Thursday, April 6, 2017


Year 9, Day 96 - 4/6/17 - Movie #2,590

BEFORE: Sorry for possibly spoiling the post-credits sequence from "Doctor Strange", but it was important that I mention that Chris Hemsworth made an appearance as Thor - because Hemsworth carries over from that film to appear in "Blackhat".

THE PLOT: A furloughed convict and his American and Chinese partners hunt a high-level cybercrime network from Chicago to Los Angeles to Hong Kong to Jakarta.

AFTER: Tonight it's time for "Why I Hate Millennials, Part 47".  Because none of them seem to know the value of hard work, instead they invent titles for themselves, like "Coder" or "Hacker" or "Social Media Coordinator", like that's a real thing.  Not to sound like an old fogey, but when I was a teenager I worked in a warehouse, lifting boxes.  (Thirty years and a film degree later, and I'm still moving boxes, but those are the breaks.).  Even in my twenties, I worked in a library media lab, and then broke into the business by working as a production assistant on music videos.  Driving vans, loading equipment, painting sets - I didn't have the opportunity to sit with a laptop and write code that would enable me to create backdoors into the computer systems at the stock exchange to manipulate soy futures, or whatever.

Oh, they sit in the coffee shops all day, and they want you to believe they're working on their screenplays, but they're really developing hack tools called RATs that end up being used to infiltrate the systems of nuclear reactors, and then when the NSA catches up with them, they probably say things like, "That's my code, man, but I designed it to hack into Hollywood movie companies and search for "Game of Thrones" spoilers."  But presumably something like this is what put the main character here in jail, where he sits around looking all buff and sticking to his exercise regime, saying things like "You do your time, but don't let the time do YOU."  What does that even MEAN?

But it's only a matter of time until the Chinese government convinces the FBI to release him in order to put him to work tracking an even worse hacker, because he's apparently the only one who can.  They pulled this same sort of thing on "CSI: Cyber" a few years back, commuting the sentences of blackhat hackers and turning them into whitehat ones.  But apparently the flashy computer tracking only goes so far, because they end up racing around the world anyway - which is really silly if you think about it, because they could easily just find a relay in that location which is just forwarding a signal from somewhere else, right?

The silliest part is probably near the end, when our hero hacker manages to steal back the money from the anonymous thief, and then STILL agrees to meet with him in person.  For the love of God, why?  You GOT his money, you won - just text him an "LOL" message and be done with it, why put yourself at risk?  But I guess at this point, the revenge is personal, visceral, and if you've got muscles like those (which no real hacker has in real life, I guarantee...) you might as well put them to use.

Also starring Leehom Wang, Wei Tang, Viola Davis (last seen in "Suicide Squad"), Holt McCallany (last seen in Concussion"), Ritchie Coster (last seen in "Creed"), Andy On, Christian Borle, John Ortiz (last seen in "Amistad"), Yorick van Wageningen, Archie Kao, with a cameo from William Mapother (last seen in "Jobs").

RATING: 3 out of 10 sharpened screwdrivers

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