In a way most movies are a horror movie in some way. For most people it’s a guy in a mask chasing someone with an ax, but there are other ways to scare you. Other films seem to take the things we fear, failed relationships, war, cyber crime, and terrorism and turn them into horror/drama’s to show you what could happen, only to have someone save the day in the end. Now while it doesn’t make you scream and grab the person next to you, it still produces fear as you watch worst case scenarios unfold on the big screen. Cybercrime is a big one right now, with our whole life being on line, the thought of the push a button whipping everything out is a real a danger more than ever, and we got movies like “Blackhat” to show us that on a heightened scale.
There has been a nuclear meltdown in China and with it what Intel is gathered it is determined it was caused by someone who wanted to do it on purpose. After another attack, this one on the soy market, the Chinese and American governments decide to work together to find out who is behind the attacks. The Chinese are lead by Chen Dawai (Leehom Wang), while the Americans are lead by Carol Barrett (Viola Davis). Chen recognizes the code and asks that Nicholas Hathaway (Chris Hemsworth) be released from prison, because he is the only person who could crack the code. With Hathaway by their side as well as Chen’s sister Lien (Wei Tang) they set out traveling from America to China to stop a madman from attacking his next target.
The one thing you can say about this film, is that its timing is good. It was only a few months ago that Hollywood was in the news for hacking, and not because of a new film. “Blackhat” though for a film that has computer hacking at the core of its story has very little actual computer hacking in it. Instead writer Morgan Davis Foehi has everyone doing a good old hunt as the main players race to find out who the bad guy is before he strikes again. Now this is the return of Michael Mann (Heat) after a five-year absence, and while you have the usual “Mannerisms” it isn’t enough to take a below average film and at least make it average. What we get instead is a movie about hacking, with hardly any actual hacking and over two hours of Hemsworth walking around with his shirt half unbuttoned. Now while Hemsworth might look the part, either Mann erased all of his charisma, or he didn’t have much to begin with, because it is obvious he is in this movie more for his looks than his abilities. It was easy to get excited about this movie, Michael Mann’s first film in five years, and he is directing Thor, I mean what could go wrong? Well if the January release date didn’t spell it out already, “Blackhat” is not all that, which suffers from not so good acting and its attempt to put you to sleep with its over two hour run time, thirty minutes longer than it should have been. In the end I guess it’s true, bad movies do wear a black hat.