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Review: Techno-thriller ‘I.T.’ stuck in an 8-bit world

James Frecheville, left, and Pierce Brosnan in the movie "I.T."
James Frecheville, left, and Pierce Brosnan in the movie “I.T.”
(Jonathan Hession / RLJ Entertainment)

The alarmist thriller “I.T.” puts a high-tech gloss on the idea that one obsessed sicko, with the right access, can ruin someone’s life. This old-fashioned premise has been upgraded for the “smart house” era, but a plodding pace and a lack of technological specifics still make this picture about as state-of-the-art as a Commodore 64.

Pierce Brosnan stars as Mike Regan, a high-powered CEO trying to revive his company’s flagging fortunes with a bold new initiative. When snafus sabotage an important presentation, Mike calls for help from one of his low-level I.T. guys, Ed Porter (James Frecheville), and inadvertently gives his psychopathic ex-NSA agent employee the impression that they’ve become friends.

After Ed gets snubbed by Mike one too many times, he takes advantage of all the software and hardware he’s installed for his boss to hack his very existence. Ed stalks the Regan family via security cameras, messes up their various online accounts and plants false information that threatens Mike’s livelihood.

In this age of terrorist hackers and anonymous action against the super-wealthy, “I.T.” should feel more timely and terrifying than it does. But perhaps because we’ve heard so much about cybercrime in the news — as well as on savvy TV shows like “Mr. Robot” — the generic references here to “defragging” and “firewalls” don’t impress.

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Director John Moore doesn’t help matters with his slow-drip plot-delivery and overheated tone. Ultimately, there’s just nothing here that’s snappy or relevant. In tech-speak, this film is bricked.

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‘I.T.’

Not rated

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Running time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Playing: Laemmle Playhouse 7, Pasadena

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