‘Blackhat’ Movie Review – An Uninspired Attempt
Chris Hemsworth is starting off his busy 2015 with the action-thriller Blackhat. While it doesn’t include the most creative premise, it does at least get points for relevancy. However, relevancy and the fact that it’s taken on by director Michael Mann (Heat) isn’t nearly enough as Blackhat fails to create anything more interesting than a flash of style here and there.
Blackhat starts off at a Chinese power facility as you see a mysterious hacker hit “Enter” and launch a full-scale cyber attack on said facility. In the day in age where nuclear power plants seem to be the biggest terrorist threat and the fact that cyberterrorism is a relatively unknown (and really terrifying idea if you think about it) threat gives the plot at least a little momentum off the bat.
However, after the initial attack – and our quick introduction to Nicholas Hathaway (Hemsworth), an imprisoned hacker prodigy – it becomes clear that the plot runs out of juice. Hathaway himself is a decent character; although he does blame his out-of-control spiral into prison on a drunken decision involving a girl he just met at a bar. But, yeah, he’s still a good guy…don’t worry ladies.
Anyway, we get back into this cyberterrorism web that teams up Chinese and American authorities (again…this could be taken as relevant). They end up taking their fight global as they bounce around from continent to continent. The mission starts out simple: catch the bad guy; however, it takes a few not-so-surprising turns as the plot progresses.
Going into it, I was hoping Morgan Davis Foehl’s script could be both entertaining and informational. I, like most people, see hacking and cyberterrorism as almost incomprehensible. Sure, I can work a computer and make small fixes here and there, but I certainly don’t know anything above a novice level when it comes to coding and hacking.
Instead of using this to its advantage to add a degree of marvel, Foehl’s script glosses over all the interesting parts with techno-babble and loosely-defined acronyms to feign credibility. I have to think this movie would be laughed at by any real computer buff.
So it doesn’t use the hacking aspect to its benefit, that’s fine if they could make the rest of the film work. This shallowness leaks into the rest of the script, though, and it makes the two hours and thirteen minutes slow to a literal crawl. For a thriller, Blackhat doesn’t exactly evoke a ton of thrilling moments. It has a couple noteworthy scenes here and there but they’re few and far between.
This all culminates with the final scene involving Hathaway and his nemesis. It’s been said that a hero is only as good as its villain and this certainly doesn’t bode well for Blackhat’s chances. Uninspired is perhaps the best way to describe him…and really the whole movie in general.
I hate to say it, but I’d bet this movie relied on Hemworth’s name to help carry it (at least a little bit). Like I mentioned earlier, 2015 could be Hemsworth’s year. Not only does he have this movie but he’ll reprise his role as Thor in Avengers: Age of Ultron, star in esteemed director Ron Howard’s In the Heart of the Sea, and co-star in the Vacation remake. He’s got talent, there’s no doubt about it, but his talent is basically wasted with what I’d boil down to an uninspired attempt.
Blackhat released this weekend. Sound off below with your thoughts!
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