The Opposite of Attention-Grabbing – Blackhat (2015)

Snoozefest.  I feel foolish describing the plot to this movie because it is so convoluted, but this is about a furloughed convicted hacker (Chris Hemsworth), who helps the FBI on a cybercrime case for a terrorist that has some elaborate plan to overheat coolant pumps in nuclear power plants so certain ones end up exploding for his own personal profit on the stock market…  I don’t know.  I honestly tried on this one, I really did, but this is one of the most boring action thrillers I’ve ever seen in my entire life.  I know this is Michael Mann of Heat fame in the director’s chair, so you would think that he would have this crime thing down by now, but holy shit snacks, he has made one bloated, inept and impenetrable film.

blackhatThis reaches a point where I think I would rather be watching a movie about dark headwear.

This may seem tangential, but follow me for a moment.  I have the unpopular opinion that the movie Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is dreadfully boring.  I know it’s a critical darling because instead of exaggerated action set pieces, it plays out like real spy work would.  There is a reason why James Bond movies make the embellishments that they do: it makes for a more exciting story.  Blackhat is the hacker equivalent of that movie.  It’s a lot of people, looking at lines of code on a computer screen followed by furious typing.  It is just so uninteresting that your brain can’t help put nitpick it apart, until it eventually gets bored to the point of giving up entirely.  I know 1995’s Hackers made it look alluring because they got Angelina Jolie, but real life hackers at work?  Boooooring.

computerWhen you’re watching a movie, staring at a screen, you want to see more than just people staring at a screen.

This is a muddled, unfocused, overly complicated mess, and the worst thing about it is that this is over 2 hours long for NO reason.  So many scenes in here are padded with these CGI graphics of keystrokes and/or viruses firing through tubes, and it doesn’t do anything for the story other than make it longer.  It is such an odd combination of complex and dull that it is impossible to commit the entirety of your attention to, and I promise if you don’t heed my advice and choose to sit down to watch this, your mind is going to wander to other things you have coming up during the day, or if you watch it at night, you’re probably just going to fall into a deep, unconscious sleep until the next scene that features gunfire, which will awaken you with a start (you know that Michael Mann is always trying to recreate that one shootout scene from Heat).  You never at any point care, and your eyes are going to glaze over if you attempt to give this your full attention.

Blackhat (2015) *

– Critic for Hire


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