4 Stars
Year Released: 2006
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 17 minutes
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“Phished” is a jolly and compelling four-part episodic online film following the misadventures of an average Joe who discovers that his financial data has been stolen via the Net (or, in cybertalk, phished). Rather than sitting around waiting for outsiders to help solve his problems, this crime victim turns crime fighter in trying to hunt down and bring to justice the miscreants who hooked his information.

Although it is sponsored by Symantec, the anti-virus software company, “Phished” is not a commercial for the company or its product line. Far from it! If anything, it is a stylish and entertaining production that approaches the serious subject of identity theft with uncommon originality. Brilliantly directed and written by Scott Cohn, “Phished” does the impossible by taking a dry and deadly serious topic and turns it into an engaging and witty adventure that genuinely leaves the audience hungry for more. For an online production, this is fairly sophisticated (complete with stuntwork and elaborate make-up effects).

Kevin Allison, playing the everyman victim of the phishing theft, is wonderfully effective as he goes to unusual lengths (including a trip in a hang glider) to locate those who grievously wronged him. Forget about Brandon Routh in blue and red tights – the real Superman in movies is this deceptively unassuming but remarkably tenacious human bulldog who won’t quit until the lingering residue of injustice is erased from his world.

“Phished” provides a welcome reminder that online movies aren’t just for amateurs and satirists. As this production proves, talented people with something original to say can easily find their own home in cyberspace.

Posted on July 26, 2006 in Reviews by

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