Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Run, Tommy, Run!

There's one shot in Mission: Impossible III that seems to go on forever. It's Tom Cruise running along a crowded Shanghai street, and the camera tracks him as he runs. And runs. And runs. And runs some more.

The shot probably only lasts ten or fifteen seconds, but it seems to go on forever. Why does the camera linger on this particular tracking shot, with no zooming, cutting, or other changes? I have no idea. It contributes nothing to the story, and actually drains the tension from what should have been a taut, nail-biting suspense sequence.

Perhaps Cruise, who also co-produced the movie, wanted to show off his virile athletic ability. Oh, Tom. Have you never read The House of Mirth, wherein Wharton tells us that "no insect hangs its nest on threads as frail as those which will sustain the weight of human vanity"? Which reminds me, I should rent that movie-- I was always curious about Gillian Anderson's performance.

Anyway. D and I both thought this sequel had been dumbed down quite a bit from the first two movies, which is a shame; the original Mission: Impossible TV series was all about outsmarting the bad guys and following the various twists and turns of the con, but the film franchise has fallen into an action movie rut. Seriously, if the cast and crew hadn't included so many heavy hitters, I might have mistaken MI3 for a made-for-cable movie, or even (horrors!) a direct-to-video release. Which is not to say that it was bad; it was entertaining enough, but solidly mediocre, with no real surprises and more than a few plot holes.

Favorite inside joke: the end credits give special thanks to the Hanso Foundation, one of the MacGuffins from director J.J. Abram's TV series Lost.

Best part of tonight's movie outing: seeing the new Superman Returns trailer. Bryan Singer is my hero.

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