Why would anybody want a phone without a keyboard?
Matt Johnson is one of the most overlooked filmmakers in recent years, and BlackBerry is a tremendous addition to his growing portfolio. I only recently heard of him when stumbling across Nirvana The Band The Show and the ridiculously elaborate Operation Avalanche, both of which were sensational in their own rights, yet he’s already climbed atop my list of directors I need more from.
This biographical drama has the perfect amount of nuanced comedy finely weaved within the mismanaged history of what was the world’s most dominant and innovative smartphone brand. Glenn Howerton kills it as the aggressive, conceited, manipulative co-CEO Jim Balsillie, leading the cast as the greedy anti-hero of sorts. Although the bald cap could have been more realistic, his performance is stellar, and I didn’t associate him with Dennis Reynolds for a second once the initial office scene was through. Along with Jay Baruchel’s lead, Matt Johnson’s role as goofy co-founder Doug Fregin is one of his best. Johnson’s comedic timing and quick-witted mannerisms made him the star of the film in my eyes.
I wanted to watch something lighter tonight, and BlackBerry delivered. Even if the film doesn’t secure any Oscars, one shouldn’t overlook it as one of the standout releases this year thanks to its creative portrayals of the early 2000s tech entrepreneurs and steadily paced storyline. I don’t know what else to say about it; it was a fun and entertaining watch from the get-go, and I’d encourage anyone looking for something fresh and original to see it.