Entries tagged with “Mission Impossible”.

I know that I am the only one to blame. Guilty pleasures are often punished and enjoying action movies now and than is one of those. I also should know that in the first week on screens it’s mostly the hardcore fans running to see the film and writing viewer comments on IMDB, so the current stellar grade does not really mean that ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout‘ (8.5 right now) is a better film than ‘Citizen Kane’ (8.4). I took the risk of being among the early viewers and I was punished. The quality level of the installments of the M:I series is on a decreasing curve, and this is continuing with this latest issue in the series. My opinion, of course.





I am never judging an action movie with the same criteria as I am judging a drama, a comedy, or an art film. Yet, there are some elements that I look for in any film – a story that has logic and catches my interest, and characters that I care about. None of them is present in this film co-written and directed by whom trusted with writing and directing some of his latest movies. The story of the rogue terrorists threatening to blow up the planet or at least half of it is placed as many of the latest movies in the genre in an aseptic and non-politic environment with non-identifiable bad guys, so that nobody is bothered and the film can be sold in as many markets as possible. The heroes destroy half of Paris and a quarter of London killing scores of policemen and innocent by-standers with no consequences. The main hero has a couple of Ethan-girls to care about and one more who seems to care for him, but the characters seem to be frozen or maybe wearing some of those rubber masks that the heroes are experts in.


(video source Paramount Pictures)


Yes, there are good and well paced and choreographed action scenes, but their gathering of coincidences makes them non-credible. The 3D capabilities are well used, but there is nothing that we haven’t seen yet. Actually this M:I looks more like a 3D James Bond film, without the charm of Bond. There is a change of guard in managing Ethan Hunts activities, and seems to replace who probably had enough and decided to jump wagon. Frankly speaking, I am not sure that I want to see M:I7 after this disappointing M:I6. is 56 years now, and cannot pretend being 35 or 40 years old forever. He seems to enjoy the narcissistic exercises that the movies he plays in for the last ten years, but how long can these last. If I am not mistaken his last non-action role was in Valkyrie in 2008. On the other side, if he has fun and viewers have fun watching him, who am I to tell him what to do? I can only decide to not watch his next movies.


I did not see any other blockbuster this summer, but I have the feeling that having seen the latest in the ‘Mission:Impossible’ series may have been sufficient for having seen the best. I confess that good action movies are one of my guilty pleasures, but I am quite picky on this respect. Besides the mandatory portion of attractive women and spectacular landscapes, the ratio between action scenes and story telling must not be too unbalanced on any side, car chases and fight and gun shooting scenes must be well filmed and fun to follow, the pace should be alert but still allow me to understand who shoots whom, and there must be action movies logic in what happens on screen, which of course has not too much to do with the real life logic. ‘M:I 5′ comes close to perfection on all these respects.


source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2381249/

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2381249/


Whoever followed the previous films know already that the writers of the scripts will not avoid doing a few things: make sure that  (alias Ethan Hunt) is on screen 99% of the time, that he will sooner or later fall in for one of the female characters in the story (Swedish actress R is on duty this time) with no good chances for a happy and long married life to follow, that enough countries and landscapes will be traveled during the movie than in a full season of a National Geographic series, and that some of these landscapes will be badly altered after our heroes visit them. This installment also continues the intrigue in the previous one, as the secret services department to which Ethan Hunt belongs is threatened by the more conventional services, which obliges the hero to go rogue and become the most chased person on the planet, followed by both the good guys and bad guys organizations.


(video source moviemaniacsDE)


When all these happen on screen my first thoughts were to remember that this is almost the same script that was written for the latest James Bond series (with the changes of M, remember?). Actually under the hands of director and script writer the latest ‘Mission: …’ looks more and more like a James Bond film, even better than one on some respects. Just listen to the variations of the music theme for example. The two series address now the same space in the movies spectators preferences and the borders are being effaced. It’s good that the releases seem to be coordinated to avoid bringing to screen the new films in the two series during the same summer seasons. If the quality stays at this level I will not complain. This summer’s ‘Bond/Mission’ was well written, alertly directed, Tom Cruise who gets near his mid-50s is in an acting and physical shape of an early 30-er, and even the stiff-as-usual acting of  could not spoil too much maybe because his role was of a stiff CIA boss. The bad guys were also quite schematic, and Cruise will need a more ferocious adversary in the next one. Yet – highly recommended to all fans of action movies – get your popcorn, sit back, relax and enjoy!

The Mission Impossible the Bond series share growth pains. They are both making huge efforts to adapt and behave nicely in the new millennium.It’s not an easy task for series whose characters, rules and conventions have been written originally in novels of the 50s, or in TV series of the 70s. They both answer by building darker stories (in the mood of the pessimist start of the millennium), hiring new actors (with the exception of the eternal Tom Hanks of course), and new directors who put the emphasize on building flesh and blood characters, humans who can feel pain and sorrow.


source - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1229238/


Directing is trusted in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol to Brad Bird whose all previous successes were with animated movies. I cannot say that this is felt at all, or at least I did not detect any flaws in the fluency of the story telling or the work of the actors which are as little cartoonish as a MI-series film can be. The story this time has the quality of being well written, keeps the number of characters almost to the minimum needed and thus is easy to watch. We are still jet-flown in a handful of different countries, impossible infiltrations and games of masks are still part of the action, messages self destroy and at least one symbolic building is badly damaged – but there is an overall effort to make the intrigue, the relations between characters and even the extreme situations more credible, and this effort is mostly successful.


(video source VISO trailers)


Acting is exactly what is expected. The only regret is that Michael Nyquist has no real role and not enough screen time to demonstrate the huge talent we admired in the Scandinavian version of the Millennium trilogy. Tom Cruise who turned 50 this year is more and more involved in the MI series, he is here not only the lead actor but also the producer. One difference between the Bond and the MI series is that Ethan Hunt’s role was never undertaken by another actor but Cruise, while at least five actors featured in the 23 Bond films. Of course, Cruise is still in great form, but the problem will be on the table maybe two series and ten years from now and the question is whether the MI series will over-live Cruise’s aging. We shall live and we shall see.