Michael Mann’s Blackhat official trailer has finally been released, and what a landscape it covers! The film looks to be a feast for the eyes, and the Asian locations will clearly add completely new textures and forms to this next Mann outing. Beautiful abstract compositions, The Insider style dialogue, Heat gun battles and Collateral cat and mouse, together with Miami Vice sun glasses, private jets and two’s a team adventures – this is a DJ’s mega mix of Mann themes. Not a very sophisticated description, but it’s exciting to see how this one will come together. With all those locations and the temptations for Mann to shoot way more than he intended (probably), this film could well be of similar epic length as Heat. Legendary Pictures seem very accommodating in that way. I wouldn’t complain. Sitting for three hours watching a new Mann film? Yes please. Don’t cut it down!
The trailer is a blitz of colour and themes, with a very interesting slant on the plot and motive being given away – we hear the very contemplative low sound of Knockin’ on Heavens Door by Antony & the Johnsons, which seeps into the film’s trailer when we then hear the Blackhat hacker (we assume) reveal his villainous character, breathing, “This isn’t about money, this isn’t about politics. I can target anyone, anything, anywhere.” All the while, Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door is playing in the background. It’s a clue into this character’s motive. With Mann, nothing is purely aesthetic. As seems the trend over the pond, the villain is made with a British accent. I assume he is the villain. Interestingly, this Dylan song was originally written for cinema, or so I believe.
Wonderful to see John Ortiz in the film, who seems to be in Mann’s every film recently. Why not? He is a superb actor and his character, Jose Yero in Miami Vice, simmered with emotional darkness and intellect – he was extraordinary.
There are scenes in this film that are new for Michael Mann. The destruction of a power plant is something on an FX scale that Mann has never done before (not that he actually blew one up, you understand). The cinematography had a very familiar bent about it, but this time seemed to have very clean and smooth colour, little grain and less shaky handheld. The colour seems slightly bleached and clinical for some of the interiors (beaurocratic life in America?), and in other places graded with green tinges, which fit the overall Blackhat styling. Yet we do have some glowing low light images, but perhaps not as silky, or detailess, it should be said, as film. Digital is being used to make handheld lowlight video work for the movie. Big outdoor stages, but all focussed on and following Hemsworth’s character. The audio is also back to the crisp styles of earlier films. This is Mann refining his craft, taking everything from all his previous works. I think the trailer truly is a teaser. There are some huge stages in this film, as subtly revealed on Apple’s official iTunes Blackhat gallery.
The gun battle looks gritty – A gun scene in a Mann film these days is like sugar in the cake. But I don’t totally agree with my own statement, as The Insider had nothing but a bullet shown in what is my favourite Mann film. We have already posted a YouTube video of someone videoing that exact shoot out scene shown in the trailer, where Tang Wei and Hemsworth’s characters are crouched behind a metal object, as bullets whizz by. Doesn’t the colour look completely different to how the amateur video guy recorded it? The wonderful magic and cinematography of cinema.
Strangely, there wasn’t much featured of some of the other main characters, such as Leehom Wang and even less so, Holt McCallany, who is seen running with his favourite bullet proof vest. With Leehom having such a strong following in Asia, I would have thought some more footage of him would be released.
Check out the official site which has all the Facebook and Twitter share information.