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Blackhat: Director's Cut Differences Detailed

Michael Mann's Thriller has been Notably Altered

Two weeks ago, we reported that the Director's Cut of the hightech thriller Blackhat was announced for its world premiere screening during a Michael Mann retrospective in New York. In the meantime, that event took place and differing details regarding the new version have emerged.

There are several short dialogue cuts and and scenes have been streamlined to make the film more straightforward. Moments with Nick Hathaway in jail have been shortened and a dialogue between Nick and Chen in the helicopter (after Chen saw that Nick and Chen's sister Lien got closer) has been cut. In that same context, the scene after the attack in the Korean restaurant (where Nick and Lien rest on the roof) has been shortened. In contrast, there's also new material, e.g. when the officers try to get rid of their opponents in a new car chase scene.

The biggest change is the film's new start. Instead of the explosion of the nuclear plant in Hongkong, the DC starts with a hacker attack on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) when someone is manipulating the price of soy. The scene at the plant has been put in the film's middle part. It is speculated that the studio wasn't happy with the structure of the movie and wished for a biger threat for the thriller instead of such a trivial thing such as stock market betrayal. However, the way the DC does it makes more sense in the broader evolution of the story and motivation of the hackers.

Michael Mann explains his reasons:

I wasn’t 100% happy with it. It was a challenging film to do because the ambition of the film was to an event driven narrative and develop characters within scenes, but have a very rapid narrative with rhythms imitative of how fast our world moves today in the digital information age. So this is why I intentionally had a rapidly driving plotline. But the engine of that was cyber tech so you had to track with the search for the code… which leads you on and on and on through various hacking techniques. So in moving some of the big pieces of story around I may have obfuscated [the audience] tracking the events of the basic plot.

Even though we have not yet seen the Director's Cut, it's probably safe to assume that it is an improvement in comparison to the theatrical version. But it's doubtful that it could win over those viewers who didn't like the film in its old version.

Some US media report that the DC was shown exclusively in New York but a release on Blu-ray at a later date shouldn't be ruled out.

Release: Feb 19, 2016 - Author: sausagemoo81 - Translator: Mike Lowrey - Source: Playlist

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