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Monthly Archives: January 2012

What’s the Story?

It’s the 70’s. There’s a mole at the top of MI5. Gary Oldman – a spy forced to retire recently – is tasked with finding said mole.

What’s the Problem?

Slow

Some films have a nice slow pace. Shawshank Redeption, for instance, isn’t an action-packed thrillathon. But Tinker takes slow to a whole new level, especially at the start. To establish pace, we are treated to about six minutes of Gary Oldman wandering around his house and waiting in waiting rooms.

Welcome to the first quarter-hour of the film.

There’s slow-paced and then there’s “nothing is happening”.

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What’s the Story?

Walter, his brother Gary, and Garry’s girl Mary travel to LA and take a tour of the Muppet Studios. While there, Walter overhears a property tycoon stating that he plans to basically strip-mine the place. To save it, they have to reunite the Muppets and stage a one-night show to raise the money to buy back the studio.

What’s the Problem?

Gary and Mary are human. Walter is a puppet. Walter is Gary’s brother. It is never explained just how that works, being that every Muppet in the world is in the Muppet TV show except Walter…

Why is Walter a puppet? Is he adopted? They treat him like a blood-brother throughout the film, but…

Oh yeah, note the family similarities.

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What’s the Story?

Sherlock has been increasingly crazy-seeming since the first film as he investigates Professor Moriarty and his nefarious scheme (which Sherlock doesn’t actually know, or even work out. He just keeps stumbling onto it in action-film style).

Also, it happens to be the day before (and day of) Watson’s wedding. And instead of going on a honeymoon, Sherlock takes him away on a rollicking adventure to stop Moriarty and help avert a world war.

 

What’s the Problem?

Not a Detective

If you didn’t know that Sherlock is supposed to be a detective, you would think he was a psychic. In the first film they showed him deducing things by slowing down time in what was essentially Sherlock-vision. This worked well, because we saw things for an instant as Sherlock sees them all the time – seeing all the details at every moment.

In this film, he doesn’t do the voice-over where he works out the details. It jumps straight to the part where he fast-forwards through the fight without explaining how he got there.

"Did I detect it? No. It was written on this cue card I conveniently found that any moron could have spotted."

It gets especially stupid when, during one fast-forward of a fight with Moriarty, Moriarty’s voice-over interrupts. What? Why is Moriarty interrupting Sherlock’s prediction? Are they having some sort of psychic battle now?

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What’s the Story?

Tintin, a reporter, buys a model ship at a market. The ship contains, hidden inside it, one third of what amounts to a treasure map to find the long-lost ship The Unicorn. Tintin then gets kidnapped and meets the heir of the Unicorn’s captain. Together they battle the baddies and try to find the other parts of the map to find the treasure.

 

What’s the Problem?

Tintin

looks like he’s twelve. That’s fine for drawing in the crowd of kids that this CGI adventure is made for, but it’s a bit weird when he’s holding a pistol and shooting at people. Everyone treats him like a full adult, but he looks like a little kid. The fact that he’s followed around by a dog everywhere doesn’t help.

Seriously, kid. Go to bed.

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What’s the Story?

Ethan Hunt is in a Russian prison for (possibly) murdering six Serbian assassins. His team break him out, then have four hours to break into the Kremlin to stop someone stealing (or find out who’s stealing; I forget) something to do with nukes. The bad guy has a nuke and is accumulating the last pieces he needs to start a nuclear war because he thinks that will make the human species better survivors.

What’s the Problem?

Inconsistency

MI:1 was a fairly straight spy thriller. Some action but not over-the-top. Most of the time was spent on espionage. Hunt never touches more than a pistol, and I can’t even remember if he ever fires it.

MI:2 was a ridiculous over-the-top action setpiece filmed in slow-motion in which Hunt shoots hundreds of bad guys with a pistol in each hand like in The Matrix.

MI:3 was a comfortable middle ground: it had enough action and cool gadgets, but they weren’t so unlikely to exist that they were implausible. Hunt used rifles, and looked like he actually knew how to fire them (rather than just holding guns in each hand and spraying bullets at his opponents. He actually, like, aimed them and stuff…). There was even office politics. After the second film, it felt almost real.

MI:4 is techno-gadget-pocalypse. There’s a lot of hand-to-hand fighting, ridiculous gadgets, absurd stunts. The final fight takes place on a robot-controlled parking lot. As in, cars are being brought forward by robots onto a central platform, which then lowers to the ground.

Up and down like a freaking yo-yo.

The problem is, when you go to a Mission Impossible film, you have no idea what kind of film it’s going to be. Go to a Bourne film and you can expect the same feel and tone as the others. Not so with the MI sequels.

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