Today’s social media-infused, solipsistic blog-enhanced culture gets a new look in The Black Hearts, the tale of what happens when a gang of thieves find themselves with a member who is a little too “connected” for his own good. While Infamous (Dawayne Jordan), Sugar (Connie Sechrist) and Deathstrike (Ryan Gallardo) rob banks, Rockstar (Brandon Rogers) spends his time in the getaway vehicle tweeting and uploading status updates about the crime in question. As if that wasn’t enough, Rockstar also manages to not miss a moment for his video blog about the gang, and has no problem posting pictures of his accomplices and, from time to time, give away their location with a check-in or three.
Heat this film is not; if it was, Rockstar wouldn’t have gotten very far with the gang before someone put a bullet in his head for endangering the group. And that’s the most unbelievable aspect of this whole short: I can buy that someone would be so stupid as to celebrate and broadcast their illegal activities (reality already has a few examples one could draw on for inspiration), but I have a hard time believing that a gang capable of top-level robbery would suffer said idiocy for long, if at all.
Putting that aside, the film looks quite nice and has a pace and style consistent with the digital culture that it is critiquing. While I don’t believe Rockstar as a thief, I completely buy him as a media-friendly web whore and the film does a great job of cementing that rapid-click, digital aesthetic throughout. The question in the end becomes whether the story itself is interesting enough to keep your attention.
For me, it’s a one-joke scenario that goes on a little too long. We know that eventually Rockstar’s behavior will cause trouble for the gang, and even with a twist here or there, you spend the majority of time just waiting for the shit to finally hit the fan. In that sense, for as tightly edited as the film already is, it’s still a bit flabby around the edges.
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