Sandra Bullock is one of Hollywood’s most acclaimed actresses with a resume that has made her the world’s highest-paid actress, not once, but twice. Now, one of her resume-builders can be seen on Netflix.
The Net was released in 1995 and stars Sandra Bullock as Angela Bennett, a computer systems analyst whose job keeps her, for the most part, at home. She doesn’t truly have any friends and when she gets out of her house, it is to see her mother who is sadly in a home for patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Not many would know Angela by looking at her.
The Net begins with a suicide. Michael Bergstrom (Ken Howard), the United States Under Secretary of Defense, kills himself when tests come back showing he is HIV positive.
A few days before Angela (Sandra Bullock) is scheduled to go on vacation, she receives a floppy disk (remember, we are back in 1995) from her co-worker Dale that has a backdoor on it labeled “π.” This backdoor allows for access to a computer security system called Gatekeeper that is sold by software company Gregg Microsystems, led by its CEO Jeff Gregg. Angela and Dale agree to meet up to discuss the backdoor. Things go wrong when Dale is in his private plane flying out to her and his onboard navigation system malfunctions, sending his plane into a tower, killing him.
Angela keeps her vacation plans in Cancun. There, she meets the suave Jack Devlin (Jeremy Northam), who immediately seduces Angela. But Devlin is more than what he first appears to be. Devlin pays a mugger to steal Angela’s purse while the two walk on the beach. Devlin pursues the mugger to hide who he really is and when he catches up with the mugger, Devlin takes the disk and shoots the mugger.
Still unaware of what’s truly happening, Sandra Bullock’s character is appreciative of Devlin’s efforts and the two head out on his boat, where Devlin plans to kill Angela. She catches on and, in her attempt to get away, Angel’s dinghy runs into rocks. The next few days find Angela unconscious in a hospital.
When Sandra Bullock’s character finally wakes, she finds out that her entire life has been deleted. Apparently, she has already checked out of her Cancun hotel room, her car is no longer in the parking lot at the airport, and her credit cards are no longer valid.
When she gets home, she finds her home empty and up for sale. Her neighbors no longer remember who she is, and her social security number is assigned to Ruth Marx, who also has a police record. What gives?
Things get even crazier for Angela (Sandra Bullock) when she calls her desk at her place of employment and an imposter answers, offering Angela her old life back if Angela will give up the valuable floppy disk. Angela’s only choice now is to reach out to the one person who knows her by sight, psychiatrist and former lover Dr. Alan Champion (Dennis Miller). He offers to help Angela and her mother.
As it turns out, there is much more to Under Secretary of Defense Bergstrom’s death than an HIV-positive test result and Angela is about to uncover it all. Devlin, though, is still on her tail as are a group of cyber terrorists (called the Praetorians) with all signs leading back to Jeff Gregg.
The Net’s wild premise was a perfect fit for Sandra Bullock. She was just coming off of the successful feature Speed, co-starring opposite Keanu Reeves, so another action thriller was a smart follow-up.
While the film wasn’t a critical success, it did fare well at the box office. The film was directed by a Hollywood vet and Oscar winner (for 1976s Rocky) Irwin Winkler from a script written by John Brancato and Michael Ferris. Winkler brought in the Bullock-led film for $22 million and was rewarded with a $111 million take at the cineplex.
The film’s financial success allowed for a sequel to be made by Winkler’s son, Charles, called The Net 2.0. The film never found its way to movie theaters as it was released direct-to-video. Sandra Bullock’s film also spawned a TV series of the same name that lasted only one season and had Brooke Langdon take over the role of Angela Bennett.
Sandra Bullock has found herself in many a big movie. Her ability to play things for fun (Love Potion No. 9, While You Were Sleeping, Demolition Man, Practical Magic, Miss Congeniality, and The Proposal), as well as her serious nature (A Time to Kill, 28 Days, Crash, The Blind Side), has made Bullock a Hollywood favorite. Not only has Sandra Bullock been a star in front of the camera, but her talents also shine behind it as well. She has taken on the producer’s role in a number of projects that include Hope Floats, Two Weeks Notice, Murder by Numbers, George Lopez, Our Brand is Crisis, and Bird Box.
After taking a couple of years away from the big screen, Bullock looks to come back with a few projects already lined up. Two of her next three films due out, Bullet Train and Lost City of D, will see Sandra Bullock co-star opposite Brad Pitt. For now, you can get your conspiracy theory fix with Sandra Bullock in The Net, now playing on Netflix.