BlackBerry

BlackBerry ★★

For some reason this has gotten a lot of praise but it’s hard to see how it’s much more than an above average, made-for-TV movie. Though steered with commendable finesse by actor/director Matt Johnson, it’s dragged down by a script that is essentially on par with the likes of “Pirates of Silicon Valley” etc. To enjoy this kind of historical re-creation, you have to be okay with absurdly on-the-nose narrative shortcuts, like major technological breakthroughs happening in single, iconic moments in time, or characters parroting back the themes of their own downfall with heavy, heavy dramatic irony. The two leads, played by Jay Baruchel and Glenn Howerton, are barely able to surpass their highly rudimentary character outlines, and a third character, played by Matt Johnson, is the only one who seems to really believe he’s living the experiences in this non-fictional-ish comedy-drama—it’s probably no coincidence that his is the best performance of the lot, and a hint at what a much better movie could have been.

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