With Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden, Toby Jones, Andre Braugher and William Sadler.
“You got that kid killed! And I got his fucking blood on me!”
David Drayton (Thomas Jane)
I’ve been on a Thomas Jane kick lately. I watched “Boogie Nights” the other night and he just puts on a clinic. Then I discovered HBO’s “Hung” – not a bad show, it’s a little trying at times but Jane makes it worth watching. I’ve always liked Jane since I first saw him in Billy Crystal’s “61*”.
The film “The Mist” (based on a Stephen King novel and directed by King lover Frank Darabont – duh!) takes place on a small town in the New England coast. A horrible storm ripped through this town and created a mysterious mist that forms along water. David Drayton (Jane) has suffered much damage at his home; he his son and his neighbor Mr. Norton (Braugher) embark in to town to gather supplies.
They all shop for food at a local grocery store. A man runs into the store, covered in blood and screaming. He’s yelling for everyone to stay out of the mist, to stay into the store. The mist killed a man. A few people flee from the store but get killed by something into the “mist”.
While the shoppers grow anxious and barricade themselves in the store, the group split into two factions – a group lead by Drayton who want to hold out and weather the mist and wait for help. Then there is a group lead by Mrs. Carmody (Gay Harden) who is a Christian zealot who preaches to the people in the store that this is rapture – this is the end of days. They need to start sacrificing non believers to the mist.
I am extremely impressed by this film. The film drops along hints as to what the mist is, what caused the mist – and once you find out what caused it, it’s pretty lackluster. What is impressive is the way Darabont builds suspension. It really does keep you engaged and very interested. The complexity of the film isn’t just the mysterious mist and the monsters that lurk in it, but the character dynamic that grows inside the store, away from the mist.
The cast is excellent. The always reliable William Sadler plays the “blue collar” man in the bunch. The man who becomes the right hand man of Harden – AWESOME! Sadler has always been excellent. See him in “Kinsey” and see it now.
The cast is excellent, and I don’t care what people say about “The Punisher” but Thomas Jane kicks ass, and can carry a fucking movie! Marcia Gay Harden is nothing but excellent in the film, the way she carries the power of God, the way she manipulates everything that is happening into “his will”. She is nothing less than excellent and gives her best performance since “Mystic River”. She’s like Sarah Palin – she looks harmless but you want to strangle her with your bare hands.
As the film quickly breezes by and we get to the explanation of the film, we’re left feeling slightly cheated, as if the answer was too easy. What really saves the film from the anticlimactic explanation is the ending of the film. I cannot even believe the studio allowed the ending the film has. I am shocked they didn’t change it. It’s some pretty powerful shit.