Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
Michael Mann’s latest effort is a comeback of sorts for the Director, known best for Films like Heat and Collateral. Blackhat might not be his best work, but it proves to be engaging enough for its Audience as a solid Action-Thriller.
Blackhat focuses on a Terrorist Attack at a Chinese Nuclear Power Plant carried-out by Kassar (Ritchie Coster) through orders of his Boss – part of a bigger plan. We are given some insight into our Central Character, Nick’s (Chris Hemsworth) past, although still very mysterious as a furloughed Convict. The U.S. Government alone are unable to find the identities of the said Cyber-Criminals, so they must partner with the Chinese Government and in a joint effort to figure out the identity of these individuals who have crippled both China and the United States. Carol (Viola Davis) is the U.S. Agent assigned to the case alongside Nick, and both Chen Dawai (Leehom Wang) and Lien Chen (Wei Tang) are the Chinese Government’s Associates aiding to find Kassar and his Boss, in hopes of foiling their destructive grand scheme.
Blackhat follows a formulaic pattern seen in Mann’s Films: the long drawn-out chase, plus shaky Multi-Cams, which complement the tone here. The pace is energetic and hectic as we join these Cyber-Criminals as they struggle to avoid capture.
If there is anything to be faulted it is perhaps in the Casting with Leads Chris Hemsworth and Wei Tang, lacking chemistry despite their best efforts. Viola Davis and Leehom Wang in Supporting Roles however, very much carry the Movie as they are tasked with detailed Action Choreography and superb One-Liners. Ritchie Coster as the Cyber-Criminal is truly-terrifying, absolutely nailing it.
Blackhat is that much-needed Adrenaline Rush we’ve been missing at the Movies of late. Universal Pictures Canada releases Blackhat Friday, January 16, 2015.