Blackhat

Blackhat Festival Michael Mann, Chris Hemsworth, Leehom Wang, Viola Davis, Ritchie Coster, Holt McCallany, Yorick van Wageningen, Tang Wei, Andy On, Manny Montana, William Mapother, Archie Kao, Cheung Siu Fai

Blackhat: when a Chinese powerplant is hacked (and blown up) using parts of his old code a l33t h4x0r (‘elite hacker’ to you and I) is released from prison to help the FBI hunt down the threat. Q: how do you sex up a computer attack at the hardware level? A: lots of flashy and swooshy CGI of bits, bytes, circuits, electricity, keyboards, transistors – obviously. Unfortunately, none of the actors really shine, because none of the characters feel developed beyond their required contribution to the story line. Even parts of the plot don’t really work, like the weird romance angle, which feels like it’s just in there to broaden the film’s appeal: strangers becoming sacrificial lovers in a couple of days, just because the film required it. Pushing that stuff aside, you still get a solid Michael Mann film with two big shootouts (a decent one at an airport, and a fucking great one in a shipyard) and a very realistic crime scenario: from the IT Security stuff and hackers evading surveillance, through to the inter-departmental squabbling and larger China-US relations – it all feels authentic. You can see how this film could flop – it’s about hacking / security / information, non of which are popular movie subjects – but I fail to understand the hate/backlash for Mann: he’s one of the few directors that could shoot a dumpster and make it look fantastic; he is pure cinema – abusing colours, locations, and an always-moving camera. Blackhat uses a somewhat wooden story to ask bigger questions about technology and global security – and with all of the slick visuals you’d expect from a world-class director.

Score: 6/10

Blackhat matrix code python PHP Java Michael Mann, Chris Hemsworth, Leehom Wang, Viola Davis, Ritchie Coster, Holt McCallany, Yorick van Wageningen, Tang Wei, Andy On, Manny Montana, William Mapother, Archie Kao, Cheung Siu Fai

 

 

 

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5 comments
  1. it sounds like this film might be worth checking out :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paragraph Film Reviews said:

      Nobody does cities and gunfights quite like Michael Mann. If you like any of his other films, this is definitely worth tracking down. Tesco were giving it away last time I was in there.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember Swordfish trying to make hacking exciting and cool and failed miserably! I’m sure Michael Mann can do much better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paragraph Film Reviews said:

      Anyone that can hack into the pentagon whilst getting a beej is top-level hax0r! Unfortunately, this film is relatively light on the beej-hax.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I like Mann, and this does look great. It just fell flat for many of the reasons you give. Great review.

    Liked by 1 person

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