This Friday, one of Hollywood's coolest living auteurs will drop the eleventh opus in his filmography. Michael Mann, the genius behind some of the greatest crime films of all time, is back—albeit inexplicably in January, the most swagless movie release month on the calendar. The release date is apropos though, because we've seen Blackhat, the Super Hacker vs Mega Hacker tech-thriller starring Thor, and well, it's far from Mike's best.
But despite the downward trend created by this and the lukewarm Public Enemies, how much can a legacy that boasts Heat, Collateral, Thief, Last of the Mohicans, and even the very-much-in-need-of-your-reconsideration Miami Vice, really be tarnished? Like any great filmmaker, Mann's world is recognizable through a series of go-to story tropes and filmmaking techniques that enriches each viewing experience with familiarity. Blackhat has all of the moving parts, but the formula doesn't add up to a satisfying result this time. Here are all the disparate elements that compose some of Mann's finest work.