Hemsworth plays Nick Hathaway, an ex-MIT student turned hacker who, at the start of the movie, is serving 15 years in prison for hacking into banks. The FBI, prompted by Chinese government official Chen Dawai (who also happens to be Nick's old roommate in college), looks to Nick to help find the security breach at a Chinese power plant that caused one of the power plants to explode. While trying to catch the bad guys, Nick falls in love with Dawai's sister, Lien.
It's a somewhat convoluted storyline and is even harder to follow. 98% of the movie is shot in close-up/extreme close-up and shallow focus - two cinematic choices that I love - but that left the viewer constantly not knowing where we were in space. In fact, the picture assaulted my eyes occasionally: it was hard to look at the screen. I tried to rationalize this choice: is it reflective of Nick's inner and outer imprisonment? Is Michael Mann, the director, trying to portray a sense of claustrophobia? I don't know. It seemed superficial.
The tone of the entire movie is set with the gimmicky open: it looks beautiful, yes, but the story doesn't go too far or anywhere interesting. The acting was good enough, the action sequences were cool, but as a whole, it was one of those movies that probably had a lot of potential on the page, but was executed too poorly. They tried to change up the classic action thriller, but came up just short with a generic and boring product. Sorry, Chris.