Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation


Viewed – 03 August 2015  Cinema

Good to see that one of our most enduring Hollywood stars can still deliver a pulse-pounding action extravaganza even as he settles into his fifth decade on this planet.  Add to this the fact he does many of his own stunts, and actor Tom Cruise is the real deal, regardless of what some may think of him personally.

Rogue

Cruise plays super-agent Ethan Hunt who, currently in hiding and ‘gone rogue’ is trying to unmask the real identity of secret organization ‘the syndicate’ whilst back at Langley, CIA headquarters the big wigs are disbanding the IMF.  Following a lead in London, Hunt witnesses the murder of a contact and the revelation that those he believed he worked for may be involved in a global conspiracy.   Like Ghost Protocol before it, this is a confident and well directed spy movie full of fancy gadgets, intense action and lots of double-crossing.  Director Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher) has put together what feels like the Mission Impossible movie we’ve all been waiting for – the action feels bigger, the locations more diverse and glamorous (London, Paris, Vienna etc.) and the story seems more dramatic.  Add to this a wonderful discovery in actress Rebecca Ferguson, who may be the sexiest (and deadliest) femme-fatale we’ve had on screen in years, and with excellent comedic support from Simon Pegg – this almost has it all.

Rogue NationI felt that even for an M.I. movie, sometimes the stunts and situations got a little implausible (a somersaulting car?), and some moments were just plane mad (the admitedly tense under water sequence).  Also, creepy-demeanour aside, the villain was again like Ghost Protocol, rather one-dimensional.  It was a shame to also see Jeremy Renner not be fully utilized for such a gifted actor … but regardless, this was still a shot of adrenaline to the heart and packed full of memorable moments, an amazing car turned bike chase, and an ending that made me want to stand up and applaud.  With Spectre on the horizon, I’d say in the spy movie world, this is going to take some beating.

Over to you, Mr Bond.

Verdict:  4 /5

Jack Reacher


Viewed – 28 May 2013  Blu-ray

Based on the novels by best-selling author Lee Child, this intelligent and thrilling movie casts Tom Cruise as the eponymous former Military Police Officer turned drifter who gets involved in a mystery surrounding a shooting incident in Chicago.  Befriending a lawyer (Rosamund Pike) charged with defending the man accused of the murder of 5 innocent people, Reacher is soon the target of a ruthless organisation.

jack-reacher-1

Directed confidently and with no end of style by Christopher McQuarrie (The Way of the Gun) and along with good chemistry between Cruise and Pike, this proved very entertaining.  Villainous fodder was mostly clichéd but for Werner Herzog’s very creepy turn, and at times tough-talking Cruise proved slightly unconvincing considering his rather ageing, out-of-shape appearance.  Thankfully a killer car chase, a very sexy Rosamund Pike and a nice twisty-turny plot peppered with sharp dialogue, meant such short comings were easy to overlook.  A cameo by screen legend Robert Duvall was also a lot of fun.

Yet I couldn’t ignore the feeling the material seemed beneath an actor of Cruise’s caliber, often imagining someone like Tom Berringer in the role.  Also from the off, where this one was going was fairly predictable – but the journey there was at least well acted, exciting in parts and looked the business throughout.

Verdict:  3.5 /5