Tom Cruise and company made this one as good as it possible.
Happy 60th birthday, Mr. Tom Cruise. I couldn’t care less about your politics, religion, or whatever you choose to do on the silent nights in the convenes of your own … Continue reading The Film Buffa: Happy 60th, Tom Cruise: From a hitman to a doomed lover, he’s done it all
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation‘s sign outside reads like this. Welcome to the Tom Cruise show. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to walk into Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation without an ounce of cynicism or pre-existing opinion of Cruise’s off screen persona and just enjoy a good old fashioned spy flick.
Let me tell you right now. The reason these films work so well, no matter the director, is the star. The face on the poster. The man carrying all the marbles and the boulders of pressure on this summer blockbuster scale. Cruise doesn’t just do his own fight scenes. He also hangs off the side of departing airplanes as they take off. He also rides motorcycles around roads hanging off steep cliffs. He also dives into large bodies or water and does all this at the ripe age of 50. When I think of Cruise and Mission Impossible films, the pursuit of authenticity comes to mind. He wants to make it as real as possible and he wants the audience to have as much fun as he did filming it.
The plot isn’t too distracting and has just the right amount of juice dripping from the grill at this cinematic barbecue. Cruise’s IMF team(Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames) are being hunted by a rogue “Syndicate”, who wish to destroy the unit and also make a lot of money in the process. This is a film where the bad guy isn’t really noteworthy. He’s got an accent, a nasally voice and an ability to tuck the bottom part of his face into a snarl. He wants to take Cruise’s Hunt down and do it all flashy like, which makes for amazingly rendered action sequences.
You don’t come to a Mission Impossible film to be wooed by Oscar caliber acting. You want to see what these guys do this time. They didn’t disappoint. Writer/Director Christopher McQuarrie(who wrote a past Mission film and is the creator of Usual Suspects) ups the ante here with Cruise and company. Leading up to the release, the scene where Cruise literally hangs off the side of a plane carried all the energy of the marketing campaign. That stunt is pretty cool and sets off the pre-credits sequence. It pales in comparison to the other stunts.
The sequence that takes the cake is a scene where Hunt dives into a government facility that is guarded by 100 feet of concrete and protected by a pool of water that whips around like a hurricane when you are in it. Hunt’s desperate plea to extract a chip, card or whatever is revealed slowly and raises the stakes as the three minute timer on his watch counts down. Folks, we all fear drowning but what the filmmakers do here is create a truly harrowing yet fun experience. We are sucking the oxygen out of our own lungs watching Hunt try to dangle.
The motorcycle chase is filmed extremely well, and all the gun fights sound authentic, ringing off a Michael Mann like echo in your ears. It’s almost as if the Fast and Furious gang challenged Cruise and company to create the most outrageous action set pieces, and the veterans just winked and went to town. I’m sorry, Vin Diesel, but when it comes to real action stunt work, Cruise has you beat big boy.
Rogue Nation is just smart enough to make us forget about the outlandish stunts, plot threads and somewhat uneven pacing at times. It’s alert, confident and delivers the goods you come to expect when seeing the trailer.
The cast is cool as silk, with Renner and Baldwin providing some levity with biting one liners and humor. It’s good to see Rhames back and Pegg is always a reliable comedic presence. The steal here though is newcomer Rebecca Ferguson, a gorgeous Swede who takes turns helping and betraying Hunt’s crew. Ferguson isn’t just a pretty face. She’s athletic enough to fulfill the action duties and has a naturally beautiful body that doesn’t seem anything overly fancy or anywhere near ordinary. Whether she’s climbing up her opponents to wrap her legs around their neck and stab them in the chest or she is racing on a motorcycle, Ferguson holds her own and then some and her co-stars know it. There’s something about a pretty lady with an European accent who can throw a punch and take one as well that just knocks me out. You’ve been warned, Emily Blunt and Kate Beckinsale.
While it’s not as polished as the first one or as slick as the last, this 5th round of Mission Impossible daredevil work is a worthy piece of summer entertainment. Whenever the plot starts to spin out of control and everybody is wearing fake masks and throwing kicks and shooting all over, Cruise grounds it all with his hard work and dedication to the character and the series. He’s a thinking man’s action hero and is all the fuel this Mission needs.
Also, Rebecca Ferguson doesn’t hurt.
When I picture Tom Cruise watching these younger pups in the Fast and Furious franchise running and gunning, I see a guy who constantly tells himself, “I need to up my game.” With the latest Mission Impossible, Rogue Nation, Cruise is simply heading back out to the tee, grabbing his driver and blasting another ball down the fairway. Nothing stops Cruise from being a man of action and that includes death defying stunts. Bigger, crazier and more “holy smokes” styled.
No actor in Hollywood does stunts like Tom Cruise. When 99 percent of actors call for their stunt double or check with agent for clearance, Tom just does it. Why? He is his own entity. Cruise produces, backs, thinks up and generates every movie he is in. He’s the ship and not just the engine. Hate the man for his religious choices, personal values or the way he lives his life, but he’s very very good at his job and that’s making quality entertaining movies.
In the latest Mission flick, Cruise and his team of spies(Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, and Jeremy Renner) are catching flak from their superior(Alec Baldwin) for being too exposed or sloppy. Things worsen when a rival agency called the Syndicate takes aim at Cruise’s Ethan Hunt, and that essentially turns his crew into outsiders looking in. This of course cues the theme music, “one last time” anthem and outrageous stunts.
While the supporting cast is stellar and newcomer beauty Rebecca Ferguson will make the screen smolder, Cruise is the draw here. He always has been with all of his films. The trailer starts off with him hanging onto the side of a plane as it takes off. Next, he leaps off a pole that was holding him hostage to deliver some bone crunching blows. Midway through, he is racing a motorcycle between semi trucks on a narrow road above a canyon while being chased. Next, he pulls a U-turn on a thin street and takes out two cars before capping it all off by diving deep into a body of water to defuse or steal something without an oxygen tank. Just another day at the office for our rogue hero.
Throughout the Mission films, Cruise is the fresh ingredient and that’s because he cares about his work. Look right or left in Hollywood and actors take the easy way out or phone in a performance for a paycheck. Cruise only makes money off the back end of his films. If they do well, he gets paid well. If not, it’s on to the next adventure. He makes it work. People said he couldn’t play Jack Reacher because the novel version embodied a man of the Rock’s size? Well, he knocked that role out of the park. Last year, Edge of Tomorrow tried to combine Groundhog Day with Aliens and the D-Day invasion and he not only made it work but churned some comedy out of the ordeal.
When the world isn’t knocking Cruise, they are seeing his movies all over the world. Few movie stars make films that gross as much as Cruise’s films do overseas. He constantly challenges himself and that makes his flicks watchable. Usually, when a franchise cranks out its fifth entry, a few head shakes are in order. Not with the Mission films. Cruise never lets it go stale and yes it’s his baby, his ship and his way. Without that, it doesn’t work. Oh, I’m sorry, were you wanting to go watch Adam Sandler in Pixels first?
If you respect entertaining cinema that can be sustained over many years, you’ll appreciate Tom Cruise. He may be a little unhinged in real life or he could merely represented that way. Instead of drawing a conclusion from an US Weekly article, wash away the negative thoughts and just watch this trailer. Cruise is 53 years old and still treats show business like a playground.
Thank you Tom Cruise for bringing reliability back to the movies. Taken for what it is, Edge of Tomorrow is pure adrenaline packed excitement. If you dare to think during this flick or try to figure out every detail of the story, your brain will hurt and the enjoyment level drops. Leave it to Tom Cruise to provide us with a cinematic summer jolt of old fashioned action and thrills. With fine support from Emily Blunt (kicking ass with authority on screen), Cruise delivers again here and makes up for the misfire that Oblivion was.
Cruise plays William Cage, a coward who doesn’t want any part of the latest mission to bring a stop to an alien invasion. He is thrown into combat against his will and when he does something unexpected on the battlefield, Cage starts reliving the day over and over again, as he dies and comes back stronger than ever each time. As a fellow movie critic said after the film, the movie is like a great video game. You play it and die, but you keep hitting reset and playing over and over again, trying to reach new levels.
As a member of the audience, we are thrust into the position of Cruise’s Cage and that is key to the enjoyment of the film. Imagine if you were picked up out of your ordinary life and thrown into a war against an enemy who could not be beaten on a fair playing field. Imagine if you kept dying over and over in different ways and you were stumped on figuring out a way to get better. It would be scary and nerve racking. That’s the trick that director Doug Liman and Cruise work on the audience here. Fear, shock and blunt force action= summer entertainment at its finest. (more…)