[ISN] ‘Blackhat’ review: Michael Mann movie bombs

http://www.sfgate.com/movies/article/Blackhat-review-Michael-Mann-movie-bombs-6016040.php By Mick LaSalle SFGate.com January 15, 2015 You ever see a garbage truck unload? It backs up slowly and stops, the back door drops, and a cascade of wet, smelly junk comes rolling and tumbling out. Releasing a movie in January is something like that. Aside from the 2014 releases going wide following Oscar-qualifying runs in Los Angeles, what makes it into theaters in January is generally pretty raw merchandise. So the January release of “Blackhat,” the latest film from a major American director, Michael Mann (“Heat,” “The Last of the Mohicans”) was a real mystery. And it remained a mystery until about 10 or 15 minutes into the film, when the mental image returned, of that garbage truck backing up very slowly … “Blackhat” is a film about cybercrime that is, at first, difficult to follow, and later, perfectly clear and preposterous. A hacker or a team of hackers causes a Chinese nuclear reactor to blow, and China and the United States team up to stop them before they can strike again. That means springing from prison the one genius hacker smart enough to beat the hackers at their own game. He’s played by Chris Hemsworth, because that’s what computer geniuses look like in the movies. Mann suffocates “Blackhat” with style. The trouble starts in the opening scene, in which he shows how the Remote Access Trojan makes its way from the hackers to the nuclear reactor. He does this by having the camera go below the floor and then zip along miles of cable and, of course, we have no idea what we’re looking at, and it’s not particularly interesting. […]