Blackberry Movie Review

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Movie: Blackberry

Production Companies: Rhombus Media, Zapruder Films, Telefilm Canada, Ontario Creates, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Director: Matt Johnson

Producers: Fraser Ash, Nate Bolotin, Maxime Cottray

Scriptwriters: Matt Johnson, Matthew Miller

Main Cast: Jay Baruchel, Glenn Howerton, Matt Johnson

Release Date: 6th September 2023

Running Time: 120 minutes

Certificate: 15

Introduction: The story about the invention of the mobile phone is a surprisingly engaging biopic that mixes together the likes of ‘The Big Short’, ‘The Founder’ and ‘The Social Network’ into one.

Synopsis: The true story about the successful rise and subsequently tragic fall of Blackberry, seen through the eyes of those who started the company.

Analysis: This is the first ever film I have walked into this cold. My only awareness of the project was the name, what it was about and the poster. Other than that, I knew nothing about this. What a pleasure, therefore, it is to say that this was a very pleasant surprise. It has the realistic, docudrama style of Adam McKay’s ‘The Big Short’ combined with a similar (although nowhere near as sharp) sense of humor. I’m a very big fan of the hand- held, camera zooming in approach that this film and ‘The Big Short’ take on. It adds to the sense of realism and authenticity that I love.

The performances are very good from start to finish. I was completely invested in every single character and the success, challenges and conflicts they endure throughout. I will say though, I found the story rather predictable in terms of how it was going to playout. That is through no fault of the film however as it’s of course telling a true story and it needs to stay accurate, but I couldn’t help but notice an ever so slightly formulaic structure to the whole thing. Or more precisely, a formulaic, biographical structure. An unavoidable dilemma it seems. As I have already mentioned, this is a perfect mix of other equally good films.

The notion of the ambitious businessman (played excellently by Glenn Howerton) seeing the potential and growth of a company can easily be compared to Michael Keaton in John Lee Hancock’s ‘The Founder’ – the true story of Ray Croc as he builds McDonald’s. The behind the scenes, technological angle is very comparable to David Fincher’s ‘The Social Network’ but does not quite match its energy or script. The film also has a good sense of cultural awareness, the story only going back as far as 1996.

Various movie posters, references and video games are dotted throughout. Most of which I understood and recognised, much to my surprise. Jay McCarrol’s catchy score also gave the film a little extra zip as well. When it came down to tackling both the seriousness and the comedy, the film was able to handle each perfectly. Considering the fact that I had absolutely no idea what to expect from the film, I was rather impressed. However, since I hadn’t seen anything about it publicity wise, I have a disappointing suspicion it won’t be around for long.

Overall Rating: 7.5/10 – Good

Target Audience: 15+

Content Warning: Strong Language

Recommendation: Yes