Ben Oliver

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This isn’t about money. This isn’t about politics. I can target anyone, anything, anywhere.
28 January 2016

A hacker (Chris Hemsworth) is released from prison to help the authorities combat a cyber-terrorist.

What an odd film from Michael Mann. From the first few scenes where we see data literally flowing down a pipe to Chris Hemsworth’s wooden performance, it’s clear there’s plenty to hate about Blackhat. The premise is woefully unappealing and the story arc is a cheesy load of old cods.

The ‘odd’ part is that despite all this Mann manages to make Blackhat pretty good! He’s an old hand at action thrillers and his talent for building suspense shines through above all. There’s a shoot out in the film that is second to none, and the final scene with 3000 extras is something to behold.

There’s a distracting mix of styles and techniques at work. You’ll have to watch the film to fully understand but, in short, Blackhat seems to flit back and forth from looking really shit to really good. It’s like Mann couldn’t decide on a consistent look and feel for the film.

Overall though the ‘good’ parts are good enough to stop the film being a total write-off. I’m not sure Mann cares too much about hacking mainframes, but it’s clear he still cares about entertaining the audience, and for that alone Blackhat deserves a watch.

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