DIRECTOR: Michael Mann
WRITER: Morgan Davis Foehl
STARS: Chris Hemsworth, Viola Davis, Wei Tang
PLOT: A furloughed convict and his American and Chinese partners hunt a high-level cybercrime network from Chicago to Los Angeles to Hong Kong to Jakarta.
The world of cyber-crime is missing its killer-app. No movie has yet managed to portray the black hat underworld with any level of realism or excitement. Michael Mann set out to change this when he cast Thor’s Chris Hemsworth as Hathaway, a hacker four years into a thirteen year sentence for some generic hacking crimes or other.
The plot is set when a Chinese power station is shut down by a RAT (remote access tool) which was delivered using one of Hathaway’s college hacks. As it happens, Hathaway’s college buddy and co-author of the hack just happens to be Head of Cyber Security (or some such title) for the Chinese military, so he is allowed out of jail to help the Feds and the Chinese government find the hacker.
Cue lots of improbable computery-techno-gubbins, civilians attending armed sieges, guns being pulled in heavily populated areas and nobody noticing, country hopping around the Far East and lots of guns and explosions.
I am not sure where Mann was hoping to take Blackhat. As an action film it is overlong, as an expose of hi-tech crime it is woefully simplified. The script is at times laughable and the central performances are very poor, particularly from Hemsworth who is fine when playing the deliberately wooden Thor, but struggles spectacularly with this deeper role.
I can’t say I didn’t get any enjoyment from the film, but then I couldn’t recommend it either. So lets chalk this up as an OK movie to pass two hours when you are bored. High praise.
Neither a balls out action film, nor an expose of the hi-tech underworld. Neither a great film, nor a complete disaster. Take it or leave it.
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