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May 7th, 2006

For anyone who cares about having their movie endings spoiled, I’m going to talk about Mission Impossible III. You can skip this post, or why not just go see the movie now. I’ll wait until you come back. Or you could just not give Tom Cruise any more money, since I took care of that for you and always feel guilty when I give him money, since he’s a couch-jumping, cradle-robbing, religious fanatic.

But Katie Holmes will probably need the dough for child support or a divorce lawyer (did they even get married? I can’t remember), so what the hell.

(tuneless whistling)

#1 son just pointed out that KENTUCKY Fired Chicken is using “Sweet Home ALABAMA” in their ads. And didn’t anyone think this was strange.

I said that, if you live in NYC or LA and go into advertising, you really don’t think there’s a difference between the two, so it doesn’t matter.

Ok. Everyone back who cares?

We went to MI3 the other night. We had to. It’s the beginning of summer movie season. Some people go to opening day of baseball, I go to the movies.

There’s really only two reasons to go to a Mission Impossible movie. You want to see stuff blow up? This is the top of the ‘Stuff Blowing Up’ genre. You will not be disappointed in MI3 in that respect. Lots of stuff blows up. I’d give this a high 8 on the SBU rating scale.

The other reason to go would be the theme song, which was cool in the 60’s and just keeps getting cooler. When I realized the movie was opening, I walked around all day thinking ‘dum dum DUH du, DUM dum duh du…’ couldn’t help it. It’s still there, in my head.

There was not enough theme song. They did the burning fuse thing, they ran the lead actors. It didn’t last nearly long enough. I would have cast more people, just to make the credits longer. And blown them up later. It would have made for a better movie.

The extra credit, bonus reason to see this movie is Simon Pegg. I love Simon Pegg. He did Shaun of the Dead and a British TV series called Spaced, which will never come to American DVD because of a rights issue. But it’s worth getting a region free player and rewiring your entertainment system, just to see.

Simon Pegg had two scenes. One of them is near the end. So don’t leave early, after he gives the ‘No one knows what we’re chasing but it’s really bad,’ speech.

And for writing geeks, they’re chasing a McGuffin. I would argue that Jenny Crusie’s too lax in her McGuffin definition, since to be a good McGuffin, it needs to be something that’s totally immaterial to the plot.

This would be the only time I’d say that Jenny is too lax.
And she would probably say that ‘I would argue’ about anything, and the topic of argument is the immaterial part.

There is another great Simon Pegg scene, where he gets to say, ‘I can’t help you. Because I like my job. Great. I’m aiding and abetting. I’m going to lose my citizenship…’ Words to that effect. He’s very funny. I love him.

Those were the good parts. Now we’re pretty much left with Tom Cruse and the plot.

The movie starts with a flash forward, where Ethan is tied to a chair, with a bomb up his nose, ready to blow up his brain at any second. And his girl is going to be shot on a 10 count by that guy from ‘Capote.’ nine ten BANG.

Now I was thinking at this point, that the movie was written by a crack addled moron, because there’s no logical reason for a flash-forward here. It turns out, it was directed by the guy that did ‘Lost.’ So the reason is that he doesn’t know how to tell a story chronologically.

Or it could be that it give us all a reason to hope that Tom Cruise’s brain will blow up, and get us out of this (see the SBU rating earlier). But Tom Cruse’s brain blew up some time last year. It could have stopped this movie in pre-production.

And it sets up the fact that marrying a Katie Holmes clone and telling her you work for the DoT is not going to work out for very long. But we alll knew that. So there is no reason for this scene.

The plot: Tom Cruise just wants to get out of the field. But one mission will bring him back. And jeopardize the relationship with his fiance.

Because women in movies like this only exist as place holders, giving heroes a reason to GET OFF THEIR DEAD ASS AND DO SOMETHING by being kidnapped (or raped or murdered).

I hate that plot. Does it show?

“The girl” as I will call her, since her name doesn’t really matter, was supposed to be a doctor. Probably a brain surgeon, (like the writer and director of the movie). What she was, was the sort of person where, if you were in the hospital, you’d take one look and say, “Take this Candy Striper away and get me a REAL doctor.”

She reminds Ethan of that time “before all this” when things were “pure.”

Now, if this movie had a real writer, this would be a reason to have her be a double agent, or undercover in another agency he doesn’t know about. Because things are never as pure as they seem (refer back to first movie, with bad Jim Phleps). And there would be a clever twist ending, instead of mush with them going off on their honeymoon and living happily ever after.

But don’t get your hopes up. That would have been too ‘Mr and Mrs Smith.’ She appears to be a Twinkie and she is a Twinkie. She gets one good scene, which I really liked, where he explains how the gun works, gives it to her and dies (all too briefly) and she has to cap two bad guys and bring him back to life with CPR.

Now, if it had been me, I’d have taken the gun, killed the villains, looked down at Tom Cruise, delivered a coup de grace, taken the McGuffin, sold it for a lot of money and lived happily ever after until the world ended. I would have been more than a little pissed about the whole ‘kidnapped and tortured by Truman Capote because my husband was a lying sack’ part of this plot.

And there you have the real reason why they cast Twinkies instead of me.