I guess Minority Report and Equilibrium are bordering this too.... maybe?
Yes, definitely. I would call them both cyberpunk, in part because they're just a step or two further into the future. Techno-thrillers, to me, involve tech that could exist tomorrow, if not today. Anything with androids that resemble people, for example, couldn't be a techno-thriller, in my book, which rules out things like Humans
and Ex Machina
. It also means a lot of older techno-thrillers will seem out-of-date to us today, but that makes them no less exciting - I think 3 Days of the Condor
is awesome, for example. Something about the A.I. in Eagle Eye
is just-this-side of too futuristic, so I still think of it as a techno-thriller, whereas the A.I. in The Terminator
is too far away and edges into cyberpunk or another genre of sci-fi. The Terminator
also has the time-travel aspect; even though that's only in the setup, I still think that rules it out as a techno-thriller. But then that would have to rule out Travelers
, which would be a techno-thriller except for that one thing. Her
isn't a techno-thriller for an entirely differnt reason: It's not a thriller.
I've been thinking more about how to separate techno-thrillers from cyberpunk. Part of it is in the way they each fetishize the tech. I feel like cyberpunk is a little more cynical, somehow.
I know this is the film thread, but a technothriller series I liked was Pine Gap
(2018), about the joint US-Australian sigint facility near Alice Springs. Movie & television nerds will recognize Jacqueline McKenzie in that. I think it had a chance to get a second season, but then the Pandemic came along and I'd guess it's dead, now. Still, the one season is worth watching, if you're into that sort of thing. There's also a British series I've heard is good, but haven't seen yet: The Capture
I've seen films (and books) that heavily feature science, be termed "techno-thriller", for example the Andromeda Strain.
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I suppose it's not sci-fi because it is set in a world you know, with no new tech. In that way, the Three Body Problem also wouldn't be scifi if it had no alien worlds or new tech.
I'd personally view the Andromeda Strain as scifi if the organism was intelligent instead of (iirc that was the plot) some alien virus which reached Earth by accident.
Yeah, I was thinking about this one, too. My brain slots this in beside The China Syndrome
which I somewhat-arbitrarily decided wasn't a techno-thriller. More of a disaster movie, but I suppose there's no reason techno-thrillers and disaster stories have to be mutually-exclusive. It wouldn't take much for me to change my mind and decide that these are both tech-thrillers, after all.
Another movie I couldn't decide whether to call a techno-thriller initially, but I'm now leaning in that direction: Capricorn One
Was Andromeda Strain good, worth watching?
If you generally appreciate '70s movies, yes. It's probably not one of the ones that transcends its era.