01 May, 2012

What I Watched Last Month…

This is what I watched in… 
December 2011 

Happy Feet Two. (in 2D and 3D, at the cinema)
Having worked on this film for over three years it's kind of hard to review it from an impartial, objective, audience point of view, and this blog is certainly not the right forum to review it from the standpoint of having contributed to it.

Mission: Impossible. (on DVD)
This would be the third time I've seen the first of the M:I series of movies and I really like it. The Mission: Impossible concept is always based on a team effort, but as a Tom Cruise vehicle it's no surprise that the main propellant for the plot is the destruction of the team with Cruise's Ethan Hunt being all that's left. Well to begin with anyway.
The story's engaging and fun. The action and tension is deftly handled and delivered, the over-the-top scenarios skate the line of ridiculous (which is as it should be), and the whole scenario is gripping.
This is my favourite of the first three M:Is.

Mission: Impossible II. (Digital rental)
Boyoboy but this was bad. For a little while at the beginning of the film I was wondering why everybody dislikes this movie so much, but if I were honest with myself it was already feeling a little sub-par for a big budget, wannabe Hollywood blockbuster. That feeling only increased once the first act was over. This movie really looks and feels like a B-grade telemovie. It's hard to believe that: a) this is what was made after M:I1, which I quite enjoyed, and; b) they were able to convince anyone to make an M:I3 after this. I suppose B-grade can be forgivable and fun when the right attitude is behind it, but this was taking itself way too seriously for that. Add to that the Australian accents and locations and I think it becomes too much B-grade to enjoy.
That being said, I did like a lot of the action set pieces, if only there had been a little more attention to detail. I had great fun and some new respect for Tom Cruise, recognising him as so obviously and blatantly taking part in many of the stunts and very physical fights. Once again though these are let down some by the sloppy filmmaking, but still made that little more impressive by Tom's actual presence.
The other major let down in this Mission: Impossible outing is the  lack of gadgetry and other M:I trappings. There's a little, but nowhere near the amount of far fetched equipment and ridiculous odds that's needed to make this an M:I story rather than just a spy movie.
By far the worst of the M:I run, and extremely disappointing because of it.

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