Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Does anybody, anywhere, have any interest at all in another Mission: Impossible movie?

Probably not, but we're getting one anyway. While it may be true that, as Paramount's press release notes, the first three entries in the franchise have made well over a billion dollars worldwide, they are textbook examples of the kind of blockbuster entertainment nobody really likes. Audiences, primed by pricey and seemingly endless marketing blitzes, show up, sit in the theater for two hours and go home, remembering not a single thing about the experience.

They're not bad movies, but they hew to the action movie template so closely, with explosions, chases and love scenes arriving at exactly the expected moments, that in all three previous outings they have yet to fashion any kind of identity, as a brand name or even as Tom Cruise vehicles. The first in the series remains the least interesting thing Brian DePalma has ever directed, the second offered proof that John Woo's American career was going nowhere, while the third--oh, who the hell cares? I've seen the damned thing, and I can't remember a single thing about it.

I doubt anybody could. But the suits in Hollywood don't care. If there are a few dollars to be squeezed out of a franchise nobody likes, they'll squeeze like there's no tomorrow. It's so much easier than being, you know, creative.