Friday, 14 March 2008

The Mist:

A fairly solid King adaptation, but far from inspired to be honest. While the premise is intriguing, it doesn't quite pan out fully when committed to film. A two hours it feels overlong, even if only a mere 10 minutes of cuts would have quickened the pace nicely, and at times it can be absolutely infuriating.

What's infuriating? The Bible bashing brigade featured in the movie, so well acted that it became absolutely aggravating and ceased my enjoyment of the film. That element was overdone, and perhaps a bit too blunt, and contributed towards a saggy mid-rift for the film itself.

It was Darabont's intention to go with a more TV documentary feel - hence hiring the folk being the look of TV series The Shield to shoot this flick - but again, it doesn't pan out. It doesn't feel like a documentary, and at worst it looks like a cheap TV movie. The odd zoom twitch and rack focus here and there doesn't make for a good documentary aesthetic, in fact it just felt somewhat lazy. Either go whole-hog for the gritty doc feel, or go whole-hog and make it look like a traditional movie.

Acting wise, The Mist continues to tread unevenly, swinging from realistic to over-played (or indeed, under-played). The ending, while refreshingly downbeat (as if it was penned by a British sci-fi writer whose work was translated to TV during the 1970s) is again uneven. At times it feels contrived and played in an unconvincing manner at times (just watch his eyes - it pulled me out of it, I must admit).

So again, another uneven viewing of late. It's either too much or too little quite frequently, or at times frustrating - the speedy 'word of mouth' explanation of the foe is brow-raisingly iffy, for instance. Yet, on the flip-side, it can at times be a savvy (and quite downbeat) examination of mankind, mob mentality and how close we all are to running riot in times of strife. There have certainly been weaker King adaptations, but also stronger. So to continue the trend, The Mist sits uneasily on both good and bad fences, swaying from one side of the grass to the other. Not as gripping as you might have expected, but not as disappointing as might have been come the final moments.

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