And off we go, with the first of 2015’s major releases, and … sorry, I think I nodded off somewhere near the end of “Blackhat,” an interminably long and not very thrilling cyberthriller whose high point is an arty blue-lit shot of Chris Hemsworth wearing nothing but an electronic ankle monitor. From Michael Mann (“The Insider,” “Collateral,” “Ali”), who should know better, “Blackhat” follows convicted hacker Nicholas Hathaway (Hemsworth) as he’s released from prison in order to help the FBI and a Chinese cyberdefense team track down an international-cybercrime network. (Have I put “cyber” in front of enough words by now? In this cyberreview?)
Beginning with a lengthy prologue in which cyberspace looks like an Escher-ish collection of strangely dusty pipes, “Blackhat” careens from city to city, gunfight to gunfight, dramatically lit computer room to ditto, all set to ominously vibrating music. Hemsworth looks good but doesn’t have the charisma to carry the film, and fine actors like Viola Davis (here playing a perpetually scowling FBI agent) and Tang Wei (so vivid a few years back in Ang Lee’s “Lust, Caution”) are wasted in one-note roles.
It’s January; a time when disappointing studio movies are dumped. Pity this one couldn’t just be deleted.
Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or email@example.com
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