Simon Pegg notches another ‘Mission’

29 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Is this Mission, Impossible? Can you guess what happens next from these film stills?.

Simon Pegg reprises his role as Benji Dunn in the latest ‘Mission: Impossible’ movie, ‘Rogue Nation.’ The actor spoke with USA TODAY’s Donna Freydkin about the movie and co-star Tom Cruise’s secret to staying fit. 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.

In the stifling heat of Morocco where he and Simon Pegg filmed much of Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, Tom Cruise executed the same prank over two days that had Pegg later realizing he was simply being kept alive so that Cruise could continue torturing him. 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. The Shaun of the Dead actor dropped by The Tonight Show on Tuesday to share that Cruise liked to sneakily turn on Pegg’s seat warmers while they were driving.

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. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but the prank was genius in its simplicity — the way Pegg tells it, it seems as if he had been driven halfway to madness before he figured out what Cruise was up to. Whatever you decide about that, let’s be clear about this: When it comes to Tom Cruise and his durability as an action hero, luck has little to do with it. In December, he’s got a role in the clandestine blockbuster-to-be Star Wars: The Force Awakens, about which he says nothing, and he co-wrote and is playing Scotty in Star Trek Beyond, directed by Justin Lin and set for a summer 2016 release.

Let’s give kudos to a few other folks, too, starting with director-writer Christopher McQuarrie, who, like each director in the franchise, puts his own stamp on the proceedings. One of the film’s few problems is coming up with a real motive for this gang and its leader, a mysterious master spy racking up the frequent flyer miles — and always staying one step ahead of Cruise’s Ethan Hunt. McQuarrie (“The Usual Suspects”) does this with both a wry script that often makes fun of what’s happening, and some seriously entertaining action pieces, including a complicated assassination sequence set in Vienna’s glittering opera house during a lavish production of Puccini’s “Turandot.” (Parents: here’s a chance to get some opera into your kids’ summer — sort of like hiding the broccoli in the brownie mix.) Also invaluable is returning “MI” vet Simon Pegg as Benji, the wise-cracking (and safe-cracking) computer whiz who provides a crucial dose not only of humor but also of humanity here. But that’s OK because the unflappable, charismatic Cruise is back and doing what he does best — flashing a smile, running at the camera and looking great while things explode behind him. Welcome newcomers include Alec Baldwin, as a pompous CIA boss with deliciously dry delivery, and Rebecca Ferguson, making the most and then some of the obligatory female role.

He’s the voice of reason amidst all this insanity.” “Tom has built this life — he’s elected to be this person, this movie star in the most classic sense. In fact, it begins with the scene you’re most likely to have heard about, because it involves Cruise’s own stunt work, in which the actor actually places himself on the wing of an airborne jet, and then — why not? — lets his legs slip, hanging on by only his hands as the landscape beneath gets tinier and tinier. Joined by a British agent of dubious allegiance (Rebecca Ferguson, handing in a gratifyingly kick-arse lesson in co-star empowerment), the wee couch-jumper and co. embark on a series of set pieces of pretty consistent excellence. 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.

I’ve never seen anyone so comfortable hanging with the fans.” His co-star Jeremy Renner, who plays an agent, says he and Pegg connected in every sense. “The characters bounce off each other really well,” he says. “And Simon is the kind of guy you want to keep in your pocket. Alec Baldwin shows up too, as the peevish CIA chief out to shut down Hunt and his buddies, and scowls at everyone as if they put too much water in his Dewar’s. He first hit with his script for “The Usual Suspects,” and has been the go-to scribe for Cruise for years, writing “Valkyrie,” “Jack Reacher” and “The Edge of Tomorrow,” and directing “Reacher” as well.

McQuarrie shamelessly steals a big scene from Hitchcock’s “The Man Who Knew Too Much.” He’s smart enough, though, to amp up the tension by having multiple assassins, instead of just one. Early on, when Hunt was hanging off that plane, my 12-year-old companion — who’s grown up in the age of computer-generated wizardry — confidently whispered: “Ha, that’s totally a green screen.” And I was happy to be able to whisper back: “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation,” a Paramount release, is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for “sequences of intense action and violence.” Running time: 131 minutes. I got the (Apple) watch.” He’s hoping there’s another installment of the franchise, but Pegg does have one quibble with Mission: Impossible, which features an impressively tenacious and physically arduous performance by Rebecca Ferguson, as a stealth operator who can brawl with her bare hands. “When the posters came out, it was me in a jacket, Tom in a jacket.

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