Movie Review: Mission: Impossible

29 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Does Thomas want to be Mrs Cruise?.

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation lands in cinemas on Friday July 30, 19 years after the first time Ethan Hunt hung suspended from the ceiling as he tried to swipe files from a computer.Mission Impossible Rogue Nation is almost ready to explode into cinemas and while it’s definitely a Tom Cruise film it’s a little-known Swedish actress who steals the spotlight. 31-year-old Rebecca Ferguson only has a couple of feature credits to her name (including a part in 2014’s Hercules) but there’s no doubt that she’s going to be a star, bringing a huge amount of presence and energy to her part as the mysterious Ilsa Faust.The constant clash of huge egos, the stress of hectic schedules and the long hours spent waiting on petulant actors – the film industry’s a tough enough place to work at the best of times.

There’s Bond of course, the grand daddy of them all, all Viagra’d up thesedays by an overdue injection of decent talent in front of and behind the camera. Then Ethan was faced with having to destroy a deadly genetically modified disease in his second impossible mission, before having to save his girlfriend from a dangerous rogue arms dealer in the third. But spare a thought for the friends and family of Emily Thomas, a young British production assistant who’s reportedly in the running for the starring role of a lifetime. Then there’s Bourne; for a few years a pretender to the throne, but now probably dead and buried unless Matt Damon suffers a catastrophic divorce and needs a payday in a hurry. Then the IMF had to go rogue when it was implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin and now the team face trying to eradicate an anti-IMF in the latest of the tricky assignments.

Industry insiders say the 22-year-old PA to Tom Cruise has so captivated the 53-year-old Mission: Impossible star that he is about to propose marriage to her. It all started with the training and the stunt support team which works with co-star Tom Cruise: “Vertigo training – so they’d put me in a harness and pull me up a meter and work themselves up.” And she also had backup if she ever felt like she wasn’t able for a stunt: “I knew I had this great stunt team and stunt double Lucy who is incredible. The attentions of one of the world’s most powerful movie stars could go to any young woman’s head, especially one who may want to get ahead in an industry where the thrice-divorced Cruise has long been treated as a god. A convoluted and cockamamie yarn about a secret black-ops spy network killing world leaders for fun feels as if it has been lifted from the bad old days of Bond movies. And in every second that I couldn’t do something she would jump in.” But Ferguson didn’t want to miss out on all the action, so she took on the challenge and achieved some amazing things! “I rose to the challenge as well to try and do it.

Sequels can always be hit and miss, but history would suggest that getting the lead role in Mrs Tom Cruise IV might not be the happiest fate for any young woman. To make matters worse, anyone who isn’t Tom Cruise (looking a little ragged these days as franchise spearhead Ethan Hunt) has to stand around movie-splaining all developments (sample dialogue: “If A, B or C happens, then this could spell D, E or F for G, H or I.”) as they happen.

After a stunning pre-credits sequence which sees Ethan run after, jump aboard and summarily disarm a jet plane full of nerve-gas missiles, the rot sets in quickly for . Rumours have been circulating for months that the scarily focused Cruise had found in Thomas the romance that has been absent from his life since he split up with previous wife Katie Holmes.

Hunt’s longtime handlers at the IMF (led by Jeremy Renner as Agent Brandt) have been absorbed by the CIA, whose blustery boss (Alec Baldwin) wants Hunt and his buddies yanked from the field ASAP. As Ethan dangles from aeroplane wings or faces being cut into pieces by the “bone doctor” or goes for over three minutes without taking a breath, viewers are likely to be so caught up in the moment that they won’t question why he needs to take such hare-brained risks in the first place.

Hunt, as is his style, ignores the order to down tools, and goes off the grid to expose and eradicate ‘The Syndicate’ (an anti-IMF mob comprised of bad dudes long presumed to be dead by all authorities). A series of globetrotting location switches invariably ushers in an action sequence of high quality (Austria for an assassination at the Vienna Opera, Morocco for a deep dive inside a subterranean water facility, Great Britain for a kidnapping of the PM) and then yet more explanatory yapping of low quality. This is a film which whisks us for no very good reason from London to Vienna to Morocco with brief stop-offs in Havana and elsewhere – and then back to London.

Of the support cast, only newcomer Rebecca Ferguson (a mysterious double agent) and Simon Pegg (expanded comic relief duties) register any fleeting impact here. You also get to set up your own IMF base, where you can play co-op with other players, combine resources and defend or take on other bases at your will. As for Alec Baldwin, he may never live down having to deliver the worst line of idiotic dialogue (”Ethan Hunt is the living manifestation of destiny, and he has made you his mission”) this side of an Adam Sandler picture. So he’s come in and explains the different areas of lung capacity and usually it’s just the knowledge and being relaxed and gradually we’d expand the time.” “It’s about knowledge and when we pass something and realise we’re capable of so much more.

The centre-piece, for me at least, is a motorbike chase that actually looked genuinely fast and dangerous, which is a rarity now on our CGI-drenched screens. After an excruciating scene in which we hear Ethan discuss classic hipster jazz in very stiff fashion as he leafs through the vinyl in a London record shop, we discover his real adversaries. They’re hell bent on world domination – and on eradicating the IMF (The Impossible Mission Force for which Ethan works.) The CIA under director Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) is gunning for the IMF too. When you go out running, turn on the app, put on your headphones and in no time you will hear hordes of zombies growling and groaning towards you and the only to avoid them is, you guessed it right, run!

It’s not just that by all accounts he’s a little odd, it’s also because anyone who marries him is essentially also marrying his beloved Church of Scientology. As celebrity figurehead of the controversial organisation, regarded in some countries as a dangerous cult, Cruise has always put his religion first and foremost in his private life – with dire consequences for the women he shared it with.

They suspect Scientologists are encouraging speculation to distract attention from a new documentary, Going Clear, which makes a string of damning claims about the church and Cruise’s involvement with it. Fuelling his loneliness no doubt will be his separation from his daughter Suri, who now lives with her mother in New York and sees little of her father.

Although the evidence suggests he is just as close to the church as ever, it was recently claimed Cruise was to leave Scientology so he can spend more time with Suri. Sources claimed that because the church had no control over her upbringing, they were close to declaring Suri a “suppressive person” – essentially, a pariah who should be avoided. Like a latter-day Douglas Fairbanks, he shimmies up pipes, leaps off high ledges, dives into whirlpools and generally shows off his acrobatic ability at every opportunity. No, say sources, the fact he is being romantically linked with his PA, a complete unknown, shows that the days when he could have his pick of Hollywood’s most glamorous actresses are over. Cruise is so busy running and jumping that very little time is given over to developing the romantic sub-plot between Ethan and the beautiful spy Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) who shadows him.

Senior Scientology defectors have claimed that in 2004, after Cruise split up from Cruz because she allegedly failed to embrace the religion, church leaders auditioned beautiful starlets to replace her. Ferguson plays Ilsa with an Emma Peel-like zest (and she even gets to dress a bit like Diana Rigg in TV’s The Avengers in black leather.) “She tried to shoot me,” one agent complains about her. “It doesn’t make her a bad person,” Ethan protests. Rogue Nation deserves awards for its music (scored by Joe Kraemer) and sound editing: the ingenious way it combines Lalo Schifrin’s theme with opera and then, during the prolonged motorbike chase, creates a mini-symphony out of the sounds of engines and gunshots. If, as Hollywood sources argue, women stars now run screaming from any romantic connection to him, Cruise and his Scientology friends have only themselves to blame. Veteran carrom players can play delightful rebound shots and try to beat other gamers on multiplayer, while casual gamers can joust with the computer and hone their skills before taking on other gamers online.

Sean Harris plays the The Syndicate’s bespectacled leader Solomon Lane in suitably sneering and malicious fashion but is never quite as intimidating as might have been expected. Rathbun claims in the documentary that Miscavige ordered Kidman’s phone to be tapped and worked on turning the couple’s adopted children, Isabella and Connor, away from their mother.

There is a sprightly cameo from Tom Hollander as the British prime minister and an enjoyably sinister one from Simon McBurney as a duplicitous British spy boss who seems to have stumbled out of a George Smiley novel. According to Going Clear, the Australian was labelled a “Potential Trouble Source” by Miscavige after she persuaded Cruise to distance himself from the church during their marriage. For a period it seemed to work, says the documentary, as Cruise allegedly refused to return Miscavige’s calls while the couple were in the UK filming Eyes Wide Shut. Although a joint public statement claimed the couple had “respect for each other’s respective beliefs”, Holmes privately sought assurances nothing would happen to “alienate” Suri from her when she is with her father. Reportedly restricted legally in what they can say, Cruise’s ex-wives have not commented about the role of Scientology in their marriages to the star.

Kidman still talks fondly of him as a husband, telling Vogue only this week her only real regret is that they didn’t have at least twice as many children. As for his Scientology minders, they just want Cruise to be with a woman who doesn’t try to get in the way of his relationship with Miscavige, says Tony Ortega. Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles.

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