Saturday, May 06, 2006

Mission: Impossible 3

** Spoiler Warning - This film's plot isn't exactly important but if you do want to be surprised I'd skip over this review - then again, a better solution is to read the review then watch a better film **

This film was awful. Not just slightly awful, full on Batman-and-Robinesque hideous.

First, the action: It wasn't actually that good. It seems that substituting for any actual sense of drama is shaking the camera uncontrollably. This gives the impression of speed but, unfortunately, that is all it can give. Most of the set pieces sound impressive when they are described e.g. the part where Mr. Cruise swings between two skyscrapers. However this just turns out to be pictures of Cruise falling and hitting things without the slightest sense of grandeur. This means that the event becomes part of the background buzz of emotionless physicality to the film. Never will it make your spine tingle like good action should.

The location work on the film was unfortunately hackneyed. It started out with a decent picture of China with Shanghai lit up as the metropolis it is but then this film's stupidity kicks back in and the next seen reverts to a vague image of the Chinese suburbs with everyone dressed like extras from The Last Emperor and going about their vaguely agricultural business or playing Mah Jong. They change from slightly active players to being props for the Western story to fly past.

The film's bad guy is suitably nasty and pleasingly competent but, unfortunately, this is ruined by the final sequence in which he suddenly decides to give up all of his earlier caution and confront Mr. Cruise alone and relying upon a shock collar style device whose effectiveness clearly hasn't been properly tested. This means that the great achievement of beating him looks less genuine, he wasn't beaten at his prime, and the story's climax is a joke. Then again perhaps I just felt cheated because I really wanted him to win?

The love story is lame largely thanks to a combination of Cruise being utterly insipid and his love interest reminding me of Michael Jackson.

Finally, the shock twist was so poorly developed that it actually made me laugh out loud in the cinema. One character suddenly announces he is actually a horrible neo-con with a plot to fool his country into thinking an Arab state has weapons of mass destruction and needs to be attacked. Around a minute later he is unceremoniously shot and that entire story line is abruptly forgotten about. At the end the film tries to pull the Ronin trick of never telling you what the item was that its protagonists had struggled for only it couldn't quite pull it off due to the brief foray into politics making it clear that this was a NBC weapon of some kind; if you're going to have a mystery make sure you haven't told your audience the answer.

Don't go and see this film. It'll only encourage whoever pays to make this rubbish.

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