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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4
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BLACKHAT

Movie review by David Blackwell

 

STUDIO: Universal Pictures/ Legendary Pictures/ Forward Pass

Theatrical RELEASE DATE: 1-16-2015

 

DIRECTED by Michael Mann

 

BLACKHAT is one movie that was released on the wrong weekend, but it may make its money in Asian markets due to the movie being set mostly in China and two of the five main characters being Chinese.   I can say it is probably one of those few films that will probably be released theatrically in China as it paints an atmosphere of cooperation between the Chinese and the American governments as a Chinese investigator seeks the assistance of his old MIT friend Nicholas Hathaway (Chris Hemsworth) who is in jail for computer hacking.  Hathaway makes a deal with the US Department of justice that his sentence will be commuted if he can catch the one responsible for using a RAT (Remote Access Trigger) to make the cooling fans of a Chinese nuclear fail and manipulate the market, but he thinks the real target is yet to come.  

 

I did like BLACKHAT as it paints a timely scenario of criminals using computer viruses to manipulate systems for personal gain and it shows how vulnerable computer security is.   The sequences showing the movement of the RAT are really interesting and there is even a shoot out that reminds you of the big gun battle in HEAT.   The plot and relationships aren’t new territory for Michael Mann as the script feels like comfortable material for him.    The movie does go into developing the characters a great deal even though the second big action sequence between the bad guys and good guys is the last high point for the film as BLACKHAT seems to coast from there as they finally find out what the main bad guy is after.   It is a mess which does have some plot holes like why the FBI lets Hathaway and the Chinese girl wander on their own to investigate during the first half of the movie.   BLACKHAT could have been more, but I do think part of it’s poor performance is by releasing it against the juggernaut known as AMERICAN SNIPER.

 

This review is 1-23-2015 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com

 

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