Mission: Impossible III — Art School Confidential — Hollow Man 2 — capsule movie reviews
Posted on May 31, 2006 by Kris Nelson
Mission Impossible III
– See Tom bleed. See, wait no, now the blood is missing. See Tom bleed again. Oh, but oh no, gone again. In the first few cuts (no pun intended), it is evident that we either have an anal retentive director or Mr. Cruise is setting his acting on “cruise control”. He and we get through it somehow.
See Tom run. See Tom run as fast as his little legs can carry him. See Tom run in America, Germany, Italy and China. He even outruns Ving Rhames. See Tom defy physics one moment and then have some “normal” snafus the next (like not being able to clear a 9’ hole or repeatedly running out of ammo). It goes without saying that an action hero, even an action hero named Ethan in this case, must endure the faults of his trade, i.e.: dodging homing missiles, getting his ass kicked by his nemesis, tossing disposable guns, being nagged by his fiance while baddies are after them, watching a loved one’s life threatened while he sits helpless, strapped to a chair with duct tape. Note to action hero bad guys: don’t ever just strap the leading man to a chair with duct tape. Sure Ethan had handcuffs, but everyone knows a paperclip or pen will unlock those in a jiffy in the movies.
Overall, Mission: Impossible 3, Mission Impossible:iii, M:i:III or however you want to call it, is a strong action flick. Strong on the impossibly crazy stunts, strong on the character twists and faults due to some weird-ass dialogue and misplaced sequences, strong on the overly dramatic and snore-tastic stretched-out sappy parts (Ethan’s in love, we get it we get it, don’t jump all over a sofa on us why doncha?).
Other notables: the death scene of Ethan’s compatriot played by Keri Russell (aka: poor man’s Dina Meyer) who ironically resurrected her career just to die onscreen, the comedy-relief of Simon Pegg (Sean of the Dead), scenes of a spry fake Phillip Seymour Hoffman. For the men and/or fashion conscious: Maggie Q in a swiss-cheese of a dress; Tom Cruise in the same in black (just kidding, but you Catholic fetishists out there will love it~!)
Art School Confidential
– Have I ever told you how much I adore John Malkovich? I mean, he’s just so languid and confident and unapologetic. I love him even in a role as uncharacteristic and as unflattering as figure-drawing prof Sandiford, or “Sandy” (an appropriate effeminate name tag), whose realization of failure hasn’t fully been absorbed even as he goes through the motions of brownnosing gallery owners and unaffected colleagues. No posturing in this role; he goes so far as to toss in a little peckish insecurity (relinquishing his signature “refined hostility”?!). His derision pales only to the ultimate immaturity of main character Jerome (Max Minghella) whose collagen pucker pouts even when he’s not pouting. He’s the naïve freshman who searches for stardom in his mediocre (note: passable, just like him) illustrations, falls in love with a model-y chick, loses said chick to meaty Jonah (Matt Keeslar from the awesome Splendor by Gregg Araki), steals other people’s ideas to pawn off as his own, and is called the “class douchebag” from a seasoned drop-out.
I so went to school with a lot of these characters in the movie, and felt a little guilty guffawing at them. It was mostly those empathy laughs from association like “it’s funny ‘cos it’s the truth” and because I saw bits of myself in the weirdest folks. I’m sure director Terry Zwigoff didn’t intentionally crucify any of his peers in it, *ahem*, but it’s funny nonetheless. There’s a crazy plot twist towards the ending that leaves you with a satisfying satirical grin. And dammit, Flower’s painting was my favorite!!
Hollow Man 2
– No joking around, Chris and I sped through this disc that his buddy gave him. And I mean sped as in fast-forwarded through 80% of the darn thing. It was kind of funny when people were repeatedly flung across the room and you realize that angry Mr. Hollow Man is running around nekkid and then you realize that it’s supposed to be Christian Slater running around nekkid. With a catchy beginning sequence of almost intrigue, you wonder well what’s this Hollow Man’s story, but shortly thereafter you don’t even care. It’s like trying to empathize with a stranger with road rage. You don’t care. The special effects are alright, the acting is a bit awkward as expected, the dialogue ranges from mildly political (references to Halliburton and lab animal cruelty) to mindnumbingly perturbing since everyone is understandably freaking out and mostly just shrieking and grimacing. Oh what a coincidence.. so is the audience! In the end I think that Hollow Man 2 accomplished what I think it set out to do: to prove that Christian Slater is best in roles where he remains invisible.
About the Author