Unlike the titular technology, it doesn’t get any better as far as Blackberry – the movie – goes.
The latest in a recent succession of films about the rise, fall and sometimes (though not in this case) renaissance of some of today’s better-known brands (see also Air, Tetris and WeCrashed), Matt Johnson’s Canadian biz-bio is an effective account on the first smart phone – and how the Canadian-created BlackBerry was ultimately replaced in front pockets by Apple’s iPhone.
Mike Lazaridis (Jay Baruchel) and pal Douglas Fregin (played by writer-director Matt Johnson), co-founder of Canadian electronics company Research in Motion, hit the big time, albeit temporarily, when they figure out a way to make an all-encompassing, first-of-its-kind computer phone.
With Jim Balsillie (Glen Howerton) as the company’s self-appointed CEO, the ‘Blackphone’ as the novel device would ultimately be titled sailed. That was until 2007 when Apple came up with a better device, the iPhone. Blackberry didn’t have the manpower, smarts, or resources to top them. As such, they Blackberry went squish.
Anchored by terrific performances, in particular an unrecognizable Glenn Howerton (of “It’s Always Sunny…”) fame as Balsillie, but excelling thanks to its entertaining, pacey, and sympathetic screenplay (by Johnson and Matthew Miller), BlackBerry is a timely and excellent reminder that, that as far as that piece of technology you’re reading this review on, there’s always something better just around the corner.