Monday, August 3, 2015

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015)

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015)

Director: Christopher McQuarrie

Cast: Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Jeremy Renner, Alec Baldwin, Simon McBurney, Sean Harris

I’ve gone down as saying that writers turned directors don’t always make the best movies which is true a lot of times, but in the case of Christopher McQuarrie this isn’t so. McQuarrie started out writing The Usual Suspects (1995), then he took a stab at writing/directing with The Way of the Gun (2000) which I remember not loving so much the first time I saw it. I haven’t seen it in ages so I might feel differently about it now. His first experience working with Cruise was on Valkyrie (2008), which wasn't a successful movie, yet started their professional relationship which led to McQuarrie writing and directing Jack Reacher (2012), which also starred Tom Cruise. I remember it having an amazing car chase sequence that stood out. Making Jack Reacher with Cruise must have been a good experience because here he is again working with Cruise on his first big budget summer blockbuster; Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015). This is the fifth installment in the still running strong franchise, which is growing in popularity with each picture. In my opinion, each film has been better than the last. So what’s so cool about this fifth installment?

This time around the IMF (the Impossible Mission Force) is being disbanded by the American government because apparently their results are too destructive. But of course, Ethan Hunt and his team aren’t that easy to disband, and so they go on one final mission to try and stop ‘The Syndicate’, a group of terrorists who are out to destroy the Impossible Mission Force, so they can go about their usual villainous plans. Can Ethan and crew clean their name and prove themselves useful to the U.S. government once again? Or will their names remain tarnished for all eternity?

I’ll be honest, I’ve never been a huge fan of the Mission Impossible movies, but from the fourth one on, for some reason I’ve started liking them more. I guess the stunts and the action have gotten way more interesting, even more impossible. And the fact that Tom Cruise is doing a lot of his own stunts makes everything way more fun. I mean, truthfully, screw all the crap that’s been said about Cruise, I’m all for applauding genuine talent, and Cruise has proven himself to be the quintessential action star, unafraid of going out there and really giving us a show. And by going out there, I mean, really literally going out there and doing stunts himself! The man is currently 53 and he still looks like a million bucks! I guess when you're a millionaire film star, when you're not making movies you're in the gym working out with your personal trainers, while a professional cook makes you the healthiest dinners imaginable. The dude looks brand new, healthier and more active than a lot of men at his age, so expect a Cruise that looks like he’s still 30.

The film is none stop action from beginning to end; it starts with an action set piece where Cruise is hanging from a plane…literally! Sure he used wires and harnesses, but still, it’s admirable that he was actually hanging from that plane in a day and age where everything is done with green screen! Tom Cruise, I salute thee! This movie is so gung ho for reality that there’s this underwater sequence in which Tom Cruise has to hold his breath for an extremely long time while switching a computer disk on an underwater computer. It’s an extremely complicated scene that I thought was completely CGI, but upon my investigations of how it was done, I was amazed to learn that it was truly shot underwater. This means they built the actual set, filled it with water and shot the sequence down there. Awesome. Any other filmmaker would have done that whole sequence in CGI, again, my hats down to McQuarrie and crew for choosing to shoot their film in front of their cameras as opposed to the inside of a computer. On this show Cruise even rides motorcycles at high speeds! There’s this moment in which he scratches his knee on the road while taking a curve and I was like whoa! That’s what I’m talking about! So yeah, it’s true, Tom Cruise is the big special effect of this franchise. Similar to how Jackie Chan was on his films, Cruise is an actor and a stunt man all in one.

It was good seeing the Mission Impossible Force together once again. Here we get Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner and heeelloooo, Rebecca Ferguson! Holy Moly, this actress looks stunning on this movie! You might remember her as ‘Ergenia’, the bow and arrow specialist in Brett Rattner’s Hercules (2014). I mean, this lady is a show stopper. Not only does she look amazingly beautiful, the epitome of sensuality, she also kicks major ass on this movie! She has this fight sequence where she’s saving Tom Cruise’s life that is a wonder to behold, she has great physical ability that’s for sure! Then we have Simon Pegg with the comedy relief, he reminded me of the obligatory comic relief guy from 80’s action films, where the big action star always had a ‘funny’ guy tagging along saying one liners and jokes throughout the whole movie, only Simon Pegg is actually likable and funny. So all in all, I’d say that this Mission Impossible is a sure fire winner. Even better then Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011), and that’s saying a lot because Ghost Protocol was tons of fun, however simple it was. The good thing about the action on this film is that the action sequences are intricate, extensive and aren't throw aways, they really go out of their way to do something that will entertain, that will sustain our attention for a long period of time. Don’t even think so hard about the story or if you’re getting it or not, remember everything will be explained in the climax, just go with the flow. By the time it’s all over you’ll be a satisfied moviegoer, that’s a guarantee!

Rating: 4 out of 5


Debbie Rochon said...

I dont think Simon Pegg is funny at all, i think hes a nauseatingly irritating embarrassment to himself and everyone else in the cast and crew. He simply shouldn`t be in these movies, his mere presence completely spoils them.

Debbie Rochon said...

Its odd that in "Jack Reacher" Tom Cruise could apparently beat up 10 geezers single handed (many of whom were 30 years younger than he was ! ! !), but here he has to rely on a bird to save him from the bad guys (the wuss), these blockbusters are so inconsistant in gets on my nerves.

Franco Macabro said...

Simon Pegg's character 'Benji' actually proves himself quite useful in the film, asides from offering a bit of comedic relief, it keeps things light.

On Jack Reacher he could do that because of his training, he isn't your regular 50 year old dude. Obviously he had superior skills than those guys he fought who were 30 years younger than he was.

I'm actually glad that Ferguson's character was an ass kicker, she actually saves Ethan's life a couple of times, which is a change of pace and a good thing in my book because it's going for something different than your regular damsel in distress character.

Sergei Kolobashkin said...

The action is quite good, but the movie feels poorly written. The plot makes no sense. Since the second movie the plot was not that great, but the movies looked spectacular. This one is just borring.

Franco Macabro said...

So you're saying the action is good, but its boring? :) But I hear ya, I think in these movies the plots are secondary on purpose, what comes first is the action. The plot is the McGuffin of these movies, it's an enabling device for the action.

Roman J. Martel said...

I'm looking forward to this one. I really enjoyed "Ghost Protocol" which had a great mix of action, suspense and humor. That was something part 3 was really lacking, not much humor in that one at all. Like you, I admire Cruise's dedication to add to the realism of the film by putting himself in mortal peril. It always adds thrills to the film when you know what you are seeing is done for real and not a special effect.

Franco Macabro said...

You'll be happy to know this one hasn't lost its humor, or action. It is in my opinion one of the best in the entire series in terms of entertainment value.


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