Can’t Tip My Hat Off To This Cyber Crime Film


            Another movie, another review and this time I’m going to try a different format to mix things up. This next write up is on Blackhat, the latest Michael Mann film that centers on cyber attacks and crime solving. Now from analyzing the trailer, here is:

What you might expect: Crime solving for a series of cyber attacks, Chris Hemsworth shirtless scenes, action, and lots of running.

Now let’s analyze these expectations and see if you get what you expect:

What you get:

  1. Crime solving: The trailer plays it up that Nick Hathaway (Chris Hemsworth) is an elite hacker who is hired to stop a madman as he commits a series of deadly crimes. For the most part this is true, as the entire two hours is spent trying to uncover the identity of the cyber terrorist. Uncovering clues is all a part of the game, and the audience will get pulled down the rabbit hole as Hathaway and his team try to decipher the cryptic codes. On their journey, the will be forced to sneak around various buildings, circumvent government programs, and go through copious amounts of conveniently placed laptops and internet connections to uncover the truth. I’ll give Mann credit for evolving the “suspense” of the film as the simple crime transitions to also running from the government. Throw in a few twists and again you add a little more surprise factor to the mix. However, I agree with many fellow reviewers that this film lacks some bite and thrills. At the beginning the terrorist attacks happen, but after that the antagonist does surprisingly little with the power he has. I was expecting Hathaway to have to use his talents to prevent and correct the damage, but that was not the case in this film and it was disappointing. In fact the only suspense I felt kept me in the movie was the identity of the master hacker, though that was rather disappointing to me. Still the crime solving is well done, and fans of the various television shows will most likely enjoy this aspect.
  1. So with a usual Chris Hemsworth movie, most female members are going to want to see as much of his gorgeous body as possible. Well here is the deal, you get to see the man in a lot of rugged shirts and jeans, the latter giving him that Abercrombie and Fitch. He makes a lot of manly poses, and his desperado like stare and smolder seemed to please many of the women in my showing. As for shirtless scenes though, you don’t get much footage there, limited to some glancing shots of him during sex, bullet wounds, and waking up suddenly. Despite your moans of aggravation though, Hemsworth gives a decent performance as a tough as nails hacker. His design defies the stereotypical hacker role, trading the geeky glasses and nerdy fashion for guns and a tank top. Sure the romance was a little bad, and yes he was a little dry and lacking emotion, but overall the part was done well. I think I was most impressed with his interactions with his team.
  1. The action of the movie is okay, but again not what I was expecting. In a manner very similar to Law& Order, Blackhat starts off with a little chasing and running. Unstable camera work, tied with some odd angle choices, leads a semi-dizzying effect that may leave you a little annoyed. It’s not as bad as Cloverfield mind you, however there was surely better ways to capture the action. Anyway, when all the running has stopped, an occasional shoot out occurs to help spice things up. Two of these shoot outs are actually pretty well done, giving you some exciting and emotional scenes. While there are some rather fortuitous occurrences, and inconsistencies, the thrill of these standoffs help relieve the dragging pace of the film. As for the final “action” scene though, it was an anticlimactic slaughter with a slight homage to a famous Die Hard scene. Perhaps this lackluster battle was to mimic the ending of the movie, vague and lacking finesse that left me wanting more. Oh well, I guess to have an ending like that we would have had to given up the eccentric visualization of a computer signal being generated. Something none of us could live without right?

To sum things up, Blackhat is a decent crime film with a cyber terrorist theme. While the investigation and sleuthing are impressive, the editing could have removed some scenes to tighten up the film. The suspense was okay, but there wasn’t really enough edge to this movie to say it kept me intrigued the whole way through. Again those who love crime dramas on television will go for this movie, despite the lack of some character development. However, I would recommend waiting on this film for a RedBox or NetFlix instead and put your money to other use. I give Blackhat a solid:

Action/Crime/Drama: 6.5

Movie Overall: 6.0


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