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Movie Breakdown: Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (Noah)

July 30, 2015

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The Impression:

You can call me a fan of the Mission Impossible franchise. Sure, like everyone else who has eyes and was forced to be subjected to John Woo’s second Mission Impossible film, I understand that there can be some flaws in the format, but overall these are entertaining films with a charismatic star and everything I’ve seen from film number 5 assures me that it’s going to be another enjoyable romp down Tom Cruise lane.

The Reality:

Let’s lay the Tom Cruise hate to rest before we get going. Sure, Tom Cruise is annoying, and he has been bad in one or two movies over his big, brilliant career and yes he’s a Scientologist who possibly forced Katie Holmes to be his wife and probably has a crystal planet floating somewhere in the universe. Does this affect the way we see him as an actor? It shouldn’t, so let’s just assume, while reading this review, that all of you love Tom Cruise and if you like or don’t like this film it isn’t predicated on the fact that he’s the star of it. Pretty much: Tom Cruise is a beast, and you need to get over it. That said, Mission; Impossible – Rogue Nation is, outside of the untouchable Mad Max: Fury Road, the best blockbuster of the summer. It’s a light, fun, spy-romp that has a cast of characters we’ve come to know and love (Simon Pegg, I am especially fond of you) slipping back into a slightly altered format and doing what the IMF does best – spy shit. This go around the government, again, has decided that the IMF is bad news and that it isn’t exactly up to code having them running around the world, blowing up shit. Just about the same time this is happening, Tom Cruise discovers that an “anti-IMF” called The Syndicate exists and well, it’s up to him to shut it down. Amazing character-driven, spy-action commences for the next two hours. Seriously, this is how a blockbuster should be done. It’s fun, but not entirely adrift on action scenes and good looking girls (though it has both in spades), instead director Christopher McQuarrie and his team inject a layer of subtext in regards to why we as world powers continue to indulge in spycraft. As always, Rogue Nation features a sort of anti-Bond girl, meaning a strong-willed, ass-kicking opponent for Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt (this time it’s the very convincingly bad-ass Rebecca Ferguson playing a bad-spy-who-might-be-good-or-might-just-be-playing-good-to-do-bad-things) and it features Simon Pegg saying cheeky things, but more so it features the evolution of the relationships of these characters. We’ve spent almost 20 years with the folks from IMF (both Cruise and Pegg are showing signs) and instead of just bouncing them around like money-making pinballs, McQuarrie and team reminds us why not only we love to watch them spy, but that after mission after mission, these characters genuinely care about each other. It’s a little cherry on the top of a great entry into an already pretty fantastic franchise.

The Lesson:

Don’t hate. Seriously, I can smell your hating. Scrub off the odor and go see these film.

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Movie Breakdown: Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

July 30, 2015

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The Impression:

The fifth entry into the Mission: Impossible series has arrived.  There’s no reason to not be excited.

The Reality:

If I were to count how many truly bad movies that Tom Cruise has been in, it wouldn’t come anywhere close to the number of shitty films I’ve seen in just 2015 alone.  The guy knows how to pick ‘em, so I honestly went into Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation with the utmost confidence.  And why wouldn’t I?  The very talented Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher, Edge of Tomorrow) both wrote and directed it, the trailers have been good, and – again -  it features the always reliable Tom Cruise.

As it turns out, I wasn’t wrong to assume the movie would be good.  Rogue Nation is a wildly entertaining film that’s pretty much the best Mission: Impossible entry yet.

The story isn’t too original – there’s a secret organization that’s bent on twisting the world to fit its own agenda – but that doesn’t really matter.  Overall, the film is epic (the airplane scene, the underwater sequence, the car/motorcycle chase), grounded (anything to do with Simon Pegg), cocky (all things Cruise and/or Ving Rhames), tense, twisty and funny when it needs to be, and it all amounts to something that very much never stops trying to engage you.  How many action flicks can lay claim to that?  Most try to dazzle you to the point to where you’ll willingly zone out until the next big scene, but Rogue Nation actually wants to steadily hold your attention.  I found this to be really impressive.

Those of you on the hunt for an entertaining action film will find a lot to love in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, and I recommend that you see it ASAP.  If you’re not currently searching for such a thing, then why in the world would you even consider seeing it?  Stop being silly!

The Lesson:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’ll watch anything featuring Tom Cruise.  The guy is 100% committed to his craft and I both love and appreciate his unlimited enthusiasm to entertain.

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