‘Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation’ (With Movie Trailer): Christopher …

31 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation.

OK, so Ethan Hunt isn’t James Bond and the Impossible Missions Force isn’t MI6, but the “MI” films are essentially Bond movies, with a touch of “Bourne” and a whole lot of Tom Cruise doing what he does best — looking about 15 years younger than his true age (Cruise recently turned 53), performing harrowing stunts, engaging in clever banter with his adversaries, and doing it all with just the hint of a smirk that tells us even when it appears certain Mr. “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation” is the fifth film in a series that has taken in more than $2 billion in worldwide box office and has provided the one role, that of secret agent Ethan Hunt, the performer can count on since the series made the jump from television to theaters in 1996.Moments before Tom Cruise literally went airborne strapped to the side of an Airbus A400 for a daring Mission: Impossible stunt, director Christopher McQuarrie had a final word with his superstar. “Tom shouted above the engine, ‘Remember, if it looks like I’m panicking, I’m acting. Coupled with the success behind the long-running “Mission: Impossible” franchise, that means the latest installment could be atop the weekend box office. In return, 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.

Don’t cut,’ ” McQuarrie recalls. “I did a stunned about-face, knowing there would be no distinction between (true) panic and his performance.” McQuarrie called “action,” and Cruise, 53, took off standing over the wing eight times. So it is with the polished and entertaining new film, the kind of neo-James Bond spy-versus-spy diversion where secrets are “triple encoded” and agents in trouble sound like ambitious dentists when they request “immediate extraction.” 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 and have often worked with Cruise before. Rentrak analyst Paul Dergarabedian said his team is expecting the film to garner somewhere between $35 million and $40 million, but he said it might even do a bit better. “Tom Cruise is a marketing machine; he is literally everywhere,” Dergarabedian said. “This could be a film that outperforms a little bit. 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.

That is very much true of filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie, who was a writer on two Cruise ventures (“Valkyrie” and “Edge of Tomorrow”) and directed the actor’s “Jack Reacher” venture. The super-fit Cruise clings on to many things — an A400 military transport plane, a speeding BMW motorbike, the roof of the Vienna State Opera, and his theatrical credibility — all with his fingertips. This could set us up nicely for a good run through the end of summer — Labor Day.” Dergarabedian said “Mission: Impossible” epitomizes what a summer movie should be. 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).

Based on Cruise’s tireless promotional efforts, great reviews and the mythology surrounding him doing his own stunts, Dergarabedian said $40 million-plus could be conservative for the opening weekend. 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. The franchise has accumulated $740 million in domestic box-office receipts and $2.1 billion worldwide since it began in 1996. “That cliché, the hardest working man in show business — it might very well be Tom Cruise,” Dergarabedian said. “No matter what you think of his personal life, you have to give it up to him.

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. The great Alec Baldwin hams it up nicely as Hunley, the gruff and fantastically clueless head of the CIA, who forces the IMF out of existence because that’s what gruff and clueless government bureaucrats do in movies like this. Tom Cruise is still arguably the biggest movie star in the world.” “Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation” is owned by Viacom Inc.’s VIA, +0.02% VIAB, -0.42% Paramount Pictures. 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.

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. So dangerous that Cruise had to wear custom contact lenses to protect his eyes, the stunt was repeated eight times until actor and director had the coverage they needed. The viral video alone was enough to show how little attention people paid to potentially detrimental aspects of Cruise’s personal life, including Katie Holmes’ bombshell divorce filing in 2012 and his controversial involvement in the Church of Scientology as depicted in the recent HBO documentary Going Clear. “Think of how many people saw Going Clear. Rebecca Ferguson does stellar work as the beautiful, deadly and alluring Ilsa Faust, an agent who also might be a double agent and could even be a double-DOUBLE agent.

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. Ilsa and Ethan exchange smouldering glances even as Ethan is trying to decipher whether she’s trying to kill him or save his life, but there’s no time for romance in “Rogue Nation,” not with so much intrigue and suspense lurking around every corner.

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. 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. That leaves Hunt as a man without a country, an international fugitive sought by the CIA just as he is closing in on a nefarious organization known as the Syndicate.

That’s what people know Tom Cruise for right now.” All the factors are enough to drive the well-reviewed Rogue Nation (93% critical approval on review aggregate site RottenTomatoes.com) to a predicted cake walk at this weekend’s box office. Dergarabedian, who’s only seen pieces of the film, likened the story line to “We’re the Millers” starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis. A group as dangerous as its name is bland, the Syndicate is manned exclusively by missing or presumed dead former government secret agents like the Bone Doctor (Jens Hulten), who’s there to hurt you, not help you.

They need to do this because they have to switch a code so Ethan’s sidekick Benji (Simon Pegg, excellent comic relief) can access a facility in order to, you know, thwart the bad guys. With just his own merry men (returning “M:I” veterans Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames) to help him, Hunt, no surprise, is determined to stop the Syndicate because, to quote an associate, he is “the living manifestation of destiny.” Try putting that on your resume. At times the deception and the intrigue and the twists and turns make it nearly impossible to follow every detail of the plot, but even when things get muddled, we know Ethan’s our hero, and we know we’ll eventually learn the true intentions of Ilsa and the rest of the players. Playing: SilverCity Ancaster, SilverCity Burlington, Jackson Square, SilverCity Oakville, Oakville Mews Encore, SilverCity Hamilton Mountain, 5 Drive-In Theatre (Oakville), Starlite Drive-In

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