Ranked: Tom Cruise’s best, worst movies, according to rottentomatoes.com

1 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

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

Tom Cruise has been welcomed back to the nation’s multiplexes, with “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation” heading for a U.S. opening weekend that could top $50 million, according to early estimates Friday. 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.Tom Cruise isn’t quite the box office king he was back in 1996 when the first Mission Impossible hit theaters, yet the franchise is still surprisingly strong and the fifth movie in the series is poised to open pretty big this weekend. 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. It’s also scored surprisingly strong reviews with a 92 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. (Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief has a 93 percent rating.) Now we have a question for you: What is the single best Tom Cruise movie?

At this rate, Rogue Nation could match the debut of Mission: Impossible III and exceed the opening of the last installment, Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, although a comparison to the latter is tough because it played its first weekend in Imax runs. This is what seems to have happened in “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation,” which, in terms of the high bar set by Brad Bird’s “Ghost Protocol,” its immediate predecessor, is underwhelming. 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. Feel free to vote for one of his 1980s classics like Risky Business and Top Gun, a 1990s flick like Jerry Maguire and A Few Good Men or something more recent like Edge of Tomorrow or Jack Reacher. Paramount’s fifth entry in the “Mission: Impossible” franchise has launched amid a marketing campaign with Cruise — one of the best promoters in the business — hitting the circuit to discuss the film and its eye-popping stunts, such as his clinging to the side of an Airbus A400 plane during takeoff.

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. The studio has been cautious in its guidance for the action-adventure, which carries a hefty $150 million budget, asserting that its tracking shows “Rogue Nation” on pace to open to $40 million over the weekend.

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). Mad Max will roar back out of the apocalypse while Mad Men rides off into the sunset, rock’s Antichrist Superstar and hip-hop’s Yeezus will rise again. The IMF has been shut down by the CIA (headed by Alec Baldwin in prime surly mode) and Ethan, eluding the agency’s dragnet, is on a worldwide undercover mission to uncover the nefarious Syndicate, a power-mad organization the CIA does not even believe exists. 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. Joining Ethan are his partners from the last film, Brandt (Jeremy Renner) and Benji (Simon Pegg), along with basso profondo Ving Rhames, but the most interesting addition to the corps is Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), a fearsome agent who may or may not be working for the Syndicate.

In the film’s best extended sequence, set in Morocco, Ethan must dislodge a top-secret computer chip from an underwater lair while holding his breath for more than three minutes. Ilsa comes to the rescue – or does she? (A recurring motif from Puccini’s “Turandot” on the soundtrack pointedly intrudes whenever these two get googly-eyed.) The requisite car and motorcycle chases are all here, and the Syndicate’s chief, played by Sean Harris, is appropriately reptilian. 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. 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. Cruise’s three most recent films — “Edge of Tomorrow,” “Oblivion” and “Jack Reacher” — generated solid, rather than spectacular, box office earnings.

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. Thankfully, “Mission Impossible 5” finds him a leading lady — Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson (of TV’s “The White Queen”) — who manages to re-awaken Cruise’s sex appeal.

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.

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