Wednesday, November 22, 2023


BlackBerry offers the rise and fall of Research in Motion who created the BlackBerry which, at its peak, owned half of cellphone market only to completely disappear in less than two decades. The story behind the phone, and the company, is boiled down in this script from Matt Johnson and Matthew Miller to the relationship between engineer and designer Mike Lazaridis (Jay Baruchel) and corporate asshole Jim Balsillie (Glenn Howerton) who joins the floundering company and brings he necessary business acumen to turn Mike's struggling company into something worth billions.

As It's Always Sunny fans know, Howerton can easily slide into playing a prick and Balsillie fits right in his wheelhouse. Perhaps the most interesting decision in the script is the choice not to cast him as the villain of the piece with Lazaridis, despite being ignorant of some sketchy business decisions, being equally culpable in BlackBerry's fall from prominence to simply, as one character describes it, that phone you owned before the iPhone.

The film's biggest weakness is despite the story being interesting the mostly one-dimensional characters are not. Little to no effort is made to break any of the engineers and developers who worked for RIM out of the cliched nerd stereotype and most aren't given enough screentime to attempt it anyway (with the exception being writer/director Matt Johnson stepping in and playing the company's co-founder Douglas Fregin) and we never get beyond Balsillie's self-interest. That said, the fun story is still strong enough to keep your interest for much of its 2-hour running-time.

  • Title: BlackBerry
  • IMDb: link

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