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Blackhat (2015)

January. 13,2015
| Drama Action Thriller Crime
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A man is released from prison to help American and Chinese authorities pursue a mysterious cyber criminal. The dangerous search leads them from Chicago to Hong Kong.


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Very disappointing...


I cannot think of one single thing that I would change about this film. The acting is incomparable, the directing deft, and the writing poignantly brilliant.


It was OK. I don't see why everyone loves it so much. It wasn't very smart or deep or well-directed.


I enjoyed watching this film and would recommend other to give it a try , (as I am) but this movie, although enjoyable to watch due to the better than average acting fails to add anything new to its storyline that is all too familiar to these types of movies.


This story setting is interesting but I wonder whether it was taken full advantage. Though I was excited in action scenes. By the way,why do Asian brother and sister get a long with? I admire the relationship like them very much.


This movie is shot artistically to unfold a story that is not a usual cliche action movie plot. Real command lines are also a balm for a viewer's eye as opposed to the usual gibberish and pretty looking 3D interfaces.


Well, it was either this or Crazy Stupid Love. A bizarre false dilemma to self-impose, I know, but those are the options I gave myself as alternatives to doing something productive. Unfortunately I started taking notes, so many that I might as well write a full review (or more of a"non-review" really, since I kind of stopped caring early on, and hence will take a more casual approach).Blackhat is a 2015 film directed by Michael Mann, and like most people with most movies (whether they know it or not), I essentially made up my mind about the movie within the first fifteen minutes or so. The movie pretty much stuck to my expectations from there: it's pretty average and unambitious overall, but competent enough. I mean sure, I was pretty bored while watching it, but technically speaking I don't think it's terrible. Had I paid more attention instead of writing this review and practicing piano in between, perhaps I'd find more to gripe about. But really I'm not particularly upset about any of it. The cast is more or less promising, with Viola Davis by far being the highlight for me. Even with the little she's given to do here she's got a great screen presence (as can be expected from her). We also get an off-and-on mumblecore Chris Hemsworth, who hasn't quite nailed his American accent but isn't too awkward to tolerate. Leehom Wang is good for the most part, I'd say, though he's got some shaky moments, particularly regarding some haphazard ADR. To elaborate on that...This movie has some genuinely terrible ADR. It's particularly noticeable during a dialogue scene between Leehom Wang and Wei Tang's characters at the beginning, where it's edited to show as little of their mouths as possible (they do this throughout the movie, actually). It only takes a quick glimpse of someone speaking to hear the audio take a complete detour from the mouth. It's kind of embarrassing. Furthermore, this particular scene at the beginning has the characters speaking awkward, phonetically artificial English when they clearly didn't need to. They could have more naturally and fluently just have spoken Mandarin, and then have applied subtitles (if you oh-so daringly assume your audience has the capacity to read, anyway). Even if speaking English in an Eastern setting was imperative to properly pander to Western audiences, it might have been a good idea to cast actors who were more fluent in English in the first place. Wei Tang in particular sounds like she's struggling with her lines throughout the movie, and it's frankly distracting.Besides the handling of the ADR (which is a nitpick, to be fair), the directing is competent, if still nothing special for the most part. There are some exceptions, such as the satisfyingly stylized computer visualizations at the beginning, and the frequent inclusion of atmospheric shots (even if they could be wholly removed with little consequence to the final product). Otherwise, Mann composes coherent sequences and blocks scenes well-enough, which I suppose is the minimum expectation. There was of course plenty of room for ambition. For instance, imagine if they showed the hands while coding (it is about hackers after all), putting the trajectory of the fingers on full display instead of leaving the hands off-screen. This, it occured to me, would be a small but particularly difficult detail to execute. It's not something I'd have seen before, and would contribute some technical merit to the production. They didn't do it of course, so I don't suppose we'll be seeing actors boast words-per-minute statistics on resumés in the near-future.From what I know the screenplay is based more or less on real events/circumstances. Though I don't know the specifics of the actual situation, the script still manages to leave the impression that it was "Hollywoodized". Though I didn't find this to be a particularly painful attribute (at least not as painful as other instances I've seen), I think it's part of what gives this film kind of disposable feel. Even so, it's still beyond me how people can fire so many bullets and still miss their target entirely (perhaps that even works as a metaphor for the movie as a whole). The romance felt a tad forced, and I can't imagine that white man hooking up with an Asian woman sit well in the Chinese market, or at least from the impressions I've accumulated. The pacing was generally fine despite being a tad overlong, and they could have easily trimmed the romance with the bonus of extra international marketability. The music is functional. Some of the electronic elements sounded cool I guess, and it sets an atmosphere. I'm a big fan of film music sometimes, though this score is neither special enough to praise or bland enough to get upset about. It worked in-context, and I suppose that's all it really needed to do.I've always considered the word "boring" as more of a non-critique, since it typically has more to say about one's attention span and interests than the movie itself (so I'm not going to hold it against the movie too harshly). Blackhat isn't completely unengaging, but it's not exactly engaging either. I wouldn't have felt the need to preoccupy myself by taking notes if it was. Taking notes isn't inherently a bad thing (it can be a great thing, too), but if I'm doing it to keep myself interested in something--anything at all!--then I suppose something's not working. Seeing as how most reviews are compelled to be written under the circumstance that one feels strongly about a movie, whether positive, negative or mixed, it's kind of odd that I wrote one for this. I suppose I'm writing for the sake of writing, then. I'd recommend it if you've got time to kill or need some background noise, but I'm pretty indifferent overall. Score: 6/10? Ah jeez I don't know, who cares?!


I have mixed feelings about this. It's not particularly well written and on the Netflix version I watched I had to adjust volume a few times. I remember having to do that with an early Mann film, The Keep, so I wonder if it is something he does as a director. If so, it's annoying.The story has real potential but the skills given to the main character just seem too far fetched, particularly his fighting skills.I like the idea of China and the USA having to pool knowledge and resources but that part is not examined enough and the film is just a vehicle for the lead actor to flash his biceps and deliver poorly written dialogue in a stilted way. His co stars do their best but the Director makes it all about a frankly unbelievable main character.