I’ve been on a cyberpunk kick recently and figured we haven’t had any movies in the genre in a while but at least we can have a fake movie:
We are in first person perspective. It’s a Bladerunneresque world. Our hero is walking through a crowded street filled with neon and smoke. There are street vendors selling Chinese noodles. As one of the venders offers up a bowl, there is a technical readout. It shows the approximate mass, composition, calories and pricing information. A man steps out of the crowd and confronts the camera. In another readout we see his nickname is Needles and he is owed 47000 credits.
Our hero (Quint) begins to run but the screen begins to flash red. “You are past due for your required advertisement period. Overriding visual system. For you safety we recommend you sit for the duration. Have a nice day.” A commercial begins to play. The screen is bright white and an authoritative woman begins talk about how great this year’s line of cybernetics is. The next commercial is a political ad. It talks of elitist and parasitic ‘no-techs’. The camera cuts to a shot outside the first person view. Quint’s eyes have a glow and he is stumbling unseeing about the street. Needles strides up to him and hits him in the back of the head.
When Quint comes to he is tied to a chair in an abandoned factory. “You make it too easy. You know you should really schedule your mandatory ad viewing. It can get… dangerous if you don’t.” Needles tells Quint that he has a job for him that will make them square. He needs him to use his hacking skills to find the no-techs stronghold. “They are really good at not leaving digital footprints because they don’t use a lot of technology, but I have faith in you Quint. I know you won’t let me down, because if you do, it’ll be for the last time.” Needle mimes a throat slitting.
Quint starts the hack. Think Hackers with the wire frame buildings representing data. Quint is able to pull it off. A GPS coordinate flashes across the screen. Needles is pleased and gives him a tip.
Quint immediately blows the money on neural stimulates (stims). After a bender he wakes up to find three men standing over him. “You are a hard man to find Quint. Your man Needles gave you up.” “Are you here to kill me?” “No, we are offering you life.” The man stabs a syringe directly into Quints eye.
The men take Quint to the no-tech stronghold. It is a misnomer as a lot of the residents use different forms of technology. Quint is allowed to acclimate to the new environment but he isn’t allowed to leave. The injection to his eye disabled the implant and he relearns how to relate to the world without it.
After a few weeks Quint has a sit down with the leader of the no-techs Becca. In a long speech she explains everything comes down to freedom and control. Technology is not bad in and of itself, in fact they used technology to track Quint down. Most of the technology created now, such as the eye implants are owned by GenCo which is using it to control people by forcing them to watch propaganda. That’s why they are being demonized, they are a threat to the control. Moreover, it is the Cyberbaron who is in control. He owns the largest company, the cybernetics focused GenCo and is also the political ruler of the country. There is too much power in one persons hands. That’s why they tracked Quint down. His skills will be of use when they take him down.
Quint isn’t having any of it. He just wants to do stims and return to his life. Becca says he isn’t a prisoner, or at least he isn’t their prisoner. Quint leaves and has a major bender. In a flash of sobriety he sees children playing and talking about how much they hates the no-techs. Quint of course has a change of heart.
He does a major hack to get all the information about the Cyberbaron and returns to the no-tech stronghold. He tells them that all the important systems are housed in servers in the Cyberbaron’s penthouse of the tallest building in the city. Its impossible to remotely hack into them but if he was physically there, he could take control. He says it’s a suicide mission but there just might be a chance if they have the right people.
In heist movie fashion, the rest of the act consists of recruiting the various team members. There is a ninja assassin, a heavy weapons guy, a master of disguise, an explosives expert and Quint himself as the hacker.
It’s time for the heist. It’s like Dredd (or the Raid) where the team battle their way slowly up the to the top of the building. They murder waves of security personnel. Team members are killed one by one and given appropriate send offs. It’s down to just Quint and the ninja as they break into the penthouse.
The cyberbaron has monitors set up everywhere and has been watching everything. He greets the two warmly. He starts to monologue. He talks about how people might resent his power but they are addicted to the technology he provides. It’s an equal trade, giving up some freedoms for comfort. Quint says he is forgetting about choice. It’s only a trade if people can reject the offer. He starts to approach the servers.
The cyberbaron yells for him to stop. The ninja steps between the two of them. The cyberbaron starts to explain that the good thing about owning a cybernetics company is the custom projects. He transforms into a cybernetic monster, think anime. It tears the ninja in half and attacks Quint. Quint tries to fight but is easily overcome. The cyberbaron is about to deliver the killing blow when Quint stabs him with a bunch of stims. The drugs are too much for him and he explodes.
Quint is able to hack into the server with a hardline connection and deliver his virus. It cuts to the street. Everyone’s eyes start to flicker. On the screen text is displayed. “All your base are belong to us. GenCo is p0ned. We offer freedom. A choice. Give up freedom for comfort (yes/no)”
Well done Dunn! We haven’t had any cyberpunk in a long time, I actually cringed at the eye stabbing part