Chris Hemsworth has starred in so many great movies over the years that some people have completely forgotten about his 2015 movie Blackhat. The crime thriller is absolutely worth a watch if you want to see an action-packed, dramatic story that will keep you thoroughly entertained the whole ride through. If you haven’t seen this film yet, or if you just want to catch it again, then you can stream it right now on Netflix.
Chris Hemsworth trades in Thor‘s Strombreaker for a wifi connection as a reformed hacker in Michael Mann’s underrated Blackhat.
In Blackhat, Chris Hemsworth plays Nick Hathaway, an MIT graduate who is doing time in jail for hacking banks. The FBI and the Chinese government agreed to temporarily release him from jail so that he can help find a hacker that is trying to destroy a nuclear plant in Hong Kong. The catch is that the hacker is using a code that was co-written by Chris Hemsworth’s character.
The R-rated film follows Chris Hemsworth as he attempts to track down the hacker with the help of his old friends and a new romantic partner. The hunt takes them all over the United States and Asia as they race to save many lives.
In addition to starring Chris Hemsworth, Blackhat also includes a few other big names, including Viola Davis who plays the important role of FBI Special Agent Carol Barrett. Holt McCallany plays U.S. Marshal Mark Jessup. Tang Wei plays Chen Lien, the love interest of Nick Hathaway, and the sister of P.L.A. Captain Chen Dawai.
Michael Mann brought in real hackers with experience from hacking OkCupid to advising the U.S. Government, in order to help Chris Hemsworth with his performance.
Michael Mann, who is known for directing other great thrillers like Public Enemies, Collateral, and The Insider, directed Blackhat. He was inspired to make this film after learning about Stuxnet, a computer-hacking worm that nearly took down a fifth of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges in 2010. However, the title of the film is in reference to a cybercrime hacker—a blackhat is a villain who hacks for malicious intent or for their own personal gain.
To make Blackhat as authentic as possible, Michael Mann brought in several real hackers that could help give advice to Chris Hemsworth and the rest of the cast and crew. Christopher McKinlay, who hacked the dating site OkCupid to improve his dating profile, was on set to lend his expertise. Other on-set hackers also included Kevin Poulsen, the senior editor for Wired News, and Mike Rogers, the former chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
When Blackhat was released to theaters in 2015, it actually failed miserably. It only grossed $19.7 million at the box office, only earning back a fraction of the $70 million that was spent on its production. Part of the reason it failed was because it was released at the same time as American Sniper, a heart-wrenching film from Clint Eastwood that is based on a true story.
Since its release, Blackhat has gotten mixed reviews from critics and viewers, with many people commenting that Chris Hemsworth was not the right casting choice for the film. This is because most people think of hackers as skinny, nerdy people hunched over a computer screen, rather than a muscular, rugged man like Chris Hemsworth. But since this film came out the same year as Avengers: Age of Ultron and In the Heart of the Sea, it was not very likely that the Thor star would slim down for the role.
Hackers come in all shapes and sizes, but audiences thought Chris Hemsworth was too fit and muscular to be a realistic hacker in Blackhat.
Despite some of its negative feedback and its flop at the box office, Blackhat still made several “best-of” lists in 2015, with six critics including it in their top five films of the year. In addition, Chris Hemsworth won a Hauding Award for Global Best Actor for his performance, and he was nominated for a Teen Choice Award. Director Michael Mann also won a Hauding Award for Global Best Director.
Though some may think of Blackhat as a purely fictional film, some critics believe it offers a far more philosophical outlook on life. Much like Michael Mann’s other crime thrillers and films from classic directors Fritz Land and Henry Hathaway, it reflects on the theme of mass surveillance in the world. Some believe that Chris Hemsworth’s name in the film—Nick Hathaway—is in reference to Henry Hathaway.
Now that Blackhat is available to stream on Netflix, give it a watch to see if it is authentic and philosophical as some think.