Quality: This score indicates entertainment value.
0 stars is horrible, while 5 stars is spectacular.
Political: This score addresses political messaging.
0 stars is aggressively anti-Conservative, while 5 stars is highly pro-Conservative. 3 stars is apolitical.
Moral/Religious (M/R): This score addresses moral and religious messaging.
0 stars is either intensely immoral or all-out, needless assault on Christianity. 5 stars is either great moral messaging or highly pro-Christian. 3 stars is inoffensive either way.
Quality – 2 stars, Political – 3 stars, M/R – 2 stars
“Cori, I just fell and hurt myself…”
“…might need medical attention…”
“…I’m frightened, every second counts…
“…let’s talk about it later, ummm…uhhh...Andy…”
I waved hands and clicked fingers over her face, but to no avail. Cori was gone; a soulless, empty shell. Only once did she close her eyes, tapping her heels together and saying, “I wish…I wish…I wish…” She then looked at me, and sobbed uncontrollably. Girl issues, I guess.
Anyway, “Blackhat” is about more than Hemsworth’s biceps. The film opens with camera shots following data along the information highway—you know, wires, connections, hard drives. Pretty cool; sort of Matrix-y. Using lights and dancing electricity, the progression shows how someone in one place can drastically affect events in another—using all those computer thingies an’ stuff. The target? A Chinese nuclear reactor. In moments, a cooling system is compromised. A meltdown ensues. People die.
Thus launches a joint China-America operation to track down the cyberterrorists, with Chen (Leehom Wang), an MIT grad and Chinese official, recruiting his prison-bound friend Hathaway to help. It seems the two developed a critical piece of the bad guys’ computer weaponry.
Naturally, Chen has a hot sister (Lien, played by Wei Tang), who naturally jumps into a torrid romance with Hathaway, which naturally has all the chemistry of “We’re together because we’re in the same movie and we’re both really hot.” Forget romantic development. Just put two hotties in tense situations and let them “relate.” It’s like transferring a female panda to a zoo, hoping she and the lonely male panda can, you know, find the magic.
There’s lots of feverish typing in this movie. Clock’s a tickin’, better type faster! Typing along to dramatic music (which every IT nerd should play when fixing someone’s printer), Hathaway unravels various conundrums. After each puzzle solved, he’s off to find more clues or stop more bad guys—after first getting in some good flexing.
Acting? It’s fine. Plotline? Also fine, except toward the end. Action? Pretty good, with some downright tragic twists at one point—pretty shocking. Problems? Just this: There’s too much detail, especially when the good guys travel anywhere. For some reason, Director Michael Mann thinks we’ll better appreciate the mood when seeing every car ride, walk, taxi hail, doorway, plane trip, etc. For Mann, getting there is half the fun—and half the movie.
This, unfortunately, grinds down the film’s pace, leaving good elements to drift away in a current of boredom. Too bad. Had Mann edited out 20 minutes or so, “Blackhat” might well have been a solid thriller.