Classic Review: Blackhat (2015)

Since I’ve started this site, I’ve written a lot of reviews. In case you missed some of my earlier ones, I would like to share an older review of “Blackhat” which originally appeared here.

After a Hong Kong nuclear plant and the Mercantile Trade Exchange in Chicago are hacked by unknown perpetrators, a federal agent Carol Barrett (Viola Davis) proposes that the FBI work with China to find the cyber-criminals. The leader of the Chinese team, Chen Dawai (Leehom Wang), insists that convicted hacker Nick Hathaway (Chris Hemsworth) be released from prison to help with the investigation. As Nick and his comrades chase their quarry, it becomes evident that the hackers have a sinister motive for their actions.

Chris Hemsworth is a criminal, master computer hacker. I’ll just let that sink in. To be more specific the story for this film is when two high-profile hacks are perpetrated in Chicago and Hong Kong, FBI agent Carol Barrett (Davis) decides to team up with the Chinese led by Chen Dawai (Wang). When Chen insists that his old roommate and convicted hacker Nick Hathaway (Hemsworth) be released in order to help with his investigation, they soon discover that these hackers may have malicious intent. So like I said, the guy who played Thor is a master computer hacker. If you could suspend disbelief on this fact alone, you may get through this but unfortunately I did not. It was a shame because casting him in the first place was a mistake. It’s not all his fault though as I still think he is a good actor but it just didn’t work for me here as I never really believed him in this role. This did not ruin the film for me as there was much more to be had here. I liked the way the film was shot, giving it a more gritty, realistic look which kind of worked with the film’s subject matter, the dark side of cybercrime. This felt wasted for me as the film was slowly building to explain what was going on and when it did, it just felt long and convoluted. It did feel like a chore watching the first half of the film as I waited for an explanation as to what was happening because I found the film to be a little boring and a little pretentious. By pretentious I mean that it thought it could get away with the shortcomings with its story. By shortcomings, other than the boringness, the FBI just felt useless to me as they did not really do anything other than act as window dressing to Hemsworth’s Hathaway. Even if Hemsworth was the star of the film it just felt odd to me as the FBI just served as a plot device to get Hathaway out of prison. It’s a shame because I like Viola Davis as an actress and I thought she was wasted here as Barrett. It’s a shame because this movie is just full of stupid characters. The worst part of the film is, I’ve already mentioned it briefly, is the story. This film gets pretty boring for the first half of the film as nothing really happens as the film takes a long time explaining things in a more complicated fashion but I persevered as I liked how the film was shot. This could also prove difficult for some as the film is over two hours long, perhaps needlessly. Once we finally got it, the film just fell of the rails and stopped making sense and the end was just stupid. Overall, this film was still watchable as its individual parts were better than their sum.

Score: 6/10

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