‘Rogue Nation’ Fulfills The Mission Of A Reliable Blockbuster Series

31 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’ makes the audience feel for the characters.

There has never been a bad Mission: Impossible movie. 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).

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. Though Cruise has shared the screen with a several high-profile co-stars in his spy series, Ferguson, 31, certainly holds her own as she kicks ass and steals scenes as mysterious operative Isla Faust. (All while dressed to kill, obviously.) REBECCA FERGUSON: I was going on 16 when I started acting in a drama series in Sweden. [But] no, I went to music school. The gross is comparable to “Mad Max,” which earned $3.7 million in evening shows; “World War’s” $3.6 million; and “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’” $4.1 million.

That’s right, Ferguson’s agent Ilsa actually, like the sensible super-spy she is, actually takes a moment during an action scene when she and Cruise’s Ethan Hunt sprint across the roof of the State Opera House in Vienna to take off her heels so she doesn’t break an ankle: “Of course it (all) can be done in high heels, but then we liked the idea of kicking them off. They’ve all functionally served as Tom Cruise stunt reels, the plots reduced to incoherent connective tissue propping up increasingly freaky stunt sequences. Tom Cruise, who delivers a Dorian Gray-like performance in his fifth outing as the Impossible Mission Force’s Ethan Hunt, knows this in his preternaturally uncreaky bones.” – Ann Hornaday ★★★★ “The Look of Silence” (PG-13) “For long stretches of Joshua Oppenheimer’s documentary ‘The Look of Silence,’ we watch a man watching a movie. Christopher McQuarrie directs from a script he wrote with Iron Man 3’s Drew Pearce, and the film’s official plot synopsis teases: “With the IMF now disbanded and Ethan Hunt (Cruise) out in the cold, a new threat – called the Syndicate – soon emerges. “The Syndicate is a network of highly skilled operatives who are dedicated to establishing a new world order via an escalating series of terrorist attacks. 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.

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. 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. 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.

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. 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.

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. I heard that Tom had seen your work in the Starz period drama, The White Queen, and was immediately convinced you would be a good fit for the Mission part. 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. Cruise’s three most recent films — “Edge of Tomorrow,” “Oblivion” and “Jack Reacher” — generated solid, rather than spectacular, box office earnings. 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.

It opened Wednesday with $3.8 million at 3,310 U.S. locations, including $1.2 million from preview showings on Tuesday night, then followed with $2.5 million on Thursday. “Vacation,” which carries a modest $31 million budget, is launching 32 years after the original. 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. 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. Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo return as Rusty’s parents. “Vacation,” which has received mostly negative reviews, with a 27% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, marks the directorial debut of screenwriters Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley.

The movie might’ve honestly been better off if it had gotten rid of a few established plot elements and found a whole new title; at least then, it wouldn’t have had to deal with all the TV actors going public with how they thought the movie disrespected them. (To be fair, though, Mission: Impossible is a badass title. I had gone to London to do a casting tape for Mission, thinking, “This is never going to happen, never.” But it’s always good to do casting tapes. I can see why they wanted to keep that.) These days, movie executives are terrified of pissing off the nerds who make up an important audience demographic; the entire point of the San Diego Comic-Con seems to be to reassure dweebs that blockbuster movies will stay as true as possible to their beloved childhood memories. (I’m about to spoil things here, but this is a 19-year-old movie, so chill.) But the movie, in its big twist, cast the TV show’s team leader Jim Phelps as the traitor who sold everybody out, allowing them to all be killed so he could sell a disc of IMF agents’ identities to the highest bidder. And I went back to Morocco and I was on a camel called Barbie, doing a scene, and then I was told that Tom and Chris McQuarrie wanted to meet me in London the next day. I think because I was in a production already, I was more determined on how we could make it happen rather than thinking “Oh my god, I’m meeting Tom Cruise.” We were just drinking coffee and laughing.

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. 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. 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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