As far as precursors to holidays go, this one turned out to be rather messed up. There was cinema and packing involved. It would have gone well, but some creep with sticky fingers had other ideas.
Well, that was disappointing. The people who made this film did not, as far as I can tell, understand at all what made the first Mission: Impossible film so much fun. To clarify, I haven't seen the original TV series, but I'm a big fan of the Brian DePalma film. I love its ridiculous plot that is just too convoluted to follow. The bemusement I felt at its brilliantly contrived safe cracking sequence and the sheer incredulity at the final helicopter chase that follows a train into the Channel Tunnel are almost singular experiences that have rarely been bested. M:I3 has none of this. Well almost.
The twenty minute segment where Hunt's team stage an abduction inside the Vatican comes close. In fact, it may as well be a lost section of the first film that accidentally found itself inserted into the third. The over the top almost completely redundant planning, the improbable gadgets and the impossibly suave sense of style are all present and correct in what proves to be an oasis of cool in a bland and undistinguished action film whose creators seem to mistake crass fire fights for dynamism. The visual flourish of this sequence is an anomaly in a film whose detailing is lost in a field of murky grey and black.
I wanted to like this film, I really did. The fundamentals are there: the tech porn, the intrigue, the larger than life characters. As witness to the latter, Philip Seamour Hoffman could probably have carried the film if he'd actually been given something interesting to do. Time and time again, however, it all falls flat on its face. For example an assault on the protagonists by a Tankbuster-like drone aircraft could have been a tense and highly visual setpiece. Instead, it comes across as tepid to the point of tedium. Sadly, this battle is the film in microcosm, mapping out what continues as a wasteland of missed opportunities.
Friday, 5 AM
I'm woken by my phone. It's scotm
calling. (It's not.) The person on the other end of the phone, who may as well be Scottie, given the three hours of sleep I've had, informs me that he's being chased down Leith Walk by a gang of Pakistanis. He sounds out of breath, and he's very terse. Not being in any fit state to make rational decisions, I agree to help. In retrosepect, I can see that it wasn't Scottie, but at the time it all seemed plausible enough.
Three minutes later, Narada phones. He tells me that he received a similar call. We're both worried now. Narada phones Scottie's Mum, and on his suggestion, I phone the police, giving them Scottie's description and his contact details. gominokouhai
apparently got called as well. It seems the police actually visited his house after he called them.
With police cars scouring Leith, and not knowing what else to do, I went back to sleep with my phone set to ring as loudly as possible.
In the morning, I found out that someone had stolen Scottie's phone and called everyone in his address book with similar cries of distress. Scottie's mum had been understandably worried sick by the whole thing. I'd lost a lot of sleep and felt rather daft.
I hope the bastard who did this chokes on it.