1 1/2 Stars
2015 has seen established respected filmmakers hitting career lows. Cameron Crowe’s lame Aloha was especially disappointing. Now, Michael Mann joins the list with the goofy techno-thriller Blackhat. This is a film that is desperately trying to be ‘of it’s time’, but continually relies on genre conventions that are at least twenty years old.
A computer terrorist has caused a meltdown at a nuclear plant in Hong Kong. While simultaneously breeching the Mercantile Trade Exchange, and inflating the value of soy futures. The FBI assigns a federal agent (Viola Davis) that proposes a joint venture between the agency and China’s Intelligence department to locate the cyber-terrorists.
The head of the Chinese unit, Chen Dawai, requests that notorious hacker Nick Hathaway (Chris Hemsworth), currently residing in a maximum security facility, be released from prison to aid in the investigation. As Nick and the cooperating government agents attempt to corner their target, the motives behind the attacks becomes clearer.
There are moments in Blackhat that remind you, you are watching a Michael Mann film. A beautiful skyline shot here, some interesting dialogue there, and an effectively staged shootout that looks similar to a scene in his own Miami Vice. However, those fleeting images and passages can’t sustain a film that runs 135 minutes. Blackhat is a major set-back for an esteemed director.
Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Viola Davis, Holt McCallany