Sunday, May 07, 2006

Lessons learned from M:i:III

1) That summer has arrived when all movie titles are boiled down into logos;

2) 7-Elevens are ideal places for spies to meet, with attractive opportunities for product plugs (Ben and Jerry's, Kodak);

3) The mountains of Berlin are full of sheep;

4) The bad guy (the real bad guy) is inevitably the actor with the least screen time before the final 15 minutes;

5) There are still cute little neighborhoods in Shanghai, whose residents will overlook pistol-wielding Caucasians beating the hell out of each other;

6) That Shanghai, European cities, and Washington, D.C., are apparently in the same vicinity, so that everyone is fresh, relaxed, and ready to kill again without apparent jet lag;

7) I would like a Philip Seymour Hoffman mask for Halloween.

8) When I learn that my significant other is a spy, whose activities put me in grave danger, I will pretty much laugh it off as one of "those" things;

9) That, with the exception of a few bad apples, and contrary to some of the things you read in the media, government agents will act reliably and resourcefully on our behalf. See also 24.

10) That an infusion of "heart," and an allegedly coherent plotline, do not compensate for a lack of stylistic invention, which a vapid franchise like this needs. The new director, J.J. Abrams, stays within the lines, but the more creative Brian De Palma and John Woo colored outside them. The exploding fishtanks and the balletic assemblages of crashing cars are what linger, not the torment of an ever-intense Tom Cruise.

11) That, to satisfy one's hunger for a real movie, see DOWN IN THE VALLEY, with its hair-trigger turn by Edward Norton, caught up in Western fantasies (and an uncomfortable liaison with Evan Rachel Wood). It does not self-destruct seconds afterwards.

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