Whats it about? Who knows? It seems to be about a man recruited as a corporate spy who becomes embroiled in a confusing double-agent life.
Is this a joke? This film ought to be called When Good Sci-fi's Go Bad. It's an absolute wreck, a piss-poor excuse for a film. It's like a really disappointing episode of The Outer Limits with the added annoyance of the fact that you paid good money to see this filth. The plot is so convoluted and hackneyed it beggars belief, the dialogue is abysmal, the casting wrong, effects unconvincing, and, probably worst of all, it has one of the most ridiculous and obvious surprise twist endings I've seen.
I was so looking forwards to Cypher as I loved Vincenzo Natali's sleeper hit Cube, and so was expecting a taut and understated thriller. So certain was I that I had made the right choice for my evenings viewing that on spotting it in my local Blockbusters I didn't do the usual dithering over what to watch, I simply grabbed it and cheerfully presented it at the desk with that confidence of knowing it was going to be a good 'un.. So you can just imagine my horror when I found the idescribable nonsense that I had allowed into my own home under the pretence of being a good film.
Cypher begins promisingly enough with a disillusioned but average man (Jeremy Northam) who has no qualms about swapping his dull life with what he expects to be the more glamorous world of espionage. However, the film soon becomes too clever for its own good and is swamped by its overly complex plot. A multitude of cliches ensues as the initially encouraging premise unravels into confusing drivel. There was a glimmer of hope with what could have been an interesting comment on mindless consumerism in a not too distant future society but this is abandoned completely. This element, like so much of the rest of the film, has been done before and been done better (John Carpenter's gem They Live made much better use of the consumerist idea.)
Cypher just turns out to be a mish-mash of shamelessly pilfered ideas from far superior original sources which are too many to name. Jeremy Northam seems to me to be miscast in the lead role and Lucy Liu began as an interesting femme fatale and became a walking talking cliche complete with irritating mono-tone drone. As for the ending , it's so dire I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. The only aspect of this film to show any vague semblance to something at least passable was a reasonably intriguing beginning and a decent score.
Don't rent this film, it's a silly mess. Enough said.