If you need somebody to craft breathless, stylish and hard-hitting crime thrillers, then Michael Mann would be very near the top of the list. While his output has slowed down significantly during the last decade, at his peak he was churning out the likes of Heat, The Insider, Collateral and Miami Vice and Public Enemies in quick succession.
In fact, boxing biopic Ali is the only movie he’s made since 1992 that doesn’t operate within the parameters of the cops and criminals genre. It’s been six years since Mann helmed his last feature, and it may have been his worst. Blackhat was a spectacular failure, failing to even recoup $20 million of its $70 million at the box office, with critics only deeming it worthy of a 32% Rotten Tomatoes score.
Once again raising questions over his viability as a leading man outside of his Marvel Cinematic Universe comfort zone, Chris Hemsworth was woefully miscast as an impossibly handsome cyber-criminal, and the actor has even admitted that it isn’t the best work of his career.
The setup finds an incarcerated criminal given an early release to help the government track down an elite group of hackers, before the inevitable conspiracy rears its head. Blackhat isn’t very good, but it’s nonetheless proving very popular on Netflix as per FlixPatrol, shooting up the most-watched list to find itself sitting just outside the Top 20.