Monday, August 10, 2015

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

As a formulaic summer blockbusters go, the latest installment in the MI series does a great job of bringing the goods. When I go and see this movie I am not looking for deep plots or a lot of character development. I come to a film like this to see the following: Tom Cruise channeling his inner Jackie Chan and doing some crazy stunts. Simon Pegg adding his pop culture nerdly flavor to the supporting role. Jeremy Renner looking fabulous as he brings the heat. Ving Rhames being the baddest hacking Motherfu(Hush your mouth).. Just talking about Ving. I enjoyed this movie immensely.

Ethan (Tom Cruise) gets attacked by the Syndicate, an organization like his, only bent on making the world a more chaotic place. He is the only one who knows for sure this organization exists and his department is being shut down because of the efforts of Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin). The IMF agents are all being absorbed into the CIA. Ethan is on his own with no support from his country, but being disavowed is nothing new to him. He starts recruiting some trusted people and goes on the offensive.

I liked how this movie picks up right after the second movie. I don't know if they are going to do more but as an action fluff film they have the right mix. Other films go heavy on the humor and some just focus on causing the most damage scene after scene. This film has a good balance between building action scenes and story with just a few humorous spots to relieves the tension. The characters have had a lot of time to get comfortable in their skins and it shows on how easily they interact on screen.

The director (Christopher McQuarrie) really knows how to work with the action film elements. As writer and director, he can guide the action to be as he intended on the page. Some writers/directors need someone to bring them back after they have swerved too far off the path. McQuarrie doesn't seem to need this. His product is fresh and clean and an enjoyable journey. He first got my attention with his work as writer for The Usual Suspects. He has a great way of making the characters seem real. There is an honesty to his characters that is fun to watch.

Tom Cruise, regardless of his personal beliefs and associations, is a star. I have been guilty of making fun of the craziness that is his personal life but when we are in the theater and he is on screen he commands respect and can carry off the many performances that he takes on. He was miss-cast as Jack Reacher but still did a strong job as that version of the character.

Rumors hover over the next installment but they are going to have to tread carefully. You don't want to carry the fun on too long because when a franchise goes bad it just doesn't go a little bad it goes very, very bad. So far they are doing fine and I hope they continue with this streak, because gosh darn it, these moves are fun. 

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