Ahh, January. You always seem to get a lot of s**t recently, do you? Well, not to be mean, but, you kinda brought it on yourself. You make movies that have so much potential, especially some action movies, but you end up feeling dank and empty. And Blackhat is no exception.
At a nuclear plant in Chai Wan, Hong Kong, a hacker causes the coolant pumps to overheat and explode. Not long after in Chicago, the Mercantile Trade Exchange gets hacked, causing soy futures to rise. The Chinese government and the FBI determine that the hack was caused by a Remote Access Tool (RAT). A military officer in China's cyber warfare unit, Captain Chen Dawai (Leehom Wang), is tasked to find the people responsible for the attacks, and enlists the aid of his sister Chen Lien (Tang Wei), a networking engineer. He meets with FBI Agent Carol Barrett (Viola Davis, State of Play) in Los Angeles and reveals the code in the RAT was written by himself and Nicholas Hathaway (Chris Hemsworth, Thor), his college roommate, in their school days years before Hathaway was sent to prison for an unrelated hack. Dawai asks that the FBI arrange for Hathaway to be released from prison, where he is serving a sentence for computer crimes. Hathaway is offered temporary release in exchange for his services. Now, there on the case to find out who technologically blew up the nuclear plant and caused the rising soy futures in the Mercantile Trade Exchange.
The things that Blackhat had going for it was either:
A) An intriguing premise about hackers causing international crime directed by the guy who made Heat and Collateral.
B) Chris Hemsworth is in this.
The funny fact being that you want to like it because of those reasons above. Whether you've seen the director's work or not could also contribute to this or the fact that, despite some mishaps in his career, Hemsworth is a likable actor. He's Thor in the Marvel movies, for God's sake, THOR!
But despite all that, none of those reasons makes this any more than a disappointing and, at times, a enormously missed opportunity.
In the end, Blackhat does have exhilarating action sequences and Hemsworth, while his character is unbelievable, gives it his best shot, but, unfortunately, the film suffers from a horrid script, lackluster character development, and a final act that feels like it was tacked on at the very last minute.