'Blackhat' bores, but at least gets hacking right

January 17, 2015 3:01 PM

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'Blackhat' bores, but at least gets hacking right

What is it about hackers that invariably stumps Hollywood? Even when filmmakers get the details right, as Michael Mann does with Blackhat, his moody exploration of cyberterrorism, they often stumble when it comes to making us actually care about what's happening on screen. There are rare counterexamples, like The Social Network, which manages to make the founding of Facebook visually and narratively compelling. But, for the most part, films that center on characters pecking away at keyboards are either campy, like Swordfish, or just plain boring, like The Net. And boy, Blackhat is such a snoozefest that I wish it had the cracked-out verve of seeing Hugh Jackman hack while getting a blowjob with a gun pointed at his head (Swordfish is crazy, folks).

The film's premise is, at least, fairly intriguing: What if a merciless hacker got their hands on something like the Stuxnet worm -- the key ingredient in the United States' not-so-covert cyberattack on Iran's nuclear program (which also wreaked havoc across the web) -- and used it to blow up a nucl...

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