Funny story about me watching Blackberry: I thought it was going to be a horror movie. I have no clue why, but I for whatever reason didn’t think it was going to be a business drama about exactly what it clearly is about. Then again, it is sort of a horror story.
About the rise and sudden fall of Research in Motion, the innovative company that created the mobile Blackberry ban and then rode that wave of success until slapping into the cliff that was the Apple iPhone, Blackberry stars Jay Baruchel, Matt Johnson, and a very bald Glenn Howerton. It’s a movie where you know the ending, the ending ain’t pretty–but the journey is fascinating.
Directed by Johnson, Blackberry is a compelling breakdown of the early days of RiM. Baruchel and Johnson make for an entertaining odd couple, while Howerton chews up the scenery with a memorably ballistic performance.
As good as it is, I would have liked to see more exploration of the end-times. Did RiM get caught completely flatfooted when Steve Jobs announced the iPhone, or did hubris make them ignore the future? The movie’s answer is more the former, but I’m not convinced that’s reality. Johnson does a fine job of bringing to life RiM’s early days, but gets a little out of his depth as time progresses.
Nonetheless, Blackberry is a well-made, well-acted, and intriguing business case study that deserves much more recognition then it has received.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.