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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Drama > Mission (2002)

Mission (2000)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: D     Film: C+



Can traveling form one side of the country to the other curse writer’s block or at least filter distractions to creativity?  This is the basic for Loren Marsh’s comedy/drama Mission (2000), a vaguely amusing romp that never takes off and is too busy being cutesy to be about anything.  Marvin (Chris Coburn) thinks if he leaves New York and goes to California, he can eliminate urban distractions and the urban hustle & bustle that is stopping him from writing a potential masterwork.


One thing that does not help is when he is unwise enough to allow a female stranger who has make-up on to look like a cat steals four years of his writing.  With that, it already becomes apparent that a major lack of common sense and constant failing in judgment is the real reason this book will never get written.  That is the point where this exercise in comedy becomes permanently unfunny.


That means most of the 87 minutes running time offers the same kind of pointless running around that made co-star Joshua Leonard’s Blair Witch Project the kind of cheap work that gives independent cinema a bad name.  This is not that horrible, but the way a potentially good narrative is distracted by such regressive tendencies is being repeated over and over and over and over and over again thanks to the coffeehouse myth that filmmaking and videomaking are the same.  Being a slacker and just running around with a camera automatically equals art and “take that you big Hollywood studios” mentality that causes phenomenal shifts in cinematic illiteracy and allows people to become president who are not popular.


When all is said and done, you will not care what happens to these characters, especially because nothing of note really occurs in that sort of slacker safeness too many bad indie films have been dishing out.  Though some effort was made in the locations used, you do not even feel you have really been anywhere.  This is definitely Mission not accomplished.


The letterboxed 2.35 X 1 image is nothing special, and neither is the cinematography by Matthew Uhry.  It takes more than a wide frame to be cinematic and we can see this going back to the earliest CinemaScope clunkers.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 is stereo at best and surprisingly offers no surround information for such a recent production.  There are no extras, but then, what could they have possibly offered?



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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