Wired (DVD Cover)

Cast: Louise Evans (Jodie Whittaker), Crawford Hill (Toby Stephens), Manesh Kunzru (Riz Ahmed), Anna (Charlie Brooks), Ben (Sacha Dhawan), Erica (Helena Fox)

Director: Kenny Glenaan

Original air date(s): 10/13/2008 to 10/27/2008
DVD Date: 06/21/2011

Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 134 minutes

Note(s): This miniseries is also marketed as "Wir£d".

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Review: A single mother gets caught up in a scheme to steal millions of pounds from the bank where she works in Wired, a high-tech financial thriller that originally aired as a 3-part miniseries on ITV in the UK in October 2008.

Louise Evans is a relatively low paid account manager at the bank, her job primarily to set up new accounts for customers, when she suddenly gets a promotion to manage the account of a wealthy client, who is selling his environmental startup company for £250 million. She quickly learns, however, that her best friend -- who also works at the bank -- arranged for her promotion, and that she's to play a role in setting up a dummy account into which the proceeds from the company sale are to be placed, from which the funds will then be wired offshore by another accomplice.

As the premise for a thriller, this is an intriguing one, but Wired is often uneven in its execution. The action is largely centered around Louise, who regularly alternates from being really smart to really dumb. An early scene shows Louise withdrawing funds from her bank's ATM, her account showing a significantly overdrawn balance. (I did not know you could get money from a bank in the UK from an overdrawn account; banks must be far more trusting over there than they are here in the US.) She gets no financial support from her ex-husband, and with a little girl to raise she can clearly use more money. A "blink and you miss it" backstory sets up how Louise could so easily be blackmailed into participating in the scheme. But is she so naive to think that by accepting -- and then immediately spending -- cash from a criminal for setting up the dummy account that she's somehow off the hook for any future activity? And worse, that when the funds from the account are stolen, the action won't be traced directly back to her by the authorities? A lot of attention is paid on how supposedly secure the bank is and how everything is monitored, both by cameras and by computer. Therefore, these early actions by Louise -- and others to come -- are even more frustrating because she can be crafty herself, to the point where it isn't clear who's side she's on and what exactly she's doing to get herself out of the situation she finds herself in.

Wired has a good look to it and seems appropriately cast, though some of the performances are a little overdramatic. And at just over two hours running time -- it can readily be viewed in one sitting -- a lot is packed into this miniseries. The plot moves along at a brisk clip, at times maybe a bit too rapid as I found myself occasionally wondering if I'd missed something along the way when a particular scene didn't quite make sense. This seemed to happen more in the subplot involving the criminals, which I thought not as crisply written as the main storyline. And I didn't think the romantic interlude between Louise and the cop investigating the case, and their subsequent sexual tension, was strictly necessary or even added any value. Still, the twists and turns kept my attention and I found myself interested, if not entirely surprised, in how it all played out ... though the ending could have been a little more cleverly devised.


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