Sunday, December 25, 2016

My Review of "Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation"

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
Score: 8/10 (I wrote this back when I was fonder of giving numerical scores)

            For a while this was my favorite movie of 2015 and if the villain had been more memorable, cut back on the adoration of Tom Cruise, get rid of the 10 words of romantic crap, and have the ending be a little different and it would have been.  None of these items are individually bad enough to sink the movie, no one of them “needs” to be fixed, but each could be fixed to elevate the movie.
            The action in “MI5” is fantastic, chases are tense and fast; the hand to hand combat feels impactful; and the buddy comedy between Simon Pegg and Tom Cruise is great (they should work together more).  I liked the female lead, she is charismatic and projects competence in what she is doing.  I liked the gadgets and jet setting around the world.  I liked nearly everything.  So now that I have pointed out the positive highlights let me flesh out my previously mentioned complaints.

The practical effects and stunts are also super fun.
            The villain is just a growling skinny guy in a suit.  His motivations for why he is doing what he is doing are never explained (yes I know WHAT he was doing, but the WHY is unclear).  He tends to kill underlings too frequently in some instances and not at other times which seems more prudent.  His first appearance shows his willingness to get his hands dirty in the field, but for most of the movie he sits in front of a laptop.  What I am saying is that he comes off inconsistent.  It doesn’t help that his actor (who I am sure is quite talented) was in “Prometheus” and that might have tainted my opinion of him.

I'm a geologist.
Sure you are sport.
           The adoration of Tom Cruise needs to be mellowed.  There is a scene in which Alec Baldwin talks for two whole paragraphs about how awesome and dangerous Ethan Hunt (Cruise) is.  It feels like something Cruise says to himself in the mirror at the end of the day as a personal pep-talk of how awesome he is.  In the movie it sounds awkward at best and it is too long.  You know what it could be shortened to?  “Ethan Hunt is a dangerous disavowed field operative who is after you, he has killed better protected people than you and infiltrated more secure locations than this.  Be afraid.”  Boom.  Done.  Less is more.
            The 10 words of romantic crap needs to be shed.  Tom Cruise is 50+, it is weird for women in their late 20's and early 30's to ask him to run away with them.  It only happens once in this movie in a scene that leaves it kind of ambiguous as to whether the offer is romantic, but it still comes off as odd.  Otherwise the female lead and Cruise have zero romantic chemistry and display zero attraction to one another.  It felt out of place.

The guns built to look like flutes and tonfas are quintessential spy gadgets.
And women wearing clothing that shows off their legs is quintessential sex appeal.
Also, the character's name is Faust.  DO YOU GET IT?
            And the ending, SPOILERS obviously.  Since the bad guys are planning to use the millions and millions of dollars in the hidden accounts to fund their own terrorist criminal activities and the US government wants to defund the IMF.  I was expecting the end of the movie to be Ethan and company using the money in the hidden accounts to fund a rogue IMF hunting down and eliminating the terrorists who had signed on to be a part of the bad guy organization.  Instead they just get reinstated by the government.
Considering how many times the IMF has been dissolved or had traitors in it, having it officially dissolved makes more sense.  And it works as a set up for the sequels.  “Mission Impossible: Freelance” sounds like a perfectly hokey title that explains exactly what they need it to.  What is more, my idea makes sense in the world.  Ethan shouldn’t want to work with the USA anymore, he has his own handpicked team, resources, an enemy, and too many reasons to resent and distrust his previous supervisors in the US.  He should want to be a white hat rather than a government triggerman.

            END SPOILERS.

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