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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Signs of the Times

Hardwired on IMDb

Plot Overview

Kaboom!rotating earthIn the not-too-distant future, countries have been taken over by corporations. When they ran out of large ad space, Hope Industries launched an experimental program called Project 660 whereby they implant chips in test subjects enabling them to project ads inside their heads. They have a fail-safe mechanism by which they jolt a body into submission who strays from their parameters; in extreme cases it's a lethal jolt.

One Way

boy and girl on computerSubject 373 Luke Gibson (Cuba Gooding Jr.), former Captain in the Army Special Forces, has strayed from the game but his intended kill shot has been blocked by hacker Traxler “Key­board” Vukovich (Chad Krowchuk) who with his father Hal (Michael Iron­side) and a sibling pair Punk Blue (Juan Riedinger) & Punk Red (Tatiana Maslany) have formed a resistance cell. They send him floating instructions & hovering arrows to direct him how to evade the hit squad that comes after him.


hand crank ice cream makerHere has arisen conflict à la, (Prov. 30:33) “Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife.” The idea in the proverb is that a state of peace and conciliation can change to one of war just as a liquid (milk) can change to solid (butter) through constant agitation (churning.) Or hit a critical area (nose) and it bleeds. The former is illustrated by a mental bombardment of cyber ads for a product, which won't stop until the targeted individual acquires actual possession of it … even if he must steal. The latter by bloody noses of the actors for the spiels once Luke locates them and expresses his displeasure.

girl on computerWhat really provokes Hal is his son “just lying there” a paraplegic after he'd been shot in the head. It gets to him after a while. What gets Luke's goat, after he's recovered most of his memory, was the assassination of his pregnant wife Veronica (Monica Mustelier.) That's enough to get this crew to come after the corp exec Virgil Kirkhill (Val Kilmer) big time.

Production Values

” (2009) was directed by Ernie Barbarash. It was written by Michael Hurst. It stars Cuba Gooding Jr., Val Kilmer, and Michael Ironside. The acting was adequate except for the doctor's part that was wooden.

puzzled ladiesMPA rated it R for violence. It was filmed on location in Langley, British Columbia, Canada. In Sci-Fi flicks setting is important to evoke some future time. Here commercial ads are shown displayed on (corporate owned) land­marks and the like, which would be verboten in our day and age. To compensate for the deluge of information, people arrange their personal spaces with elegance & simplicity. Kitchen pots & pans are shiny & smooth. House­plants are waving grasses. Dishware is in primary colors. Paintings are abstract forms with sweeping lines. Only the human guinea pigs who receive adverts internally have reverted to the clutter endemic to our own modern life.

wildebeestWe would call leading man Luke & judas goat Drake (Eric Breker) African Americans, which phrase super­seded black in our vernacular, and before that they'd have gone by any of various ‘n-words’ derived from the Latin niger for black. Further back still was Noah's grand­son Cush, meaning black in Hebrew, having settled in Africa, of the disfavored line of Noah's son Ham. African-American wouldn't carry the same weight in this picture, because America is now a maligned corporation and Africa ain't what it used to be either. Shown in broad­side is an onyx standing stationary on the savannah with its coat emblazoned with a dyed-in-the-wool full-page ad. Yes, we're back to skin color in this future.

History has repeated its sorry self. Dr. Ide writes, “Noah feared that any inter­course within each species in the ark would lead to an explosion of the number of that species and thus for­bade all beings ([human] and animal) from coitus. Only three of the passengers refused: Noah's son Ham who feared that if he didn't have coitus with his wife his brothers Shem and Japheth would discover that their sister-in-law was already pregnant by a giant, the dog and a rooster. To expose their crime of coitus during this ‘holy voyage of abstinence’ the yahweh [i.e. God] of Noah turned Ham's skin black, lengthened his penis and made him so lustful that he would engage in sex at any instance” (36). I heard of the same punishment once on a German short­wave broad­cast discussing Jewish traditions, but it added also that because of his insolent words, Ham's lips were thickened, and because of his perversion his hair was turned kinky.

Here Luke's wife recorded an a.m. birthday greeting apologizing for having to go into work early but said she would give him his “present” later. When he picked her up from work, she indicated she was available for a roll in the hay if he wanted to skip their planned social engagement. And in a pastiche of their life together, she is shown on the couch with a come-hither invitation. She knows him as “so lustful that he would engage in sex at any instance.” Corporate instead of calling him insolent called him “belligerent,” about the same thing. And kinky creature Robert Drake was so compromised that Luke told him to get another gig.

The production values were quite strong for a direct-to-video movie. The script while derivative does attempt a little mystery and a few original touches. Runtime's about 1½ hours.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

This is not an extravagant Sci-Fi blockbuster, but sometimes less is more. It does evoke a 50's style milieu sans apology for low budget, as excessive public commercialism had forced the characters to tone down their personal spaces. Racism, if one could even call it that, was worn rather than shouted as were sexist punk hairdos color coded. There was lots of tension and plenty of action. Christians often complain about too much commercialism in the media, and here we're given some­thing to complain about. If Sci-Fi movies are supposed to be cautionary tales, this one succeeds in spades. It delivers on multiple fronts.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat action-packed. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture taken from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Ide, Arthur Frederick. Noah & the Ark: The Influence of Sex, Homo­phobia and
  Heterosexism in the Flood Story and its Writing. Las Colinas: Monument Press, 1992. Print.