Saturday, February 7, 2015

Blackhat Review

As I have never seen his beloved debut film Thief, my Michael Mann filmography begins in 1986 with Manhunter and it is a film I love, the chilling cinematic beginning to the story of Hannibal Lecter. In 1995, he unleashed the incredible heist drama Heat featuring an incredible cast and superb storytelling that hooks me from beginning to end despite it's rather lengthy running time. Four years later it was The Insider, probably my favorite Michael Mann film, a pitch perfect drama based on the true story of big tobacco whistle-blower Jeffrey Wigand.

The point is, I would consider myself a Michael Mann fan, yet with his most recent work Blackhat I made absolutely no connection.

Blackhat focuses on the FBI's search for cyber criminals and it quickly delves into a familiar trope: we need help solving this puzzle, and one of the only guys who can do it is in prison for the very same thing. That is how Nicholas Hathaway (Chris Hemsworth) goes from behind bars to working to bring others to justice, and so the narrative of the picture goes with him, and frankly, it's pretty boring stuff. From the drab aesthetic to the completely run of the mill screenplay, Michael Mann is capable of far more interesting material. The fact that this is his first release in five years makes this all the more surprising, as I recall hearing the news of a cyber crime thriller from him starring Chris Hemsworth on the way, and I rubbed my hands together and expected to smell something delicious by the time it was done.

It isn't that the meal ended up tasting bad, just bland and forgettable, which considering the talent involved is extremely disappointing. Far worse films have already been released in 2015, and I am sure a lot more are on the way, but I will probably remember those even if it is for the wrong reasons. Years from now I will have to Google Blackhat to recall what it even was.



  1. Stop watching this crap and get on Bellflower already. I know you are focusing on 2015, but do that one next!

  2. dude, I have to make sure I tackle The Boy Next Door starring J Lo soon. That's gonna be a gem.