Blackhat review film poster

Director: Michael Mann
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Viola Davis, Wei Tang,
Genre: Action Crime Drama
Language: English, Mandarin & Spanish with English subtitles
Country of Origin: USA 2015 135 mins.
Released by Universal Pictures

'A high-tech thriller that doesn't quite deliver'.

Unable to make the press screening I sat in a near deserted cinema Friday lunchtime to watch 'Blackhat', billed as a high-tech action thriller. 135 minutes later I emerged wondering how Michael Mann of 'Heat' and 'Collateral' fame could place such a tedious, muddled, mind numbing technotalk, ridiculous at times story on screen.

A cyber crime mastermind sabotages a Chinese nuclear power station. If that's not bad enough he hacks into the Chicago Merchantile Commodities Exchange and plays with the price of Soy futures. It's time for a joint US-Chinese task force with MIT trained Chen Dawai (Wang Leehom) led by Barrett (Viola Davis) who springs hacker extraordinaire Nicholas Hathoway (Chris Hemsworth) from prison to help the FBI to track down the baddie. Hectic chases from Chicago, LA, Hong Kong to Jakarta, a bit of unconvincing romance with Hemsworth falling for Chen's sister Chen Lien (IWei Tang) and our hero, who's a good lad at heart will win the day. Is it listing towards Bond?

As you expect from Michael Mann, It's impressively choreographed with multicoloured city skyscrapers and action scenes but it doesn't give the adrenalin rush that a well scripted tale of cyber terrorism with the right lead should offer. Great style, little substance. Must be the Robert De Niro - Al Pachino type stand-off with visually buzzing action scenes on the back of a sharp script that I miss.

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Release Type: 
Release date: 
Monday, June 22, 2015 - 00:30