Zaki’s 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.Over the past few years, American comedy superstar Amy Schumer has made quite a name for herself, pushing a hyper-provocative brand of humour that erases boundaries as it crosses them.

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.

If you have encountered Schumer either as a superb stand-up practitioner or via her brilliant TV series Inside Amy Schumer, you will already know it was just a matter of time before a transition to movies beckoned. 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. While Trainwreck stands as a perfectly acceptable, entry-level assignment for the big-screen debutante, it surprisingly does not play up to Schumer’s acknowledged strengths as one of mainstream comedy’s most incendiary innovators.

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.

A committed commitment-phobe since her father (Colin Quinn) abandoned the family decades prior, Amy parties too hard, picks up one-night-stands too easily, and puts it all behind her the morning after (the occasional humiliating “walk of shame” notwithstanding). 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. However, after putting its gender-reversal credentials on the table, Trainwreck gently sets about removing them one by one, becoming a more conventional comedy of sexual manners as it does. 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. The turning point for Amy comes very early and (largely because Trainwreck is directed by serial storytelling slow-coach Judd Apatow) then takes ages to be resolved. 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).

Amy’s bizarrely aggressive editor (a near-unrecognisable and very funny Tilda Swinton) puts her on a story where she must do a hatchet job on a leading sports medico named Aaron (Bill Hader). 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. Somewhat predictably, the laws of opposite-attraction kick in very quickly, forcing Amy to confront and process an emotional side to her being she has suppressed for far too long. Of the support cast, only newcomer Rebecca Ferguson (a mysterious double agent) and Simon Pegg (expanded comic relief duties) register any fleeting impact here.

Once Apatow’s sluggish pacing turns the mid-section of Trainwreck into a bit of a grind, it is Schumer’s chemistry with Hader that keeps the right amount of laughs coming. 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. The aforementioned Swinton and Quinn are definite standouts, but they have plenty of company with the likes of NBA legend LeBron James (as Aaron’s overly protective and insanely frugal BFF), wrestling icon John Cena (as Amy’s self-obsessed part-time toyboy) and Brie Larson (Amy’s conservative sister) all pulling their weight when it really counts.

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. 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. 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.

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. 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. 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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