net starred actress Sandra Bullock in a story about identity theft. I refer you to DVD Talk's review of The Net for more details. This review covers the 2006 direct-to-video sequel, The Net 2.0. The movie is a sequel purely in name, as the story lacks any continuity from the first film. There characters and settings are all new. However there are still similarities in the overall storyline, as it continues to follow the general theme of identity theft. The end effect is a direct-to-video that most people will never want to bother seeing. Even if you enjoyed the first movie, there is little to like about The Net 2.0.

The story is about Hope Cassidy (Nikki Deloach), who is a talented computer systems analyst. Like Bullock's character in The Net, she has virtually no connections to the world. Her parents were killed when she was young and socially she has few friends, although unlike Bullock's character she does have a boyfriend. Regardless, these ties to society are not at all important as in the first movie, because the setting is in Istanbul, Turkey. In this different setting, Hope gets put in a situation where she does not know anyone and no one knows her. So whether or not she was a geeky socially inept computer nerd, she still gets put in a place where she has no ties to society.

In the opening of the movie Hope is recounting the events that have led up until now. She is in custody for a double homicide and the Istanbul police believe she is Kelly Roos and not Hope Cassidy. She explains her situation. Just a few days ago, she was fighting with her boyfriend about moving to Istanbul. Her talents were noticed and she was given a great job opportunity she decided to take. Moving ahead she makes the trip to Istanbul and begins to describe the events that led to her stolen identity.

When she first arrived in Turkey she found her passport was almost expired. The next day at the American consulate she picked up a new passport, which oddly was issued incorrectly and stated she was one Kelly Roos. Hope no longer had identification proving she was Hope and later found herself in a predicament when she began her job working on a bank's computer system and was accused of not being who she says she was. The story continues with Hope being chased by the police, Russian gunrunners, and some other parties.

I have always enjoyed The Net. While I wouldn't rate it a great film, it still has its merits. The unfortunate news about The Net 2.0 is that it does not compare. The two films maintain the same general theme about computer savvy types with little ties to society whose identities are stolen while they are put in the middle of a murderous plot are the same, but the approaches are significantly different.

The original movie has several clear strengths. Firstly, Bullock's portrayal of the computer geek was done much better than Deloach could ever hope to bring. Part of the problem is how the main character and supporting roles were developed. In The Net there was a fair amount of detail versus The Net 2.0 which was very sparse in this department. The techie nerd, socially inept character seemed to have little role in this sequel, while it was a big part of the first movie. In the end, The Net 2.0 delivers little as a movie and will most likely leave you bored rather than entertained. Even if you enjoyed The Net (and especially if you didn't enjoy it), this movie will seem like a waste of time.

The DVD

Video:
The video is given in 1.78:1 ratio anamorphic widescreen color. The picture quality for this video transfer is pretty good. There are compression artifacts, but generally the picture looks pretty sharp. There are also some portions during high motion scenes when there is noticeable ghosting. In general the dark and light colors are represented well.

Audio:
The audio track supplied comes in two flavors, 5.1 Dolby digital surround sound (English & Portuguese) and 2.0 Dolby stereo sound (French & Spanish). The audio sounds sharp and all dialogue is easily heard. The 5.1 track makes decent use of the dynamic setup, however the forward channels is where most of the action takes place. This release also comes with subtitles in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, and Korean. There is also support for English closed captioning.

Extras:
There is not a whole lot included for the extras department. The most notably item is an audio commentary with director Charles Winkler and producer Rob Cowan. The commentary is about as exciting as the movie, which is not saying much. In addition there are some trailers for The Hunt For Eagle One, The Legend of Zorro, Rent, and The Net.

Final Thoughts:
For a movie, The Net 2.0 offers little to the viewer in its characters and story. The movie takes a similar approach as its predecessor The Net, but falls short in the development of its characters and storyline. In the end, we are left with a suspense/thriller that is more likely to put you to sleep than keep you on the edge of your seat. So whether or not you enjoyed 1995 movie The Net, this direct-to-video sequel is not worth your time.

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