This thriller written by Morgan Davis Foehl and directed by Michael Mann, the film has surprisingly aged quite well as opposed to most other techno thrillers and technology-based films. This one has a strong script and directing that is as expected from Mann, directing that works, knows how to get the results needed, and has a bit of flare. The man can direct, and this movie is yet another one that proves it. The story here has twists and turns, but more importantly, it keeps the viewer involved and on the edge of their seats once things really get going. The film isn’t afraid to go for the hard stuff, the difficult scenes and sequences, with action that is fantastically well done.
The cast here is led by Chris Hemsworth who does some great work here, giving the viewer a reminder that he’s more than Thor and more than a superhero actor (not that there is anything wrong with that). Here he gets to be more serious, have some intense scenes, and gets to be an action dude for a while. Tang Wei plays Chen Lien who is assigned to work with Hemsworth’s Nick Hathaway who she eventually gets involved deeper with. Her work here is fitting for the film, but also gives vulnerability, strength, and adds that little bit of extra to the film that really keeps the viewer watching (and watching again). The cast overall here is a bunch of talented people doing what they do best, giving intense performances that work within the realm of a thriller.
The cinematography makes the most of the locations and adds to the tension with the editing being tight. The film shows how a scene built, shot, and edited properly can make for a stronger film in the end. The fight sequences and action sequences are done just right and the choreography of these is on point. The film uses all its aspects to become a solid crime thriller, one of the top best cyber-crime thrillers where proper research was done and the right people were consulted to make it look as real as it could be. The film aged well because of this, and it shows attention to detail and care for the final version of the film.
The film looks great here in blu ray in 1080p, the sound is great on home theater, and the fact that both the US and the International cuts are included here is great. The director’s cut is definitely worth checking out and is available for the very first time on this release for home video. The set comes with plenty of extras as Arrow Video is known to do. The archival behind-the-scenes featurettes are great here and the brand-new interview with cinematographer Stuart Dryburgh is one of the most interesting bits of extras on here. The audio commentary with critics Bryan Reesman and Max Evry is interesting, but it’s one with director Michael Mann that this viewer was hoping for. These two do well here, but Mann would have made this an even more important release.