Blackhat

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(2015) ★★★½

Sky Movies Premiere: PREMIERE Friday 27 November, 11.30am and 22.15pm

Serving 13 years for siphoning $46m from American banks, hacker Chris Hemsworth is allowed out of prison on license to help track down those responsible for stunning cyber attacks on a Chinese power plant and the US stock market. Law enforcement agencies in Asia and America don’t know the players, nor even the game – there’s been no no statement of intent. Are they dealing with terrorists? Or thieves? Their first link is a dead end – a dead proxy, in fact. With keyboards clacking and computers dinging, they’re not just following the money. They’re following the encrypted data, trying to connect the digital dots.

A remote access tool created for a joke at MIT by Hemsworth and his friend Wang Leehom has been ripped off and repurposed for malware by cybercriminals, motive unknown. FBI agents Viola Davis and Holt McCallany accompany Hemsworth and Leehom and his sister Tang Wei on a tour of Asian hotspots from Hong Kong to Jakarta. The NSA has Black Widow, a system for repairing corrupted files, and that would be useful. But they’re reluctant to share with the Justice Dept when the Chinese and a convicted felon are involved. “If I wanted to I couldn’t,” says William Mapother, “and I don’t want to.” Ultimately, it’s going to come down to legwork, guesswork and gut instints.

With its visually arresting opening sequence – the camera swoops seductively from outer space to theglittering lights of Hong Kong and descends still further into the inner workings of the monitoring system at Chai Wan’s nuclear reactor – director Michael Mann sucks us into the machine. It immediately suggests Mann’s got his mojo back after his digi-video disappointments, Miami Vice and Public Enemies. A shame the screenplay can’t keep up with the camerawork. For a guy basically out on parole, Hemsworth seems to have an unfeasible access-all-areas pass (he figures out the masterplan with unlikely ease, too) but, whatever the script deficiencies, Mann’s back on his game as a physical film-maker of imposing action and architectural design. It might not make much sense but it sure enough looks like it’s taking place in the real world. Besides, a harbour shoot-out with bodies bouncing off giant containers? When the bullets are flying, Mann’s still got the Heat.

Certificate: 15
Duration: 113min

IMDB – Blackhat

TMDB – Blackhat

Rotten Tomatoes – Blackhat

Other Showings Date & Time
Sky Movies Premiere Saturday, 28 November at 11:30AM
Sky Movies Premiere Saturday, 28 November at 10:15PM
Sky Movies Premiere Sunday, 29 November at 9:45AM
Sky Movies Premiere Sunday, 29 November at 10:15PM
Sky Movies Premiere Monday, 30 November at 11:30AM
Sky Movies Premiere Monday, 30 November at 10:15PM
Sky Movies Premiere Tuesday, 1 December at 11:30AM
Sky Movies Premiere Tuesday, 1 December at 10:15PM
Sky Movies Premiere Wednesday, 2 December at 11:30AM
Sky Movies Premiere Wednesday, 2 December at 8:00PM
Sky Movies Premiere Thursday, 3 December at 11:30AM
Sky Movies Premiere Thursday, 3 December at 10:15PM
Sky Movies Crime/Thriller Wednesday, 9 December at 12:15PM
Sky Movies Crime/Thriller Wednesday, 9 December at 9:00PM
Sky Movies Showcase Tuesday, 15 December at 4:35PM
Sky Movies Showcase Tuesday, 15 December at 9:00PM
Sky Movies Crime/Thriller Friday, 18 December at 3:10PM
Sky Movies Crime/Thriller Friday, 18 December at 10:30PM