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Ninja Media

Blackhat Movie Review




By Rob Jefchak

When I think of Chris Helmsworth, I think of “Thor” and everything related to “Thor”: muscles, power, strength and all that other good superhero stuff. What I do not think of when I think of Helmsworth is computer hackers and dealing with warring Governments and cyber terrorism that brings about “supposed” high octane chases and action like “Live Free or Die Hard” for example. Still, “Blackhat” had advertisement blasted onto every commercial imaginable and one can only hope it was out of pure desperation…one can hope. Nick Hathaway (Chris Helmsworth) has spent the last 15 years of his life behind bars. However, that all changes when a computer virus code he wrote years ago for a fellow hacker gets utilized and ignites a cyber-terrorism war between America and China. Now Nick is on the move to find the hacker responsible for this chaotic chain of events and secure a more freedom filled future.

The reason I mentioned the whole “Thor” thing is sometimes with actors; once they are put into a certain role it becomes difficult to picture them doing anything else. Now to Helmsworth’s credit, his acting in this film is easily one of its best features; I never once felt that his skills were the reason he couldn’t pull off the “hacker look”. The problem is this movie tries way too hard to be some sort of compelling, conspiracy, action/crime film and it either barely succeeds at one aspect or fails completely at another. The action in this film is practically non-existent, there’s barely any trace of anything even remotely action related and when you do get action; it’s barely on screen or visible on screen since shaky camera angles are used to the point of total overkill.

Shaky cam destroys the minds and eye sights of movie viewers everywhere, practically everyone who used to use it no longer does because of this very same reason. So I ask myself: why does an already accomplished and well established director like Michael Mann churn out such a jarring point of view throughout 90% of the movie? It might help if the rest of the movie was actually interesting to watch. The use of cyber terrorism seems to spark far grander dangers and threats than are actually true. Sure, we’ve seen how “The Interview” had its cinematic wheels stalled because of North Korea hacking our computers (and our sense of security) to pieces; but this movie just feels like it’s really reaching to make this seem like it’s a big deal.

There’s signs they are trying to make this a big deal but I don’t feel they are succeeding. Nothing feels or flows naturally, everything feels like it’s forcefully inserted or hyped up to give the illusion that you actually give a crap about what these people are doing and are talking about…and at no point did I care about either. Helmsworth is a great actor and it shows here; even while he struggles against a role that clearly doesn’t fit him in any way, shape or form. Helmsworth feels like he was only chosen for this role to make some kind of sexual tension or romantic interest spark between him and a female hacker seem plausible, except nothing in this film at all seems plausible.

Mann has a reputation of quality films with excellent storytelling, camerawork and ideally chosen actors. “Blackhat” has none of those qualities; this is like “Green Lantern” being directed by Martin Campbell: a director with recognizable talent somehow crapping out this god awful movie and making everyone wonder how his name got attached to it. 2015 just started and this is REAL early estimations here but I have a feeling “Blackhat” will be one of the year’s worst films without a doubt.

I give “Blackhat” 1 star out of 4.

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