Including Blackhat I have now seen three film s directed by Michael Mann. First I watched Collateral and it quickly became one of my all time favourite movies. It wasn’t until last month that I saw another of his films, this time it was Heat. Unfortunately I didn’t really connect with this film and found it really disappointing. This didn’t leave me with high expectations for Blackhat.
Blackhat ends up being somewhere in between Collateral and Heat for me, how exciting can a film about hackers really be? Blackhat simultaneously demonstrates that it can be thrilling and mind numbingly boring. This film only just managed to maintain my interest throughout, at several points I would find my attention was flagging but on every occasion that this occurred the film would take a turn or something would happen that would draw me straight back in. I only wish that I didn’t need drawn back in in the first place. The cast for the film isn’t one filled to the brim with big names but there are some well known actors featured. Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth, is the lead here and he does well with a fairly boring role, his screen presence does lift the movie but it will definitely be one of his least memorable roles of his career. The member of the cast that stood out the most for me was Viola Davis, she makes the most of what should have been a fairly basic role but her performance combined with solid writing for this character made for an engaging on screen figure. The rest of the cast do well but never really excel themselves, but I suspect that this is an issue that lies with the material they had to work with not being strong enough.
I’m painting quite a bland picture of Blackhat but it wasn’t all bad. There were some really nice sequences in the film, including a couple of shootouts and an exciting finale. I really enjoyed these moments but I just would have liked some more of them. They were enhanced by the tremendous score that accompanies this movie, it provided an appropriate atmosphere for the events of the film, without this aspect the film would have dragged a ridiculous amount. There were a few more problems with Blackhat though, firstly one romantic plot point just doesn’t make sense. I didn’t buy it at all and I thought it was forced just to bring a certain level of emotion and drama to the film, which it didn’t even do! This romantic element could have worked but needed much more development. Too add to this on several occasions in the film the audio was very hard to make out, now I can’t confirm whether or not this was the fault of the cinema I watched the film in or if it is a fault with the film itself – so for that reason I don’t want to fixate on this issue.
At a push Blackhat is just above average, its plot moves along with just enough pace to keep audiences interested. There are a couple of good performances to help engage the viewer but the score and those few great sequences are the highlight of an otherwise quite dull movie.
BIGGEST FLAW – Weak romance plot point
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT – Score
Rating – 6/10