Five Reasons You’ll Love It - June 22, 2015

Blackhat - Five Reasons You'll Love It
by Kim
Kim
by Kim hmv Toronto, Bio Music, film, cats, yoga - repeat Canada Editor, hmv.com

Blackhat - Five Reasons You'll Love It

Once you get past seeing Aussie actor Chris Hemsworth as Thor (which might well have just been me), director Michael Mann’s action-thriller Blackhat takes off at high-speed, its proverbial feet never touching the ground. Its premise is juicy: Nicholas Hathaway, a computer coding ace serving time for nefarious online activities, is sprung by the FBI in exchange for his expertise in chasing down a cyber-criminal who, rather inconveniently, melted down a Chinese nuclear reactor. And it’s looking to get worse from there.

Along with his similarly gifted (and impossibly attractive) Chinese partners, Hathaway hits the road in hot pursuit, ping-ponging between Chicago, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Jakarta. Add in a hot romance, stuff blowing up and the nerdy thrill of seeing dudes using computers for things other than posting kooky cat videos and you’ve got yourself a humdinger. As the film hits DVD shelves today (June 22nd), we offer five reasons to pick up the movie and devour it at home...

 

Nobody films cities like Michael Mann...

Actually, allow us rephrase: nobody films cities at night like Michael Mann. Witness CollateralHeatThief and, if we can transport back to the 1980s and the small screen, Miami Vice. Anybody can shoot the glistening skyscrapers of an urban metropolis after dark. Only Mann can make those skyscrapers seem alive, mysterious, porous. In Blackhat, Mann juxtaposes breath-taking aerial shots with claustrophobic street-level ones; the effect is dizzying in the best possible way.

 

We all secretly long to be computer geniuses...

And films like Blackhat elevate the notion of hacking to an art form, where untold riches covertly stolen from big bad corporations are just a few keystrokes away… if you’re a computer whiz like Hathaway and his crew. Plus, in this scenario, we’d all look like Chris Hemsworth and super-sexy sidekick Wei Tang while pulling off those cyber capers. Naturally, as anyone who’s ever watched an IT dude load malware on the office desktop knows, computer science is about as thrilling as watching paint dry. But wouldn’t it be cool if we could all read thick code and make stuff go boom?

 

Did we mention the stars are all kinds of watchable?

The above-mentioned Hemsworth and Tang are stunning, as is Leehom Wang as Tang’s brother. Viola Davis meanwhile, brings the gravitas as agent Carol Barrett.

 

The film is uncommonly good for a winter release...

In the words of Mike Myers as Dr. Evil during a recent Saturday Night Live appearance at the height of The Interviewkerfuffle: "Let's start with you, North Korea. You're one of the most evil countries in the world and your act of war is to kill a movie? It's easy to kill a movie. Just move it to January." Enough said.

 

It’s transcendent...

It often seems like all the really fun, high-energy popcorn thrillers are ghettoized to the summer months, leaving the long winter months with only serious and sober fare. Blackhat is really entertaining and for a couple of hours in the dead of winter, a small break from reality is a welcome respite.

 

 

Blackhat is out now on DVD and available for purchase here. 

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