Saturday, August 4, 2018

Impossible Missions 5 and 6!!!

Mission: Impossible -  Fallout (2018): based on the series created by Bruce Geller; written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie; starring Tom Cruise (Ethan Hunt), Henry Cavill (Walker), Ving Rhames (Luther), Simon Pegg (Benji), Rebecca Ferguson (Ilsa Faust), Sean Harris (Solomon Lane), Angela Bassett (CIA Director Sloan), Vanessa Kirby (White Widow), and Alec Baldwin (Hunley): 

Enjoyable sixth installment in the Tom Cruise action series once again features a lot of action sequences that seem to involve some actual real-world stunt work. And Tom Cruise running!

Tom Cruise's personal writer-director Christopher (The Usual Suspects screenwriter) McQuarrie writes and directs this installment as he did the last. He's very good -- the action sequences and chase scenes are choreographed so that one can actually follow what's going on! And there's not too much quick editing during fight scenes! A three-person battle in a Kubrickian White washroom is especially fun and brutal. A skydiving sequence and a final battle in, around, under, and over helicopters are also really nice pieces of action film-making.

Fallout follows Rogue Nation (see below) in using one villain and one heroine from that film, along with returning players Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg as Tom Cruise's trusted tech support team. Jeremy Renner was apparently off filming the next Avengers movie. Thankfully, Rebecca Ferguson returns from Rogue Nation as the hyper-competent British Intelligence agent who's Cruise's equal in motorcycle riding and fisticuffs. 

This Mission: Impossible is self-deprecating and light on its feet, with a recurring jocularity that's reminiscent of the Original Series Star Trek movies. A character even gets the McCoy shout-out line, "I'm a doctor not an electrician!"

The plot is pretty much the plot of every M:I movie. Evil terrorists want to nuke something. The Impossible Mission Force has been at least partially discredited (apparently the IMF is kinda sorta a CIA Joint). A certain amount of fun is had at the IMF's use of astonishingly effective masks since the days of the 1960's TV series ("The IMF is Hallowe'en" scoffs one character). 

Henry Cavill and his mighty facial hair are also on-board as a CIA assassin assigned to monitor the actions of the IMF and bring an end to their shenanigans if need be. Cavill is much better as an occasionally threatening jerk than he is as Superman. Go figure.

Critics seem to be so tired this summer of super-heroes that Fallout has been getting reviews that are perhaps a bit too gushing. But it's an enjoyable ride, and certainly better than the last James Bond movie. Cruise is starting to show his age in his face, though. Just saying. Recommended.

Mission: Impossible -  Rogue Nation (2015): based on the series created by Bruce Geller; written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie with Drew Pearce; starring Tom Cruise (Ethan Hunt), Jeremy Renner (Brandt), Ving Rhames (Luther), Simon Pegg (Benji), Rebecca Ferguson (Ilsa Faust), Sean Harris (Solomon Lane), and Alec Baldwin (Hunley): Fifth Mission: Impossible movie is solid, stream-lined entertainment. Adding Rebecca Ferguson to the recurring cast as a British Intelligence operative pays off big -- she's super, and a lot more interesting than the last dozen or so Bond girls, that's for sure.

Once again, Cruise's Ethan Hunt has been discredited and the IMF disbanded. It feels like this happens in every Mission: Impossible movie. I hope everyone still gets their pensions. Anyway, it's up to Cruise, tech-support Simon Pegg and Arby's spokeman Ving Rhames to save the day, perhaps with the help of Jeremy Renner, perhaps not. I think Jeremy Renner's character is the IMF's office manager but I'm not entirely sure. HR?

There are good action sequences here, along with one that becomes stupefyingly goofy by its end (it involves yet another insane computer room brought to you by the designers of the deathtrap engines in Galaxy Quest). A climactic chase around London, England is a bit too low-key for this franchise. The opening sequence involving Tom Cruise and a plane is terrific, though, as is an insane motorbike chase. Tom Cruise does some running too! Recommended.

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