Monday, May 29, 2006

Mission Impossible 3

Mission Impossible 3 is... Forgettable.

"Abrams may think he’s made a tightly constructed event film, but it’s all one big widescreen cheat. And if audiences accept this mission, they’re going to get more of the barely adequate same until movies of this cookie cutter nature overrun the multiplexes like kudzu." - Mr. Beaks.

It's not a bad movie, it's just not even close to being great. I'm quite surprised at the number of glowing reviews this film has received - I don't think it's deserving of any of them.

The main problem was that the whole thing felt like a bunch of action sequences tied together by a flimsy 'plot' and featuring a cardboard cutout team with pitiful characterization. The stakes in the story are raised when things become personal, but the whole thing feels contrived and it's hard to really give a damn.

This fact alone wouldn't be so bad, were it not for second major problem - for a big budget film, it doesn't feel particularly big or spectacular. There's way too much shaky-cam that feels out of place for a slick, glossy, and OTT film (whereas it seemed perfectly appropriate for the more gritty and realistic Bourne Supremacy). The main set pieces were all well put together but were just 'OK' - there are NO suprises and nothing that is particularly memorable (alright, except that jump from the roof of a skyscraper). Roger Ebert's review sums it up better than I ever could.

"Either you want to see mindless action and computer-generated sequences executed with breakneck speed and technical precision, or you do not. I am getting to the point where I don't much care. There is a theory that action is exciting and dialogue is boring. My theory is that variety is exciting and sameness is boring. Modern high-tech action sequences are just the same damn thing over and over again: high-speed chases, desperate gun battles, all possible modes of transportation, falls from high places, deadly deadlines, exotic locations and characters who hardly ever say anything interesting."

What I've said so far sounds really negative, but I didn't hate the movie. Heck, I'd say that the film was 'good' overall, and it's enjoyable enough as a hollow, technically well executed but unspectacular action / thriller. The better elements of the film were Philip Seymour Hoffman as the coldly calculating villain, and a few surprises that go against conventions and audience expectations.

Ultimately though, the mediocre outweighs the good, and I have no real desire to see this film again.

No comments: