We live in an era where the smartphones that are in our pockets are more powerful than the computers that allowed Apollo 11 to land on the moon. When you think about that it’s quite scary how much tech has advanced in such a short time. This advancement is perfectly highlighted in Matt Johnson’s recent film Blackberry. The film follows Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie during the rise and eventual fall of Blackberry, which leads the way to what we consider the modern smartphone. In a way, this tech innovation perfectly parallels Matt Johnson’s directing in this film. Before this, he mainly worked on films that have a fake documentary style to them. This is his first film where this isn’t the case, and you would never have known. The way he transitions to a more traditional film is utterly gripping and still feels like a film he would have made. It holds the trademarks of that documentary style but still works perfectly as a traditional. But Matt Johnson was pulling double duties as also being one of the writers on this film along with Matthew Miller.
The script is smart, intense and so witty that it makes in theory the most boring of topics feel like I’m watching the final act of Uncut Gems. The cast is packed with the likes of Jay Baruchel, Glenn Howerton and yes Matt Johnson isn’t just the writer and director, he also stars in the film. But everyone is simply fantastic and makes every scene engaging and thrilling to watch. We believe these people are smart in their respective fields whether it’s the technology field or the business field. The cherry on top of this delicious cake though is the soundtrack. Composed by Jay McCarrol, the score has this groove and drive that launches the film into overdrive and makes you want to bop your head as the score is that perfect. Unlike the Blackberry phones which are a relic of the past, this film will launch Matt Johnson’s career and is a true defining project in his filmography. The film is simply incredible and I feel one of the best films of 2023.
I conducted an Interview with Matt Johnson which you can listen to by clicking here!