This quest blew up the darknet in 2012. Only a select few can pass it – those who will solve the riddles scattered around the world. The goal of the test is to find people with truly high intelligence. The authors – anonymous Cicada 3301 – can be anything from cyber geeks to intelligence officials. What awaits the players in the final? The ingenious hacker Connor and his friends set off on the digital trail of Cicada in search of answers, but NSA agents intend to get ahead of them.
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If someone other than Alan Richson had a hand in the creation of this film, it seems that he has not moved away from the toilet humor and his own stupid character from the TV series “State of Blue Mountain”, he (the film) would have turned out much more interesting.
In part, the events of “Cicada 3301” focus on real events that began in 2012 and are associated with the mysterious organization of the same name, which attracts very smart people who “rummage” in programming and are able to decipher even the most complex problems. In general, this turns out to be the main character Connor (Jack Kesey), who works as a bartender and once through the Network comes across a strange message from “Cicada” and immediately falls into the field of view of the national security agents, whose goal is to find the organization.
Further events tell how Connor, along with his friend, as well as a familiar librarian, followed the trail of the mysteries left by the “Cicada” and got closer and closer to the organization.
The most interesting thing in the film is to follow the characters and together with them decipher the messages that are encountered along the way. Although not all riddles seem obvious, nor does the heroes realize that they have found a solution. Sometimes it’s too easy for them to do it, which can also be said about their super-talented programming skills. But one way or another, the quest theme in the film is spelled out well and looks quite interesting to itself. As well as a theme with a large number of titles that pop up in different parts of the frame, which primarily adds dynamism to the picture, even in situations where it is static.
But in terms of everything else, “Cicada” can be disappointing. Richson, who directed this film, preferred the comedy of the plot to its adventurous inclinations. “Cicada 3301” could well have become a quest version of “Treasures of the Nation” or the movie “13 Sins”, where unknown people threw the hero one by one more and more impossible tasks. Even with a small budget, but a thorough study of the script and the definition of the most important questions that the script is asked and which he himself answers, it was possible to make a really cool film about hackers, hacks, quests and of course riddles, the solution of which (it does not matter – this is a crossword puzzle, Sudoku, cryptogram or the most complex digital cipher) has always given a person pleasure.
With the light hand of Richson, “Cicada 3301” turned out to be more stupid, not smart (although there were prerequisites for that). For some reason, the director and performer of one of the roles of NSA agents weaved fictional stories from Connor into the film, in which the character of Richson himself was presented in the stupidest light. Alan himself, or rather his character, was at the same level of development as his character in Blue Mountain State.
But even if we close our eyes to the extra comedic component of the film, one mystery remains unresolved: what is the general meaning of this film? Is it that “Cicada 3301” is looking for intellectual hackers to recruit into its ranks for the subsequent change of the world? But if so, how many more hackers do you need to collect to start implementing this idea? Is Connor destined to become their leader or just one of the performers? How does Cicada intend to change anything at all? By writing call-to-action slogans on the Web? Well, sorry, of course, but, as they say, something is also written on the fence.
Again, if the director tried to give his alternative answer to the question “what is the Cicada doing”, his (answer) had to be formulated more clearly and clearly, because the ending of the picture did not answer any of the questions.
Codec: HEVC / H.265 (71.7 Mb/s)
Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
Aspect ratio: 2.00:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.00:1
German: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
English: Dolby Digital 2.0