The people Tim Pawlenty hired to make inspirational cinema shorts about Tim Pawlenty are back again with a third effort, this one set in the no-doubt-randomly-selected state of New Hampshire.
As anyone in the movie business will tell you, sustaining the original urgency and dynamism of a franchise through multiple sequels is incredibly difficult.[jump]
The cultural landscape is littered with the stinking carcasses of third-time-out movie retreads: Jaws III - 3D; Lethal Weapon 3; Police Academy 3: Back In Training; the list goes on.
Sadly, Pawlenty's new effort is no exception. There is tinkering with the successful formula, and then there is walking away from nearly everything that made your franchise great. Pawlenty's ad, unfortunately does the latter.
Sure, some of the old hallmarks are there -- jittery, off-kilter camera angles, lens flare, majestic horns in the background. But the fire is gone. The drumbeats are so muted they're almost apologetic. There are no aerial shots. No grandiose historical allusions. And the supporting cast is a lackluster handful of New Hampshire Yankees, but their chemistry with the star is unconvincing.
Even the words of T-Paw himself, never the strongest part of any Pawlenty Studios projects, are worse than usual this time around. Here's the soaring exhortation he's got slotted in the "This is our Independence Day" spot.
"As you know we have a system that's broken and we can have a great debate about how to best fix it, but one thing we know for sure: we're going to have to make some changes, we're going to have to innovate and we're going to have to do some things differently."
Really, Tim? This is your chance to bring the fire, and you drop that sack of wet platitudes on us? Bring back the jet-fighters.
Of course, even negative reviews aren't going to stop some PawlentyVision completists out there from watching this damned thing in its entirety. Here it is: