Sunday, January 28, 2007
I watched Mission Impossible:3 last night, the Tom Cruise movie from last year.
In order to provide a quote that the movie company can use on newspaper ads, I will say: "I couldn't take my eyes off the screen!"
To accurately complete that statement: "I couldn't take my eyes off the screen, because I couldn't wait to find out what Tom Cruise was going to do next to ensure I never forget that he is Tom Cruise. Whether he is Ethan Hunt or the guy from War of the Worlds or whatever movie he is now in, he will not allow you to see anyone but Tom Cruise."
This movie was so painful to watch, y'all. He's lucky he's already so rich, because his acting career really should be over. I genuinely think that Jerry Maguire was the last movie in which I found myself believing that he was the character, rather than Tom Cruise pretending to be someone, where I was able to engage in the requisite Willful Suspension of Disbelief to enjoy the movie.
Not for one second in MI:3 did I believe that he was Ethan Hunt in love with his fiancee, tortured about going back to IMF work, or any other key aspect of the plot; which is sad, because the first (and sort of the second) MI's were so fantastic. I remember thinking, "That was a totally fun movie! Tom Cruise rocked that role!" Last night all I was thinking was, "Gee, Tom Cruise is really contorting himself to fit this role. It's like he doesn't want you to see Ethan Hunt, super secret agent man. He wants you to see Tom Cruise: super secret agent man. He just can't seem to subvert himself to his character, to inhabit the CHARACTER. He wants the character, sadly, to inhabit HIM, the cult of HIM."
So rent it if you want to; it's not a terrible movie. There are always Jonathan Rhys-Meyers and Maggie Q in wee roles, and the fantastic Ving Rhames who is always That Guy Who is Tough on the Outside (Don't Test Me, Chump!) but Tender On the Inside (I Love ya, Man). Also rent it if you are into moviemaking, because it is a fantastic exercise in seeing how the producer and star of a movie can engineer an entire production around himself.
But don't rent it if you want to see a great MI movie.
Those days are long gone. Just like the ones that gave us Jerry Maguire, Ron Kovic in Born on the Fourth of July, David Shawn in Taps and Maverick in Top Gun.
But--as with all movie reviews--you didn't need me to tell you that.