If you’re a fan of Chris Hemsworth, have we got a divisive thriller for you. The film Blackhat just hit Netflix earlier this week, and it’s definitely one that critics and audiences just can’t agree on. If you want to make the decision for yourself, you can hit the streaming platform without reading on. Otherwise, let’s get into what people have thought about this movie and why its Rotten Tomatoes score is so incredibly bad.
So yeah, that Rotten Tomatoes score. It’s pretty dire. The critic side landed at around 32% with audiences going even lower at 24%. With that being said, those that like the film really like it. So why the low scores? Most people had a problem with the pace of the movie and the casting of Chris Hemsworth as a hacker. The former complaint might be fair enough, but director Michael Mann is no stranger to a more meditative and contemplative pace. It could be that viewers were expecting something more high-octane. The latter complaint is a bit silly though. Just because Hemsworth’s character is a hacker doesn’t mean he can’t be handsome and fit. That’s a pretty retro interpretation of what a “computer nerd” is supposed to look like.
The plot of the movie sets up what would appear to be a pretty captivating thriller. After a Hong Kong nuclear plant and the Mercantile Trade Exchange are hacked, the FBI decides to work with China to find the hackers responsible. The Chinese team suggests enlisting Chris Hemsworth’s character from prison to help with the hunt. To reveal much more would spoil the movie, so you’ll have to check it out for yourself (or read a plot synopsis somewhere, I won’t judge.) In addition to Chris Hemsworth, the movie stars Viola Davis, Tang Wei, Leehom Wang, Holt McCallany, Andy On, Ritchie Coster, and more. Michael Mann directs and Morgan Davis Foehl handled the script.
What’s surprising about this movie being such a miss for most people is that Michael Mann isn’t really known for missing. The man(n) has directed some of the best thrillers out there, such as Heat, Collateral, and Thief. And though the themes of the film are plenty relevant for the modern era, they just didn’t quite resonate with audiences as expected. Even Chris Hemsworth himself lamented his performance, saying he could have done better. Still, it did manage to make a number of critics’ year-end lists, so clearly your results may vary. One thing is for certain, Michael Mann’s unmistakable style is very much present in this film. If you’re a fan of the director overall, you’ll probably be able to get something out of it.
As for box office numbers, they look even worse than the critic and audience reviews. The movie only managed to scrape together a little over $19.5 million worldwide. With a $70 million budget, it’s safe to say it was an absolute bomb. The initial sour reception to the movie probably didn’t help, but the marketing was also lacking to get people in seats. Keep in mind, Chris Hemsworth was a full-on Avenger at this point. Audiences were very familiar with him as Thor, so you’d think his star power alone would have drawn in a slightly more significant audience. Needless to say, the studios probably weren’t very happy with this result.
As divisive as this movie is, it might be worth checking out if you’re a fan of the director or Chris Hemsworth. There’s a chance you might enjoy it, even if the majority of audiences didn’t. As for Michael Mann and Hemsworth, they’re both doing fine in the wake of the abysmal failure of this movie. For Hemsworth, there’s no stopping the Marvel machine. He has since starred in Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. Which were able to make a little bit of a profit as some of the highest-grossing movies of all time. He also has the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder due out in 2022. Michael Mann’s next directorial effort looks to be interesting too. He’ll be releasing an Enzo Ferrari biopic that stars Adam Driver in the lead role alongside Penelope Cruz. If you’re interested in catching Chris Hemsworth in Blackhat, the film is currently streaming on Netflix.