This is another movie that purists might not call “science fiction,” but since, as with Transformers, it’s listed under that genre in the Internet Movie Database, I’m counting it for the 42 Challenge. My two sons, one of whom had already seen this, put it in the Netflix queue, and it didn’t take long for me to know why. Highly intelligent young men; lasers; pranks, hijinks and MIT-style hacks—what was there not to like?
In terms of plot, a university professor is using his undergraduate geniuses (one of whom is played by a much younger Val Kilmer) to do the work on a laser project that a secret arm of the government is funding for use in a weapons system. The students don’t know what the research will be used for, but when, with the help of a former student who dropped out in his own unique way, they find out, they fight back in the way they know best, by re-engineering the system to … well, it’s a quite worthy hack.
According to my atomic physicist son, much of the laser research presented in this movie is dead on. In other words, what sounds like jargon really does mean something if you speak that language. The premise of the laser as used in the weapons system stretches things, but I was assured that much of the rest was valid.
Was this movie deeply thought-provoking? No. Was it fun? Heck, yes! I've already told my nuclear physicist husband (who arrives home from a workshop late tonight) that he's watching this with me tomorrow.