Sunday, November 25, 2007

THE MIST

The Mist now shares 2007 honors with Mr. Brooks for the so-bad-it's-not-good... -it's-actually-just-really-bad! award. An audience member walked out saying "Now that's some bullshit". I echoed his words, but I don't think he was describing the quality of the film as much as the bad-luck cards the lead character, David (Thomas Jane), is dealt throughout the movie up until the very last scene. He's like Andy in director Frank Darabont's first film, The Shawshank Redemption, but without redemption,... just loads of condemnation.

David is a movie poster artist that takes his son into town to buy groceries after a bad storm. The storm brought it a cloud of mist, and the mist brought in an unseen evil. 50 or so townspeople are now holed up in the grocery store and in a fight for their lives. Like Lord of the Flies, the mob mentality vs. clear rationality subplot pops up. Among Corn Flakes and flank steaks, Marcia Gay Harden (in an awfully awful performance) converts a majority of the store-bound stragglers over to her Pentecostal, end-of-days, wrath of god mentality. (Didn't Stephen King already do this in Children of the Corn? Move on, buddy...)

Because Darabont injects social and political commentary into what began as a healthily, fun premise, he brings The Mist to its knees. Before the mist hits, a customer in line randomly opines "Why doesn't our government spend money on education instead of using it for corporate handouts....". BLARGH, YAWN, SNOOZE.... MEMO to Hollywood: If you want to be topically aware, please at least make it pertinent to the film. Simply planting agenda in script is not commentary, it's sideways propaganda (and poorly executed at that).

Frank Darabont's blurry-eyed, buried message within The Mist is that if we didn't spend as much money on the military - the group directly at fault for the mist - we'd live in safer, happier towns. Writers strike?!?!? Pfft.... if this is best you could produce then bring on the scabs.

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