Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Mist

DAN - The Mist, an adaptation of a Stephen King novella, was recently released on DVD. Directed by Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile), the film takes place in a small town as it is flooded with a thick fog that seems to hide something dangerous. A portion of the townsfolk shut themselves in a grocery store. As they attempt to make sense of the situation, crazy stuff starts happening, both inside and outside of the store.

I’ve enjoyed Darabont’s previous works, and some Stephen King adaptations have been great (The Shining), but something went wrong with this one. The writing, acting, and special effects are all outstanding, but they stand out in the wrong ways.

The characters’ actions and reactions rarely make much sense. They are immediately at odds with one another, but without any apparent reason. They mistrust and condemn each other, but I seldom spotted any understandable motivation for doing so.

The actors’ performances are prominently bland and laughable, though I suppose they did the best they could manage with the screenplay they had. It was especially painful to watch Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden in her role as a self-righteous, hypocritical religious crusader who blames the mist on the sins of mankind. It was ridiculous.

I’ll avoid spoilers by saying that there are computer-generated effects in this film, but they are hardly convincing. Come on people, this is 2008. Jurassic Park did it better 15 years ago.

You’re likely to hear people talking about the ending of The Mist. I was happy to see a non-traditional conclusion; such a thing isn’t popular in modern cinema. Even so, the ending was hindered by the aforementioned lack of believable motivation.

I have more complaints concerning this movie, but not enough room to discuss them in one review. In my opinion, The Mist has few redeeming qualities. But as always, I encourage you to make up your own mind.


STEVE - Writer and Director Frank Darabont is the authoritative figure when it comes to adapting a Stephen King story from novel to the big Screen. After such huge successes with translations of The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, it’s pretty hard to imagine Darabont failing when retelling a Stephen King classic. And when it comes to the mist, nothing has changed; Frank Darabont still writes and directs just the same as his previous Stephen King films… oh yeah, except this time it was bad.

Well no, no bad might be a little too strong in this situation. Let’s see… hmmm… while watching I honestly felt as if I was watching a Sci-fi channel original movie… a “B” movie. And nothing good can come from a “B” movie science fiction adaptation. So I wouldn’t say the movie was bad, but perhaps a little too mediocre.

Not bad, not good, but mediocre. Seriously… just straight up mediocre. Everything in this movie was mediocre. Everything! The acting was mediocre, the script was mediocre, the CGI was mediocre, and the direction was mediocre. Mediocre does not describe writer and director Frank Darabont. The man is better than this.

However, the movie wasn’t a complete lost. The camera work and cinematography was pretty decent. And the ending, oh boy, the ending was nothing short of amazing. If you’re going to watch this film for any reason, watch it for the ending. It almost made up for two hours of medicoreness... almost.

So ladies and gentlemen, it is my recommendation that if you desire to see a pretty cool ending and you don’t mind sitting through two hours of mediocreness, than by all means watch the mist. Otherwise, avoid this film at all costs. And Frank Darabont, if you’re reading this than I have two questions for you. First, why are you reading criticinema, you’re better than this! Secondly, why are you making “B” movies, you’re better than this!

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