Like Benjamin, the main protagonist, the film wants to get noticed. But while doing so, it fails to figure out what it actually wants to become. Benjamin does become one of the most wanted hackers in the world. The film though is neither clever nor entertaining. It is just redundant.
1 out of 4 stars
For Fun and Ego
Benjamin (Tom Schilling) is a puzzling character. We are told that he is a great hacker. Still, as a day job, he delivers pizza. Now you might argue that he is like Superman and Spiderman (his idols). Great super characters who save the world while enjoying their privacy as nobodies. But you should consider two things. Firstly, at no point of time does Benjamin go anywhere near saving the world. Secondly, he actually does not want to be a nobody. In fact, he hates being invisible. Though I cannot imagine how a guy like him can feel invisible. Never overshadowed by a sibling or dominated by a parent, he always had to stand up and be counted to get anything done.
But Benjamin being who he is, his entire ambition of life revolves around getting noticed. One fine day, he comes across Max (Elyas M’Barek). Max is great at pulling the crowd towards him. Benjamin gets drawn towards Max like a magnet, even starting to walk like him. Max has two other friends. Together, they form some kind of a tech team, though it’s not clear what they actually do. Benjamin becomes the fourth member, and together, they become team CLAY. The members of team CLAY have one thing in common. They are all losers. I have the strongest opinion that anybody who lives only to be appreciated by someone else is a loser.
While Benjamin spends his energy trying to please the world, the rest of the members are busy trying to please MRX. MRX, real identity undisclosed, is a bigger computer whiz-kid. He is assumed to be some kind of a godfather to the rest of the dark net (hidden internet). To please MRX, the team does things that we care shit about. And this is where the real problems start. The men go on to do things, like hacking the Europol or pharmacy offices, which have no higher causes. CLAY does it only for fun and MRX. It made me crave for MR. Robot, who really wanted something the common people could identify with (expose the “top 1% of the top 1%”).
The great Hanne Lindberg
While trying to feed MRX’s ego, the team enters Europol’s wanted list. Benjamin especially is wanted for a murder he did not commit. Though I failed to understand why he has to fear because he wasn’t even at the murder scene. But there are good reasons to worry. Hanne Lindberg (Trine Dyrholm), Cyber Division of Europol’s head, is a nincompoop. You can escape from her by hiding under the computer desk. She wont check there. If you make up a story and tell it to her, she will believe it. No matter how gigantic the holes are (someone actually says this to her). She will not look into other records (CCTV cameras, at least?). No, she will believe you and go along with your story.
This is what she does at the end. Which brings us to one of the most useless endings I have ever seen. The twist is too much for too little. It builds a case for one person, but strangely five get to walk away with it. Moreover, the case that the person builds up makes him apt for psychiatric treatment, and not for release. All of this goes to show how poor judge of a character Hanne, Cyber Division of Europol’s head, is.
The ending is a murky questionable development that adds no further value to what has gone before. It brings just one conclusion. Like Benjamin, the film wants to be noticed. But while doing so, it fails to figure out what it actually wants to become. Benjamin does become one of the most wanted hackers in the world. Also, the film becomes everything that might make the Europol want to sue its makers. But for the rest of us, it is neither clever nor entertaining. It is just redundant.
Credits (from IMDB):
Baran bo Odar
Jantje Friese & Baran bo Odar