A hacker is initiating a MCA in a Chinese atomic power plant, just to increase the soya stock exchange price at Wallstreet a few days later. A new built team of Chinese and American agents needs the expertise of the convicted hacker Nicholas Hathaway (Chris Hemsworth) in order to get in the way of the worst. Starting highly entertaining, unfortunately Michael Mann has lost track of his own idea in the middle.
What starts with creative visualisation of hacker attacking, proceeds as entertaining scavenger hunt. During the first part of the film, you can oversee with ease that none of the action figures is built with differentiating characteristics. “Blackhat” during this phase fascinates with the ideas of Chinese and American agents working together in one team. Beside this, there is the fear, what would be next. After attacking a nuclear power plant and the Wallstreet stock exchange, one could expect the worst.
Music and sound effects sometimes are very special. The aesthetics of a handy vibration in Dolby Surround is as much a matter of personal taste as Nicholas’ electronic tag that is annoying with a continuous peep during sprinting through Chinese alleyways.
Quite in the middle there is an idiosyncratic change. All tension disappears just in that moment, when the final target of the hacker is uncovered. From this point on the script forces the director to concentrate on the two main characters, which results in an unrealistic final scene. Where has all the technology gone to? Is there really the need of such amount of brutality? This all seems more been transported through the time from an old James Bond script…
The whole film has a lot of lengthy scenes: The helicopter flight with the Chinese SWAT team or the shoot-out in the container harbour are two examples, which could have been shorten to free space for a deep dive into some characteristics of the main figures or to stage-manage the romantic storyline part in a better way.
“Blackhat” has more than enough action stunts, but no acting highlights. Viola Davis’ and Leehom Wang’s performance is quite nice. Chris Hemsworth and Wei Tang, who should inspire the audience with their sex appeal, are far away from expectations. Their playing is fade and for some parts really unrealistic.
If you’d expect new information about digital security or insights of the hacking business, you should search for it elsewhere. In this movie human failure is the only root cause for hacking successes. Ok, the visualisation is a perfect study, but beside this there is nothing new. And the highly important malware is just a few lines of compiled coding, which create useless sounds, while scrolling through the monitors. That was fascinating in the time of “Knight Rider”, but today it’s a bit old fashioned.
Sadly, in the end “Blackhat” can’t fulfil the expectations. Although pushed by actual news and its entertaining beginning, that’s not enough to say, this movie would be worth watching.