Michael Mann has released some really great films in his career, from Heat to Collateral. However, is his latest, Blackhat, a return to form for the director? Yeah... no chance. This is a low for the high profile director.

I'll be honest, writing this review and just talking about this film is tedious, boring work and it drains the energy out of me. Nonetheless, though, here we are and what to do we have? A bore fest, in simple terms. That is, unfortunately, what Blackhat is.

Nick Hathaway (Chris Hemsworth) is an extremely talented hacker who has gone off the rails a little and found himself in a 15 year prison sentence. However, when a Chinese power plant is hacked, Leehom Wang's Chinese investigator realises that only his old MIT pal, now criminal, Hathaway can help him catch this master hacker, freeing him from imprisonment. Giving Nick a front row seat in a power game between the American and Chinese governments, he has to hunt down this 'blackhat' hacker, in a cyber chase, to reveal his identity if he wants to keep his freedom and his life.

The potential is there, for this to be a cracking film. A decent sounding premise, Chris Hemsworth starring and Michael Mann on helming duties. However, it just doesn't work. Blackhat is a bore. It just doesn't work and, for the most part, it falls down to a sloppy, lazy and terribly written script. The dialogue is awful and the story is so poorly developed that there is just no reason to care. One scene we're doing something and the next we're onto something else. It's all over the place and even has a crap, forced love story thrown into the mix as well. It's just a mess. The hacking as well (the pinnacle of the movie) is laughable too. You wonder why a director like Mann decided to take this under his belt, it's that ridiculous.

As far as the performances go, Chris Hemsworth is fine. He doesn't exactly look the part though, ripped and good looking. He's not the type of guy you'd picture as a hacker and it just feels weird seeing him play one. It's like a bodybuilder/boxer/wrestler going on to be an accountant. It's not meant to be. Nonetheless, his actual acting in the film is fine - for what the film is - and the same goes to the supporting cast. However, there's just nothing to like about these characters. There's no substance to them and they have such little personality and charisma for us to actually empathise with them and give a damn about what's going on.

It's not all negativity though as I did, somehow, find a couple of positives with the movie. For one, Mann knows how to do action and the few action sequences that are in the film are entertaining to watch. Secondly, the film looks good too. It's shot so beautifully and the sleek style works well. As far as the pros of Blackhat go though, that's about it. For the majority of its tedious 132 minute runtime, it'll just make you question who you are as a person and what you're doing with your life. It's clich├ęd, predictable, cringey and dumb - for a film that is supposed to be smart.

Blackhat is nothing more than a tedious mess. Mann has hit an all-time low with what is, simply, an utter disappointment and a fantastic flop.
★★☆☆☆

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About the Author

Awais Irfan
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.

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