Interwebbing

There’s more historical interest in The Net 2.0 than the end product, which is a blatant, tired retread of 1995’s The Net. Same story, same twists, but no connections other than in name.

Direct-to-video saw a resurgence in the DVD era, so studios resurrected decades old properties with sequels like The Net 2.0. How different the physical media marketplace was back then, to a point where collecting reached the mainstream, enough to sell duds like this.

Total lack of depth erases The Net 2.0 from memory seconds after it’s turned off

As if it were possible not to, focus on the erratic, choppy cinematography as well. Between the Bourne series and The Matrix’s lingering influence, stifling camerawork adds angled perspectives to simple conversations, cuts up action with still frames, plus inserts random slow motion. It’s not only disruptive, but unattractive too. Trying to sort out edits and keep the car/foot chases in order is nearly impossible.

And finally, the post 9/11 era, an embarrassment in hindsight. The Net 2.0 puts Hope Cassidy (Nikki Deloach) in Turkey where the Muslim culture sits over the story. Cassidy is the petite white American woman, sleeping homeless in a graveyard as Muslim prayer hymns run through the soundtrack. The forced oppression is laughable, at least were it not so pervasive in movies and society.

Also involved, Russian gunrunners, setting this plot in motion as Cassidy becomes the financial pawn. For its mistakes, The Net stayed technologically neutral, even plausible. The Net 2.0 introduces room-sized holographic screens for Cassidy to hack into, because the visuals weren’t abrasive enough.

Other than some Turkish locals, The Net 2.0 hardly develops its cast. Cassidy lacks heroine qualities, mostly because her captors exhibit brain dead judgment. Bit parts like a friendly cab driver stand out more than Cassidy, because at least those roles allow personality. Total lack of depth erases The Net 2.0 from memory seconds after it’s turned off.

Video

Abhorrent compression leaves endless artifacts behind. It’s a mess, barely above DVD, and that’s being generous. Rapid editing/cutting suffer worse than the rest, creating chunky blocks with every edit.

As such, no surprise that detail collapses. Any resolution gains in this HD presentation are instantly wiped out. Net 2.0 looks soft and unimpressive. A hearty contrast won’t help, but at least adds some brightness to an overall dull image. Post-production tinkers with things, blowing out/clipping some highlights on purpose.

Color grading introduces a few distinct palettes for flash-forwards, notably cooler tones for prison scenes. The rest veers toward warm, even sepia or yellows. Still some other colors persist, saturated enough to draw the eye. Things such as flags lining the streets show rich reds and blues.

Audio

Serviceable DTS-HD stereo, splitting the front soundstage on occasion when the action picks up. Cars drift between the available speakers during chases. The soundtrack dances around too, nothing spectacular, but enough.

Slight range uses the subwoofer where necessary, but limited in extensions. An explosion hits the limit, a passable fireball erupting to rumble.

Extras

Nothing, but this is included on the same disc with The Net.

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The Net 2.0
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Movie

A relic from DVD’s prime, The Net 2.0 soaks in mid-’00s cliches, and few of those are positive.

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