Sunday, November 25, 2007

THE MIST: The Jack Sack Movie Review

DAMMIT! There are no Gorillas in "The Mist!"

And too bad, because this movie would have been a lot better of there were some monkeys flinging their poop. Filling in for the gorillas are a bunch of uptight, annoying New Englanders who toss their own brand of feces at one another, in the form of silly dialogue. If you had any hopes for this movie, prepare to be disappointed in a big way.

PLOT (using the term loosely) AND THOUGHTS: "The Mist" is a modern fable of fear, distrust and paranoia in this post-9/11 world. Or is it this post-McCarythism Red Scare world? I lose track-- apparently mankind is consistently screwed up.

The movie takes place in Lazytown, Maine where a bunch of slow-moving locals are hitting the supermarket after a storm rolled through the night before, causing power-loss and extensive damage to the area. About ten minutes into the movie, we are with the film's hero, David Drayton (Thomas Jane) and his little boy (we'll call him "Skippy" because it doesn't really matter) as a thick fog, dare I say MIST, envelopes the area. But this is no normal mist. Like Steve Martin's terrible B-movie from "Bowfinger" this is some chubby rain indeed.

This story comes courtesy of a Stephen King novella from 1980. Updated for modern tastes, we get a lot of fake-looking computer-generated creatures running around in this mist, glad to eat any human foolish enough to venture out into the soupy hell-on-earth beyond the supermarket's front doors. And people keep running outside! Hell, I stay in if there's a hailstorm. But 100 ft.-tall lobsters apparently can't keep these slack-jawed locals at bay. But where did these 50 lb. spiders come from anyway? Haliburton? The Religious Right? No, silly, the Military! For an organization that can barely find weapons of mass destruction, the U.S. military has some bitchin' scientists that have opened up a portal through space and time which unfortunately happened to come across a place where the bugs run the show. And these bugs are not shy, no ma'am!

Without mincing words, the movie flat-out sucks. The allegories about fear and self-destruction are trite. The religious zealot that causes trouble in the supermarket (played by Marcia Gay Harden) is a caricature not a character. And in the immortal words of Rodney King (no relation to Stephen): Can't we all just get along? Apparently not. People throw cans of peas at one another to start. But by the film's third act, full-on stabbings and shootings are the order of the day. Come on people, wake up! Big oil compan-err big bugs are the enemy!

The script, written by the guy who wrote "The Shawshank Redemption," has about as much in common in terms of quality with that movie as my car has with a Porsche. And the film's ending is not ironic like it wishes to be. Instead, it elicits a Nelson Muntz laugh ("HA-Ha!"). Our "hero" makes a fool-hardy decision so lame as to rival someone putting a million bucks down on the N.Y. Jets winning this year's Super Bowl. What a douche.

WHAT WOULD JACK DO?: See, this is where a WWJD question comes in handy. Jack would have thrived in this situation. He first would have identified himself to the supermarket folk as a federal agent. That would have been helpful to start. All Thomas Jane's character brought to the table was that he was an artist! Oh yeah, art-boy, save the day! And you know what, after dealing with several ass-bag CTU directors over the years, Bauer would have handled the religious lady with expert hands, probably convincing her to go out and negotiate a peace with the killer lobsters early on. And the boy, who asks his father to promise to keep him safe, would have gotten Jack Bauer's word to that end, and things would have ended up a lot better for all involved. This movie needed Jack Bauer in the worst way.

SCORE (out of a possible five sacks):

This is, by far, the worst movie I've seen this year. Cheers!


HC said...


Fred Clause would have been like watching Citizen Kane in comparison to that piece of crap.

TheJackSack said...

Or... Enchanted. Ahem. :)

Rickey said...

Rickey saw it too (in a crowded awful theater in NJ and is now sick as a result) and was moderately entertained. No, it wasn't terrific, but it got the B-movie horror homage down pat. What exactly was anyone expecting about a movie that revolves around scary beasties that emerge from the mist? Sure, some moments were laughably bad (ie, the "that escalated quickly" moment when the flying things break into the store and someone suddenly lights themselves on fire) but Rickey kind of dug that.

Please don't mention "Enchanted." After watching "The Mist," Ms. Henderson claims that Rickey owes here and is demmanding that Rickey take her to see that movie.

HC said...

Oh Ricky, I was on your end of the Enchanted debate before we went to see The Mist...I will not be used as a chick flick beard, though!

TheJackSack said...

Chubby Rain was better.

If this movie didn't take itself so seriously it might have been decent. But the melodrama, the awful music at the end, the endless dissolve shots of them meandering through the mist... torture. Pure effin' torture.

Rickey said...

If you didn't like the movie you'd certainly hate the short story (except for the end, it's a shot for shot remake). And yes, Rickey could've done without the wailing music at the end. The movie was best when things were jumping out at you. King just tried to pull a "Dawn of the Dead" and tack on some social commentary for kicks. That's where the movie/book fail.

HC said...

I read that story so long ago I barely remember it -- except that I recognize that ending is new (an impressionable young me would have remembered THAT ending) Somehow, I blocked all the religious stuff and made it into a much better story in my head...

Post a Comment