Blackhat | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper


Michael Mann's thriller about hackers is slick-looking, but missing plot and zing

Chris Hemsworth: Super-sexy hacker
  • Chris Hemsworth: Super-sexy hacker

They say it takes a plumber to catch a plumber, and so it is with hackers. That's the case in Michael Mann's slick thriller Blackhat. In it, a "good" hacker (Chris Hemsworth) is sprung from prison and teams with the Chinese to take down a bad hacker, who has caused two problematic situations: a meltdown at a nuclear power plant and a jump in the price of soy beans.

But none of the details truly matter, nor is a lot of computer knowledge needed. (The film opens with a Tron-like high-speed ride through computer innards, which concludes with ... a light turning on.) This is a junky actioner that counsels: Just keep your eye on the good guy typing.

The Sino-American team chases its quarry through several exotic locales, allowing Mann to deploy one of his better skills: shooting neon-dappled cities at night. Blackhat flirts with being a caper flick, and as preposterous as most of that plotting was, it was measurably more entertaining than watching another gun battle shot in slow motion.

Hemsworth (Thor) does his bit to dispel the prevailing myth that hackers are asocial weirdos with unenviable body types: He thinks, codes, shows off his well-developed pectoral muscles and gets the girl, who also thinks, codes and has a well-developed chest. In English, and Mandarin, with subtitles



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