‘Blackhat’ and ‘San Andreas’ (2015)


These two are the movies I have watched this week; ‘Blackhat’ and ‘San Andreas’. The former was released early this year, while the latter is only up to theatres today. The reason I watched ‘Blackhat’ is because it is a Hollywood production with some famous Chinese casts; Taiwan’s Wang Lee Hom and China’s Tang Wei. I heard parts of the film were also shot in my country, Malaysia. So, I’m curious. As for ‘San Andreas’, I’m definitely going for it because I love disaster film.

‘Blackhat’ is an action thriller film themed on cyber crime. And if you don’t know, ‘blackhat’ means hacker. It starred Chris Hemsworth, Tang Wei, Wang Lee Hom, Viola Davis, etc and it tells the story of a furloughed convict and his American and Chinese partners who are on mission to hunt a high-level cybercrime network spanning several cities across the world. I guess this is the first cyber-crime themed film I have ever watched and I don’t really enjoy it. It started off pretty cool, but just went ahead with boring story development. It falls pretty flat all the way. It also unnecessarily switching too many places from US to Asia, interrupting the flow rather than enhancing the ‘international’ appeal of the on-going drama.

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And worst thing is that there is only one short scene that took place in Malaysia; on a vast empty mining land in the state of Perak. Basically an unknown place. I thought there will be at least a scene in Kuala Lumpur. But not. The film mostly took place in US, and then at Hong Kong and finally at Jakarta. The acting is somehow average for all. I prefer Chris Hemsworth to be back as superhero ‘Thor’ rather than in this boring movie. There isn’t many actions and the intensity level is almost zero. They should show more ‘intelligence’ behind the hacking moves rather than just showing to us plenty of laptop screens. Nothing appealing nor engaging. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Blackhat’ a total of 6.1 only.

Next up is ‘San Andreas’. Wow…this movie made my day. An excellent film. I know most critics don’t enjoy disaster films and I don’t bother what they criticize for this earthquake movie. Trust me; it’s an exciting film! Massive earthquakes hit California from the San Andreas fault (hence the movie’s title) and damaged cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, and a rescue-chopper pilot makes a dangerous journey across the state in order to rescue his estranged wife and daughter. The movie starred Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario, etc.

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I’m glad that the movie didn’t start slow. Usually disaster films are disappointing from its draggy beginning with nothing happening besides than introducing the main characters (and usually the characters are quite shallow for this type of movie). However, this is not the case for ‘San Andreas’. The movie began with already an exciting scene, and it continues all the way for a heart-stopping ride while at the same time dealing with the characters’ development sufficiently. I’m thrilled and overly excited by all the destruction scenes. Plenty of those to satisfy me as a fans of disaster movie. Buildings cracking and collapsing, earth shaking, dam bursting, debris falling and finally, over-the-top tsunami. Wow…I couldn’t even catch my breath. Those are impressively done and are very realistic, thanks to the awesome work on its visual effects. It’s a crazy and an intense ride till the end.

Out of 10 points, I rate ‘San Andreas’ a total of 7.8. I still didn’t award it above 8 points despite all the praise because I think the storyline is too predictable (bored of happy ending and illogically very fortunate narrow escapes by the main characters). But still, it’s one epic disaster film after ‘2012’ movie. I feel like want to watch it again.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

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