‘Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation’ Movie Review: How Good Is Tom Cruise’s …

1 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation’ is Cruise-controlled fun, reviews say.

Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation is off to a pleasing start at the North American box office, where it is pacing to gross $18 million-plus for the day for a weekend debut in the $45 million-plus range, if not approaching $50 million. DETROIT (WWJ) – Ethan Hunt is back, and he faces his most dangerous mission yet: he must prove that a group of renegade spies known as The Syndicate is real.In this week’s new releases, Tom Cruise returns as agent Ethan Hunt for more action-packed adventure in “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation,” the fifth installment of the “Mission: Impossible” film series.The actor was asked to choose between Mission: Impossible’s Ethan Hunt, Top Gun’s Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell and Jerry Maguire’s title character while promoting his latest film Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, which opened in cinemas yesterday (July 30). There’s been plenty of speculation as to how the big-budget film, costing Paramount and Skydance Productions $150 million to make, will fare in the U.S.

Academy Award-nominated director Joshua Oppenheimer’s documentary, “The Look of Silence,” explores Indonesia’s anti-Communist purges of 1965 and 1966; the film follows a man whose brother was killed during the acts of Genocide. Two of Cruise’s Rogue Nation co-stars, Simon Pegg and Rebecca Ferguson, were also asked to play ‘Fuck, Marry, Kill’ with Cruise’s characters, and understandably they found the decision much easier to make than he did. According to movie critics, producer-star Cruise carries out his latest task with dedication, physicality and even a bit of humor, while McQuarrie orchestrates the action and intrigue with aplomb. In this masterful set piece, various constituencies of spy and counterspy angle to assassinate or protect the Chancellor of Austria, who’s watching Puccini’s Turandot from a balcony box — oblivious, like the rest of the audience, to the sweaty melee playing out literally in the wings.

The Times’ Kenneth Turan writes, “Cruise has been a vigilant steward of the franchise, making sure its various components (including its celebrated Lalo Schifrin theme) never fall below acceptable standards and even pushing to exceed the norm where possible. Abrams’ “Mission Impossible 3,” which interwove the heart-pumping twists of “Alias” (season one) into a theatrical recipe that could give Daniel Craig as 007 a run for his money.

Cruise’s superspy Ethan Hunt continues to hang with the Bonds, Bournes and Bauers of the world in the fifth Mission: Impossible movie (*** out of four; rated PG-13; opens Friday nationwide), written and directed by Edge of Tomorrow scribe Christopher McQuarrie. It will easily win the weekend, and is expected to be even bigger overseas, where it rolls out in numerous markets (Cruise remains a far bigger star internationally). So it is with the polished and entertaining new film. … Both in front of and behind the camera, ‘Rogue Nation’ has been smoothly made by people who know just how to get entertainment business done.” Cruise doesn’t phone in his fifth performance as super-spy Ethan Hunt, Turan says, and he “sets a new standard for himself” in terms of doing his own eye-popping stunts.

Elsewhere, a new-to-the-series spy of murky loyalties, played by the ravishing Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson, waits for a specified note in the score to fire her rifle. They’ve all functionally served as Tom Cruise stunt reels, the plots reduced to incoherent connective tissue propping up increasingly freaky stunt sequences. The action bonanza gets a little lost in its own spycraft, but offers scenes both fast and furious and a fabulous couple of additions to the world of the IMF (short for Impossible Mission Force, obviously). The Rogue Nation part of the title refers to a nefarious new secret organization called the Syndicate, which utilizes presumed-dead operatives from around the world to carry out terrorist acts and tear down the global system that spawned them. Faced with what may be the most impossible mission yet, Ethan gathers his team and joins forces with Ilsa Faust (Ferguson), a disavowed British agent who may or may not be a member of this deadly rogue nation.” Cruise first played Ethan Hunt in 1996’s Mission: Impossible before returning for sequels in 2000, 2006, 2011 and now 2015.

But, Hunt and company aren’t done yet; there’s much more to come before this movie wraps up with a twist that I’m willing to bet most viewers won’t see coming. It’s an excruciating spectacle, especially considering that Adi’s brother, Ramli, was one of the victims.” – Stephanie Merry ½ star “Vacation” (R) “For the most part, ‘Vacation’ is a sad, cynical rip-off of writer John Hughes’s source material.

Well, Ethan will have none of that as America’s top secret agent, though he’s a fugitive from the government itself after one too many rogue missions. Whereas story has never been a strong point of the “Mission: Impossible” movies, this isn’t a spy adventure that require CliffsNotes to follow along. From Belarusian airspace to the Vienna Opera to the streets of Morocco, the hero plays cat-and-mouse with a new villain on the scene — Solomon Lane, played with cold calm by Sean Harris — while making an ally in the mysterious Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), a capable agent and lethal weapon herself who has been dealing with the devilish Lane.

It’s a sterling example of the elegance, wit and harrowing flesh-and-blood stunt work that have made the “Missions: Impossible” the most reliable blockbuster series going: Five films, some weirder than others, but not a stinker in the bunch. Helping Gameau make the point that too much sugar is bad — and often hidden in foods that are perceived as healthy — are fellow Aussie actors Hugh Jackman and Brenton Thwaites, as well as the British thespian Stephen Fry.” – Michael O’Sullivan ★★½ “A Lego Brickumentary” (G) “A flattering documentary about a single product can look a lot like an ad, and no one wants to get duped into watching a 90-minute commercial, much less paying for it. ‘A Lego Brickumentary’ runs that risk, and there are moments that may set off a viewer’s internal product placement detector.

With a number of movies under its belt, the M:I franchise finally has Avengered itself — previous cinematic shenanigans are referred to when CIA chief Alan Hunley (a delightfully smarmy Alec Baldwin) makes a power play to shut down the IMF crew once and for all. It’s like a greatest hits squad of supporting players surrounding Ethan, including by-the-book agent William Brandt (Jeremy Renner), hacker extraordinaire Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) and tech guy Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), who finally gets thrown into some dangerous fieldwork. It works best when, like Ferguson, it plays things straight instead of (mis)using Simon Pegg’s Impossible Mission Team techie for broad comic relief and Ving Rhames for Lou Grant-like grumpiness.” And if McQuarrie doesn’t make the cut as “an unsung action auteur,” Edelstein says, he “delivers a corker of a high-speed motorcycle chase” and a “gangbusters” knife fight at the film’s climax. McQuarrie, who also wrote the script, wisely keeps the narrative focused on the battle between good and evil, not letting any extraneous plot twists trip up his action.

But the sentimental saga of friendship between an African immigrant and a wealthy quadriplegic became something rarer: a recent foreign-language film that turned into a commercial success in the subtitle-averse United States. Rogue Nation gets convoluted in its series of twists, though McQuarrie offers a surprising amount of welcome humor, sometimes with the gadgetry — watch Tom use a bass flute as a rifle! — and other times in the exhaustion that comes after one death-defying episode or another.

The comedy, garnering poor reviews, earned $6.2 million on Wednesday and Thursday, and is tipped to gross $22 million for the five days, including roughly $16 million for the Friday-Sunday frame. The first four were all big-movie visionaries in one way or another, guys with distinctive aesthetics and canny ideas about how to put together flashy and noisy entertainments: Brian De Palma, John Woo, J.J. While not as top notch as the action scenes in the previous Impossible outing, Ghost Protocol, there’s some stellar stuff here, especially a speedy chase through Casablanca on motorcycles and in sports cars, with a soundtrack comprised solely of revving engines and Pegg’s panicky screams. The movie is a sequel of sorts to the first National Lampoon’s Vacation, directed by Harold Ramis, and picks up as Rusty Griswold (Helms), now grown, takes his own family on a vacation.

Abrams, and Brad Bird don’t quite top the Alien movies lineup of Ridley Scott, James Cameron, David Fincher, and Jean-Pierre Jeunet, but they’re not too far off, either. There’s not much character development involved with Ethan this time around, though you don’t need it as much with all the stunts Cruise is doing. (And at 53, dude’s still outstanding.) Yet his match is made in Ferguson’s enigmatic Ilsa, an attractive bone-breaker of a femme fatale who looks like she stepped right off the set of a 007 adventure. It’s also 10 minutes too long, an overage I suspect McQuarrie would’ve corrected had the film’s original release date not been moved up by five months. The best M:I movie to date is unquestionably the fourth one, with the absolutely bugshit scene of Cruise climbing Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. But it’s fascinating to look back on the 1996 original, a time capsule from an era when it wasn’t necessarily considered a great investment to turn an old TV show into a mega-budget explosion-fest.

A spry 52 when the film was shot, Cruise — still his own stuntman — clings to the fuselage of an Airbus A400 cargo plane flying thousands of feet off the ground, swims underwater for several minutes without a breath, careens a motorcycle, sans helmet, around a winding Moroccan highway at suicide-miles-per-hour, and uses his oft-demonstrated if little-remarked spider-strength to shimmy up a pole to which he’s handcuffed, using only his hips and his abs. At this point, these movies have pretty much transcended the source material in the popular imagination, and I couldn’t tell you anything about the show beyond its badass Lalo Schifrin theme music.

In another summer of action tentpoles that treat female characters as afterthoughts (see: “Avengers” or “Ant Man”), “M:I 5” gives us a female lead who shares equal screen time. Woven in among the capers is an espionage story that recalls the first film, the Brian De Palma-directed Mission: Impossible of a generation ago by being more opaque than is strictly necessary. All that matters is that Ferguson’s Ilsa Faust (great name, that) is a marvelous addition; a smooth, alluring operator who is Hunt’s equal in every way.

And unlike the heroine of the year’s biggest hit, Jurassic World, she’s sensible enough to take off her heels before rappelling down the side of a building. De Palma went into shooting it without a finished script, so the studio brought in a series of screenwriting heavyweights, including Chinatown OG Robert Towne, to work it over. Sean Harris, who plays the leader of a ring of presumed-dead covert agents now using their skills to sow strategic unrest, looks like a lab-grown hybrid of good guys Cruise and Pegg.

Hitchcock is all over the movie: The extreme close-up camera angles, the mannered line readings, the one shot of a spiral staircase that screams Vertigo. He reels off all the usual superspy credentials before concluding, “Hunt is the living manifestation of destiny.” It’s an absurd line, and the movie could’ve used a few more of those. (McQuarrie gave Cruise better jokes in Jack Reacher). Because even without the Turandot sequence Rogue Nation still has at least three other stand-up-and-cheer set pieces, executed with a rigor and clarity the crude Fast & Furious series can’t touch. Cruise looks so young here: closer to the baby-faced kid of Risky Business and The Color of Money than to the ice-faced psychopath daredevil of Ghost Protocol.

And the movie’s use of technology is pretty hilarious: The computer interfaces would be laughed off the screen today, and it’s hard to picture a world where someone thinks it’s a good idea to cast Ving Rhames as a hacker. But all those severely ’90s touches, right down to the end-credits techno remix of the theme song (by U2’s rhythm section!), make this weirdly charming in an anachronistic sort of way. Mission: Impossible wound up being the year’s third-highest grosser, and neither of the two movies that beat it has a scene anywhere near that good: Independence Day has the White House exploding, and Twister has the flying cow, but you don’t hold your breath while watching either today. Netflix Instant doesn’t have to feel like a depleted Blockbuster in 1990, where you spend half an hour browsing hopeless straight-to-video thrillers before saying “fuck it” and loading up another Archer.

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