If you’re anxious about the death of privacy in the internet age, this sci-fi thriller starring Clive Owen and Amanda Seyfried will give you nightmares.
In a near-future New York, surveillance is total and privacy has vanished.
Walk down the street and the life records of everyone you encounter is visible on your own retina, thanks to a biosynthetic computer implant called The Mind’s Eye and a vast grid known as The Ether.
This makes solving crime a breeze. Until, that is, Owen’s jaded police detective discovers that someone has worked out how to hack into The Ether and edit the data.
He’d like to point the finger at Seyfried’s enigmatic stranger. But she is a ghost in the system, an anonymous cypher who doesn’t appear on his Mind’s Eye, or anywhere else.
And, as if this isn’t bad enough, a string of bodies are turning up in her invisible wake…
The plot here is certainly futuristic, but writer-director Andrew Niccol gives it the patina of old-school film noir. Appropriately enough, Owen’s world-weary detective is a throwback to the vintage gumshoes of the past, while Seyfried’s aura of mystery makes her an ideal femme fatale.
Not everything works, however. The film’s look is moody enough, but it makes the drama rather airless. And the surprisingly raunchy sex scenes are rather jarring, as well.
Still, Niccol gets one important thing absolutely right. Just as film noir tapped into the social anxieties of the 1940s and 50s, Anon is spot on when it comes to our own growing angst about snooping and sharing.