Blackhat 2015 ***

Michael Mann’s misfires are more interesting than most director’s home-runs; his 2015 techno-thriller starts with a dive through the circuitry of a computer, and sets a tone of visual abstraction that never quite meshes with some of the conventional plotting. Chris Hemsworth looks improbably buff for a master-hacker, forced to join forces with an international counter-cyber terrorism movement. The technology is superbly handled, together with operatic visual flourishes that disguise the fact Blackhat feels like a Steven Segal movie in disguise.  If Blackhat adds up to little that’s new, the glossy surface has a hypnotic power in its depiction of a world hard-wired with justified paranoia.


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