Viewed – 14 January 2014 Blu-ray
The trailer to this movie pretty much sums up the whole experience. Mark Wahlberg & Denzel Washington, plenty of arguing, one-liners, attitude and lots of shooting .. no bad thing I hear you say and for the most part it isn’t. This is a fun romp, with double-crosses a plenty and a nippy script that doesn’t worry to much about a cohesive narrative or characters with much depth.
Apparently based on a comic book series by Steven Grant, we also get Bill Paxton turning up as a sneering bank owner who’s feathers are ruffled after Wahlberg & Washington steal $42 million from it, unaware that its all mob money. As the trailer revealed, the two leads are actually under cover agents, even if at first they don’t realise the other is … which is an interesting spin and Wahlberg & Washington give it their all. Denzel of course could do this sort of role in his sleep but is still very watchable, and the increasingly enjoyable Mark Wahlberg manages to make an arrogant womaniser just as likable. Token babe Paula Patton is on hand to be the eye candy, basically to give the guys something to look at amongst the ample-dose of machismo.
So what we have here is a stylish and energetic caper, making for a light, fun ride with a likable cast … but sadly little else to shout about.
Verdict: 3 /5
Viewed – 04 May 2012 Blu-ray
Despite what some may say regarding actor Tom Cruise’s much publicised private life and Scientology beliefs, I have always considered him the very embodiment of a movie star. He has the looks, the charisma, the acting ability and presence of a true Hollywood talent, and I personally have enjoyed many of his movies. So naturally this latest instalment in the hit action franchise was a tantalising prospect … the only question remains, has Cruise, now approaching 50 still got what it takes to be a credible action star?
When a mission to Moscow goes wrong and the IMF team are accused of terrorism, Cruise and his band of agents are forced to go underground in order to track down the real culprit and prevent a nuclear threat. Cruise is super-agent Ethan Hunt, this time joined on his mission by computer expert Simon Pegg, fellow agent Jeremy Renner and token hot stuff bad ass babe Paula Patton. Directed by Brad Bird in his live action debut following animation hits The Iron Giant and The Incredibles this is slick and exciting stuff, with several stand-out action sequences including a veritgo-inducing sequence on the worlds tallest building in Dubai, as well as car chases, fist fights and lots of cool gadgets.
Unsurprising for a Mission Impossible film, the plot gets a touch complicated, and the villains are little more that stereotypical Russian nutjobs. That being said, it was nice to see Michael Nyqvist in the lead bad-guy role following his turn in the Swedish The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and it’s sequels, but he doesn’t add much to proceedings other than look menacing. Jeremy Renner on the other hand is quickly becoming one of my favourite actors and is again more than just hired muscle, adding some much-needed depth. Simon Pegg also delivers in the comedy department with his usual one liners and lovable charm. Brad Bird directs the action well with a few funny nods to franchise clichés such as a telephone that fails to self-destruct and to top it all, Cruise has lost none of his physical ability or screen charisma over the years. I’d have loved the Mission Impossible theme to have been better implemented (why do they keep remixing it?) but overall this was a satisfying experience and a great addition to a great franchise.
Verdict: 4 /5