“””I wanted to love this movie.”” How many times have I included that sentiment in a write up? I was about to open this one with that line, when I realized that it wasn’t really true. I wanted to be optimistic about it, and at some points may have even convinced myself this would be great, but really, the odds were stacked against it. I think the combination of Michael Mann’s street cred and the novelty of sexiest man alive Chris Hemsworth playing an MIT grad gave me hope. The sad reality is how often do these super genius movies or hacker movies ever really get it right? Not too often, and this wasn’t one of them.
So Hemsworth is a convicted felon, in prison for something hacker related. His old MIT roommate works for the Chinese government and is tasked to find the hacker that shut down a nuclear power plant. The bad, or blackhat, hacker borrowed some code that Hemsworth and roomie wrote, so roomie makes a deal with the US government to furlough Hemsworth and hunt down this baddie. And Viola Davis is hanging around as his handler and CIA liasons. Seriously, this is the plot, and I honestly was trying to look past the silliness and try to find a good movie in there somewhere.
It actually started off pretty decent. Things played out too fast to really notice any bad technobabble. Actually with my limited knowledge, nothing seemed too far off or too far fetched. The story was moving fast and there was a lot happening, and then it slowed to a crawl. Right. It’s a Michael Mann film. Pretty much everyone of his films that I’ve sat thru has that signature slowdown (and subsequent longer than necessary run time). It all started coming back to me as I spaced out. At one point, I remember thinking that I was giving the movie one last chance to turn itself around. There was still time to wow me, and leave me feeling happy with the film. No joke, within about 30 seconds, there were game changing jaw dropping events. Hope had returned. And then it didn’t really develop into anything special, just sorta trudged along to a somewhat anticlimactic resolution. Oh well.
Still not sure how much I believe Hemsworth as a hacker, although his character was just written to be way different from any of the computer nerds I work with. So it was more in the writing than in the acting. At least he’s still pretty.
Oh and Viola Davis, you’re a phenomenal actress and I adore you. Let’s just forget this film existed and leave it off your resume going forward, kay? No harm done.
Blackhat – \m/ \m/ \n”