Thursday, July 06, 2006

MI3 (movie review)

I thought Tara might enjoy a Mission Impossible episode, as I did back when it was a TV series. The Bagdad was down to one piece of pizza, with no plans to make more, plus the sound system went bad, with no projectionist in the booth for quite some time (time enough to buy that last piece for Tara, plus a lemonade, plus a Hammerhead for me).

What I liked about the TV show were the subtle interventions. But once we're on the big screen with an action figure like Tom Cruise, and Hollywood driving, there's not much room for subtlety.

The plot line is actually quite lazy, as the most difficult operation is retrieving some stupid bioweapon (aka "rabbit's foot") from a skyscraper in Shanghai. The sleight of hand is versus the audience in this case: get Tom in through the roof (a big leap even for those suspending disbelief), then cut to a van, and a prayer for some cat.

What's going on inside the building? What clever tricks enable spiderman to snag the biobunny, presumably guarded? He crashes through some upper floor window with a parachute (where'd that come from? -- "exotic gear from nowhere" is another persistent theme), interrupting the prayer. Whatever he did to pull off this heist of the century was left on the cutting room floor (if ever shot in the first place).

Another big plot hole: masked gunmen in a helicopter attack a US civilian bridge with high explosives and everyone just sort of looks the other way. No congressional hearings, not even closed door ("who authorized the drone?"), no outrage in the papers. The US civilians have apparently blindly accepted their role as mere extras in vicious shootouts staged by faceless others. Not so unbelievable actually, as US civilians get this message a lot: sit back, relax, and let the pathologically violent handle your security concerns (including your foreign affairs).

Tara thought it dragged quite a bit, but liked the music. I enjoyed some of the backdrops, although I doubt the Vatican was pleased by this faux priest with the fake Bible, stalking prey through its quiet gardens (all simulated of course).