Stars: Pierce Brosnan, James Frecheville, Anna Friel, Stefanie Scott, Jason Barry, Brian F. Mulvey, Martin Hindy, Clare-Hope Ashitey, David McSavage | Written by Dan Kay, William Wisher | Directed by John Moore
When his daughter complains about their home’s dodgy Internet connection, high-flying executive Mike Regan (Pierce Brosnan) brings in I.T. guy Ed (James Frecheville). Overestimating the breadth of their friendship – by assuming that they have one – the spurned tech guy turns stalker, using his computer skills to infiltrate and attack the family on every level. They’re gonna need a better firewall.
It may have a grizzled, craggy former James Bond as the lead, but this is no Taken riff. In spite of its ultra high-tech trappings, I.T. is a remarkably old-fashioned stalker movie, reminiscent of the likes of Prey, Pacific Heights, One Hour Photo or, um, The Cable Guy. It’s the sort of thing you might see Nicolas Cage making in the newfound straight to DVD stage of his career, or as a low-budget thriller on late night TV. Not that there isn’t still plenty of room for a modern stalker movie (see the brilliant The Gift, for example), but I.T. does not feel at all like a modern stalker movie. In fact, Brosnan seems to be living in the same house he actually played in The Simpsons, fifteen years ago.
Still, it does have Pierce Brosnan, and that’s nothing to be sniffed at. Even without his license to kill, Brosnan exudes cool and charisma, lending the film a sense of class it doesn’t really deserve. Unfortunately, he also does so while saddled with one of the worst accents ever perpetrated by a (former) A-list actor. Brosnan may be Irish, but his Northern accent in I.T. borders on hate crime, drifting in and out from scene to scene (it wasn’t until five minutes in until I realised he was actually doing an accent). Note to filmmakers: please stop making Pierce Brosnan do accents.
Thankfully, Anna Friel is there to pick up the slack as Mike’s wife. Always underrated, she gives a strong performance in a fairly clichéd role which gives her little to do but look worried and be the damsel in distress for the film’s (predictable) climax.
Still, for all its faults (of which it has many), I.T. is an enjoyable throwback, pitting an angry James Bond against an annoying, dangerous nerd. It’s predictable and schlocky in a harmless kind of way, and part of the charm is in seeing these familiar, cheesy elements fall into place, ticking them off the checklist as we go along. A film which feels completely dated from its title down, I.T. is Recycle Bin fodder, but fun, all the same. Just make sure you see it through in one sitting – because once you turn it off (predictable joke) there’ll be no inclination to turn it back on again.
I.T. will be released in select UK cinemas on 10th March 2017. The film will also be available to watch on Premium Digital Download the same day, on iTunes, Amazon, Wuaki, Talk Talk, Google Play, Microsoft Xbox, Sky Store, and Vubiquity.