April 29: Drop A Bomb — Please share your favorite critical and financial flop with us!
Blackhat made $19.7 million at the box office against a budget of $70 million, which makes it a bomb, but does how many people came to see a movie on initial release mean it’s a bad movie? Nope.
When a nuclear plant in Hong Kong goes into meltdown and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange gets hacked, it turns out that Captain Chen Dawai (Leehom Wang) of the People’s Liberation Army cyberwarfare unit designed the code behind both systems. He asks that his college roommate, Nicholas Hathaway (Chris Hemsworth), be let out of prison to stop the hacker before they further destabilize several companies and governments. This includes a plan to sabotage a large dam and destroy several major tin mines in Malaysia, with the hacker buying into different futures that will profit from these attacks.
What emerges is a mix between art film and Hollywood action; what’s strange is that no person who spends hours typing on a computer — trust me, I know — looks as good as Hemsworth. But you know, only Michael Mann could direct a scene about hacking a PDF into obtaining a password and making it look that sexy and vibrant. That takes an artistic skill that so few directors lack.
Viola Davis, who plays FBI Special Agent Carol Barrett, and Holt McCallany, who is Deputy United States Marshal Jessup, are both really good in this, but they’re both always the best parts of any film they appear in.
I kind of like how by the end of this movie, it’s basically Hathaway and Dawai’s sister Chen Lien (Tang Wei) against the hackers and the world, having only each other to depend on.
The Arrow Video 4K UHD release of Blackhat has both the US and international versions of the film, well as new audio commentary by critics Bryan Reesman and Max Evry, interviews with cinematographer Stuart Dryburgh and production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas, behind the scenes features, an image gallery, a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Doug John Miller and an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Andrew Graves. You can get it from MVD. There’s also a blu ray version.