Banned from touching a computer until his 18th birthday because of a hacking stunt, Dade Murphy (Miller) and his mum move to New York, where he meets like-minded folk at his new school. When one of them infiltrates a scam masterminded by The Plague (Stevens), it's down to the gang to divert computer catastrophe.
Two years after his Beatles study Backbeat landed Iain Softley firmly in the list of young Brit directors tipped for greatness, his follow-up effort has finally appeared. And while this hi-tech cyberyarn is far from flawless, it should go some way to keeping its young helmer in regular employment for a while yet.
It's a thin plot, certainly, and one which flounders considerably in a middle third monopolised by dull technobabble and untenable teen bonding, but the young cast, many making their movie debut, provide a welcome shot of vibrancy and enthusiasm. Miller, in particular, who made this before playing Sick Boy in Trainspotting, offers further evidence that he is a name to watch, while Stevens' cackling panto villain snarl and tendency to get all the best lines ("there is no right or wrong, only fun or boring") helps no end.
Add Simon Boswell's funky techno soundtrack and the sort of New York tourist footage that would tempt anybody with wanderlust to take the next plane out, and Softley's daft teen movie cum computer heist flick is ultimately rather an attractive proposition.
A plot thinner than an LCD monitor doesn't prevent the bombastic fun, and the young cast help it hurtle along.