Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation Review Roundup: Tom Cruise “Fires Up …

30 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

InterviewThere’s an inelegant recipe to Mission: Impossible films. In Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation, the fifth film in the spy franchise, Tom Cruise’s Hunt finds himself dangerously entangled with a morally complicated agent named Ilsa Faust, played by the Swedish-born Rebecca Ferguson.Nearly 20 years and five movies in, the Mission Impossible franchise is still in rare rude health, with 2011’s Ghost Protocol earning nearly $700 million worldwide and the series standing at over $2 billion.Not so many years ago he was best known for his part on TV in Brit cult show Spaced but now he’s got some massive franchises under his belt, including Star Trek and Mission Impossible.

Ferguson has been nominated for a Golden Globe for her TV role in the BBC miniseries The White Queen, but this is her introduction both to the Mission universe and to many members of the audience. He’s got a lot to say about co-star Tom Cruise (who he has been working with since 2005), the insane stunts in the movie, the fun of changing directors every movie and how much fitter he is.

Cruise’s co-stars in this year’s Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation include Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, Alec Baldwin, Sean Harris, Ving Rhames and up-and-coming Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson. Then you have them find new stylish ways to endanger Tom Cruise’s life for sake of cool cinema. (Don’t forget to add a dash of cool gadgetry and lighthearted goofs along the way.) Then you wait four to six years and do it all again. It’s all about what happens when a shadowy organisation called The Syndicate targets the IMF but the plotting is so preposterous it’s easy to ignore, especially when there’s so much great action to enjoy.

No because I’ve been playing Benji for nearly 10 years and his evolution has been quite a fun thing to play – he started off as an office guy working in the lab then he has that little time with Ethan where he has to help him get through Shanghai. 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. With almost no dialogue and deliberately paced editing from Eddie Hamilton, it’s a sequence which dials up the tension minute by minute to deliver some exceptional thrills, and all without a single earth-shattering explosion.

Writer/director Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher, The Usual Suspects) has a great eye for these kinds of moments which manage to feel grounded and also exciting, something that’s increasingly hard to do in a blockbuster world filled with superheroes of all capes and colours. You have to feel bad for Jeremy Renner who mostly stands around talking this time, despite being seemingly groomed to replace Cruise in Ghost Protocol. They described this new character, they didn’t call her a “strong woman” or “femme fatale,” words we’re used to hearing used describing female characters. It was really fun making this movie because Benji and Ethan’s relationship is kind of front and centre because Ethan reaches out to Benji for help and it’s a big responsibility for Benjy. That hardly matters though, because you’ve already had a half dozen top notch scenes of mayhem, including a frenetic Moroccan car chase and some breath-taking underwater shenanigans.

Christopher McQuarrie is less of a known quantity than past directors like Brad Bird or Brian De Palma: How would you advertise this installment to potential viewers on the fence about seeing it? When I met Tom and Chris, knowing I was going into a Mission: Impossible film… Mission is about very cool stunts and fighting sequences, and I was extremely excited about getting to train and learn a physical role. He’s got incredible handling and his driving… I haven’t seen that sequence but we were driving through alleyways that were barely wider than the car. As soon as I landed, I went from the airport to the gym, and worked six hours, six days a week: weapons training, holding my breath, running, choreography.

If I look at another actress who’s new, and I don’t have any established thoughts about her acting, maybe it does help put me in a mindset, watching her work. We had to have one where he handbrake turn into this car and another time we hit a wall and it was kind of fun to think ‘I’ve been in a car crash with Tom Cruise!’ How many people can say that?!

When it came to stunt work and the fighting sequences, that would never be thrown on you, because that’d be dangerous, but the dialogue and the storyline changed. Director Christopher McQuarrie said that you get some dramatic moments this time but given that you’re still somewhat the comic relief is hard to move between those two modes? And Drew Pearce’s script and Chris’ contributions to it as a very accomplished writer made the character beats – and this is the word we heard the most on the set, through all the crazy action and airplanes and explosions, it was all about ‘character’. And Benji provides some of the comedy because he’s a light-hearted character but he’s still a human being and that’s how he copes with the world. And that stuff is great to play because when you’re used to seeing a character being kind of funny and dry, when he’s in trouble or danger it’s really great to switch it.

When we talk about a scene he sees it through the audiences eye and wants them to have the most authentic experience in terms of how invested they get in the characters and the action and the fact that it’s him doing it. But in the middle there’s this kind of goofy guy from Kentucky who is just incredibly driven, very funny, who wants to mess around and he’s just a guy! And then we started giggling, when we’re trying to play these scenes where we’re terrified and driving and he’s all drugged up because he’s been through this weird thing. There’s a big culture now of fitness and that’s good because we want to stay alive longer and be healthy but I think the hardest thing for people to do that is actually finding the time to do it.

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