Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Mist: A

(Admittedly, I'm behind on my movie blogging. The single-click, five star rating system on Netflix is much easier, so I'll probably only post movies I see in theaters here.)

(WARNING: Minor plot spoilers.)


Last month, Scott and Sheena dragged me to The Mist ( I assumed it would be a silly horror movie, which is not my favorite genre. So, I went in open mind, but with low expectations. The reviews I read, which mentioned the movie had a depressing ending, were also discouraging

The movie started-off slow with the stereotypical, white, well-off, heterosexual family seemingly not having a care in the world. After an overnight storm cuts the remote town's power, a father, his son, and disgrunted minority neighbor head to the local supermarket for supplies. While shopping, the mist arrives trapping everyone in the store.

The supermarket is a microcosm of suburban American life. Stephen King shamelessly contrasts all the cultural groups as they try to understand what the mist is. The sensible, heroic father (Thomas Jane) and amateur socialogist/Radar-esque store manager Ollie (Toby Jones) plot a rescue plan while being confronted by blue collar thugs, doubting African-Americans, and religious fanatics. As fear and hopelessness intensify, the town's resident crazy lady takes charge as a Christian fundamentalist prophet. The story turns into the fundamentalist antagonist versus the sensible, educated, liberal, lesbian and athiest groups.

[SPOILER:] I'm not sure I share Stephen King's stereotypes or dire assessment of humanity. I hoped humanity would be a little more functional and rational. However, my hope was undermined in the theater when the downtown Portland audience cheered and clapped the violent death of the Christian fundamentalist who pretty much represents every stereotypical right-wing, Bush-supporting, anti-gay, anti-abortion, religious conservative we liberals/progressives believe those people truly are. (. . . or maybe I read too much into it the audience's reaction.)

Without giving away the ending, I will say that it is depressing and bleak. There is a trick ending which is predictable, but still powerful and thought-provoking. My coworker told me the short story's ending is more mysterious and vague. However, I do appreciate the fulfilling Hollywood ending which tied-up all the loose ends.

(Th 12/06/2007 11:40 AM: Revised and reworded, because it's my blog and I can do whatever I want.)

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