In case you needed reminding, M:I:3 may not be screened in China, where 20 percent of its scenes were shot, because:
The film could well have offended the Shanghai authorities. In the film, when Cruise stepped into the metropolis, he saw rags and underwear drying outdoors in side streets, rather than views of Shanghai’s shining skyscrapers. Shanghai’s image was further tarnished by the film’s awkward and slow-moving “Shanghai police,” according to the Xinmin Evening News.
Shanghaiist just bought the film yesterday, and when we watched it (a Russian version), we did see some rags and underwear, but the lightning pace of an action film means that no shot, even those featuring the scientology apostle’s nipples, are held long enough to make much of an impact. And where were the scenes with the Shanghai police? In one scene we heard the sirens of police cars, but for the most part, our version featured precious little of Shanghai’s finest.
There are several explanations for this: 1) we didn’t get the “offensive” cut (though it was Russian, and we’re pretty sure they don’t care a whit for Shanghai’s image), 2) we weren’t paying enough attention, and 3) we did get the right cut, and the authorities are just hypersensitive. We would have thought that the plenty of jaw-dropping bird’s eye shots of the Bund and Pudong skyline at night would have assuaged the authorities fears.
Furthermore, part of the “Shanghai” in the film is actually
Zhou Zhuang Xitang (the part where Tom sprints like a Caucasian robot on steroids while shouting “小心!”, “be careful! watch out!,” to all the unsuspecting peasants in his way), and another part of it is completely fake — a set built in Los Angeles. We’d like to hear from others who have watched this film, because we sure as hell can’t figure out what’s so offensive. In fact, as red-blooded Americans, we find it offensive that this film includes rogue agents of some fictional US intelligence agency instigating a war in the Middle East so that Americans can profit from defense contracts and infrastructure projects. Americans are above that, no matter what all those lefty elements in Hollywood like actor and 2008 US presidential hopeful George Clooney would have you think.
Also on Shanghaiist:
Truly a Mission Impossible: No Shanghai debut for film
Photo of Tom Cruise cruising through Xitang from pub.tv2.no.