Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Viola Davis, Wei Tang, Leehom Wang
Directed By: Michael Mann
Written By: Morgan Davis Foehl
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 2 hr 13 min
I want you to quickly paint a mental picture. In your mind’s eye, I want you to imagine a genius level coder. The kind of programmer who can hack into the NSA, FBI and CIA in a single afternoon with one arm tied behind his back. This man has also spent years sat on his ass in a dark room in front of a computer learning how to break into incredibly complex networks. Do you have it yet? Did you picture Thor? No, I didn’t think so. Neither did I, and as a web developer myself, I can say with some authority (though exceptions are possible I guess), most programmers don’t look like Thor. They probably read Thor comics (guilty), but they’re certainly not perfect super hunky specimens of maleness. And definitely not capable of anything Chris Hemsworth does as Nick Hathaway in Blackhat.
My word what an awful film, and a horrible way to start my 2015 movie year. Thanks a lot Michael Mann! I’m still having trouble accepting this movie came from the same person that gave us The Last of the Mohicans, The Insider, and The Heat.
Blackhat makes no effort to establish its main characters, or bother developing what these people mean to each other. The movie skips from one badly hand-held shot to another, as people mumble through their terrible dialog. At times, the film looks like a found footage project, cut with other scenes that have all the depth and pacing of a Chanel No.5 advertizement. It’s almost like Michael Mann gave his assistant directors completely different story treatments, told them to do whatever they wanted, and then edited the results together himself after an all night bender.
If you’ve enjoyed Michael Mann’s work before, get ready to be disappointed. Blackhat is a disaster. Sloppily filmed and edited, badly cast, and badly written. A lot of fuss and nonsense attempting to disguise a generic plot. The movie is rated R due to its violent content, though that rating seemed a little harsh to me.
Michael Mann’s films are usually great to look at, but with all the horrible hand-held camera work, I can’t recommend you see this in a theater. If you still want to watch this film, wait for the HD rental and watch it at home on your TV.
Worst Moment: << SPOILER! >>
The finale! Our hero dukes it out with our villain (who at least looks like a programmer) surrounded by hundreds of people. Who are bizarrely indifferent to the violent events unfolding around them. Guns are clearly brandished, and a person is killed with a sharpened screwdriver through the head, but these people don’t react until the shotting starts!