Sunday, January 8, 2012
Photo: Movie poster, from the movie's Wikipedia page.
Not a bad movie, with plenty of unbelievable stunts and pacing just good enough for a nearly 2 1/2 hour film. The worst part of the movie, in fact, were the idiots I sat near. Every unbelievable scene got a verbal and loud reaction from these clowns. They talked only at these moments, which in a way is worse than those who talk during the whole thing. At least, after awhile, you can drown them out.
Like all action films, some parts defied credibility--For example, is it really that easy to get beneath the Kremlin? Or that building in India? And why was there just one security guard (in the world's tallest building) on in some scenes, and why would just one guard in charge of watching fifty surveillance screens? But with this kind of movie, one expects this kind of thing, and you just have to deal with it. No one cared, for instance, when in The Dark Knight, the Joker dropped Batman's love interest out a window--while searching for Gotham's galloping D.A. and scaring the hell out of Bruce Wayne's guests--and then, seemingly, was left to lord over the penthouse after Batman and the (for the time being, saved) woman crashed atop a taxi. Did the Joker just leave the penthouse without bothering anybody else? The continuity is lost, but nobody cared--or even noticed. Because you go see an action film for the action, and all else, including plot and characterization, be damned.
A few other notes:
Tom Cruise himself was lead producer on this movie, sans Paula Wagner, his partner of many years (and films), who seemed to drop him after his Oprah debacle, unnecessary rants about religion and anti-depressants, and slide in popularity. He took many very good supporting roles (and a few very bad lead ones--but don't they all?) before he was able to muster the money and steam to make this one. And, really, what was the big deal? So he got a little manic about...well, something...on Oprah's couch. Aren't you supposed to act a little crazy about someone you love? Of course, the Scientology didn't help, and even worse were his comments about anti-depressants and religion and God knows what else. But who goes to a Tom Cruise movie because they care what he thinks about those things? Nobody. We go to see him run around and act self-confident. That's what I paid my money for.
The other actors in the film, including Jeremy Renner--who's in everything these days--just fulfill their roles, mostly without aplomb. I thought the most interesting supporting characters were, in fact, the two lead bad guys, and the pretty blonde hitwoman who never said a single thing. (The real actress is a model and is represented by a firm named Silent Models, which is particularly apt here.) Michelle Monaghan and Ving Rhames make very brief cameos here--so brief, you wonder why.
The camerawork and choreography were outstanding, as were the locations and directing; those things, plus the style of action--especially the dropping car near the end--were more Jason Bourne than Ethan Hunt, but that was okay with me. If you have any interest in seeing this, do so in the theatre rather than at home. This is one of those movies that's better on the really big screen. It cost $145 million to make and has already made over $362 million, according to its Wikipedia page.