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Thread: MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - ROGUE NATION (Christopher McQuarrie 2015)

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    MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - ROGUE NATION (Christopher McQuarrie 2015)

    Christopher McQuarrie's MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - ROGUE NATION (2015)


    REBECCA FERGUSON IN MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - ROGUE NATION

    Breathless at five

    Some action franchises are better or more memorable than others. For me the great favorite of the past fifteen years has been the Bourne movies, the first three, starring the essential Jason Bourne, Matt Damon, before the excellent but drab Jeremy Renner replaced him in number four and things turned soggy. I hope Damon comes back for one more, as has been promised since late last year. But Mission: Impossible means Tom Cruise, and it's clear that no matter how weird he goes in his private or scientological life, this is a star who remains a star and never goes soggy, even now at 53. Nor is there anything that has gone wrong with the series, under different directors, Brian De Palma, John Woo, JJ Abrams, Brad Bird, before the new one. Maybe it's only because it was last time, but my memory of a fight through two vast glass skyscrapers in the desert under Brad Bird's baton senns like as strong as any flashy, expensive action set piece could be.

    What's new in Impossible5? Not as much, I fear, and those who say this is the weakest so far may be right (I'll have to trust those who actually remember them all). Standards have nonetheless been maintained. The onscreen image quality is lush: one can luxuriate in the rich hues; it's a gorgeous film to look at. There is one big action set piece after another, not, unfortunately connected by the feeling that they follow some essential narrative progression: they're fairly interchangeable. One has Cruise swimming around under water for far longer than he really has the breath for. He is unlocking some devices that will free Simon Pegg to get hold of something. (It's all quite complicated and hi-tech, but this aspect is relatively downplayed this time.)

    These and other sequences get a shot in the arm by the involvement of a new actress, Rebecca Ferguson, who's Swedish but sports a fair English accent when needed. She can also do convincing action combat scenes, is beautiful, and looks great in a bikini. And she can leap astride men from behind and do them in. She ambiguously semi-rescues Cruise from prospective torture and maiming early on. Compared to her, Alex Baldwin (less flashy than usually) and Jeremy Renner (as drab as ever) don't leave much of an impression. Ving Rhames adds hip to the crew, but this isn't Pulp Fiction. There's a scene in the Vienna State Opera where they're performing Turanndot, Puccini with a Chinese setting, focusing on the most famous aria, "Nessun dorma," with Tom, Simon, and Rebecca placed around in the rafters while the Austrian chancellor barely escapes assassination. Not as tense somehow as Tom's trouble under water, but some have called this the best use of opera ever in a film, and the music is magnificently handled.

    This time there has been a generous infusion of Chinese money from the organization Alibaba, which seems to explain not only Turandot but the nostalgic Harry Potter-style London sequences. Simon Pegg, known for English comedies like Shaun of the Dead, plays it straighter this time. He does this quite successfully, but his nondescript English face doesn't differ enough from the mug of Sean Harris, who plays the piece's arch villain. A flatness and confusion also pervades the fairly generic MI plot: in this franchise some nation is always going rogue and the band of ace spies is always under threat, and we get a pretty vague, standard-issue version of that here. We're not meant to be sure which side Roberta Ferguson's character is on, and she may not be quite sure either. There isn't The Big Sleep's level of plot confusion -- it's nowhere near that complicated, for one thing -- but things aren't clear enough to care deeply about, plot-wise. The images onscreen still look beautiful, and so does Rebecca, and Tom still exudes star quality -- and does most of his own dangerous stunts, including riding a motorcycle like a madman. The most memorable of Tom's displays of physical risk comes in the opening sequence when he'sis clinging to the outside door of an airplane as it heads into the sky. What happens as the end of the movie is less memorable.

    Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, 131 mins., rolled out with debuts in Vienna (23 July 2015), London (25 July) and New York (27 July). UK 30 July; many other countries in July and August, China 8 September.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 08-29-2015 at 10:45 AM.

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    Man From U.N.C.L.E. leaps over Rogue Nation

    For a film adaptation from a television series, Guy Ritchie has created a under-performing but well deserved and smartly polished and directed full length spy movie that exceeds the Mission Impossible franchise on so many levels. While the Impossible Impossible franchise mostly omitted the major underlying theme of remarkable series of manipulated actions and events to overcome the enemy, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. builds on its original television characters and incorporates a deeper serio-comedic element than the original series.

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    That's interesting. The critics don't seem to agree -- but I haven't seen it. And that's just on average. DAvid Edelstein likes it a lot, and I often agree with his reviews.

    http://www.vulture.com/2015/08/movie...le-shines.html
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 08-16-2015 at 05:19 PM.

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    The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

    Tabuno,
    I've seen most of the new Man from U.N.C.L.E. and I agree, it is very good entertainment, more fun than the new Mission Impossible. I loved the three main actors; Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, and Alicia Vikander: they're great looking. I never knew the impressively tall Armie could be this good an actor. And the Sixties costumes and mise-en-scène were ceaseless eye-candy. Every glimpse of cars was an aesthetic pleasure for me; I love the coachwork of the Fifties and Sixties. What's wrong with this movie, then? I don't know, but perhaps critics thought it had too little that was new.



    Shaun the Sheep

    I saw all of Shaun the Sheep, the stop-motion animated film, which has gotten great reviews. It reminded me a bit of Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar's A Town Called Panic/Panique au village, the little Belgian stop-motion film that I reviewed on IMDb. Again, no words. But while A Town Called Panic is fresh and devil-may-care, Shaun the Sheep is belabored and goes on, and on, and on. It is full of good ideas, but the filmmakers didn't know how to organize and pace them. This is apparently a spin-off of a British TV series that was itself a spin-off of the Wallace and Gromit franchise, whatever that means. This could explain the organizational issues. I thought afterward of a stop-motion animated film that's great, Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox. What made that great apart from really interesting story, complex sets and costumes, was the voice cast, beginning with George Clooney. If you cut out words (and hence interesting actors voices) you better be awful good. There was, however, a small but enthralled young audience, whereas there was hardly anyone watching The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 08-22-2015 at 06:18 PM.

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