Review: Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

mission-impossible-rogue-nation-final-trailer-1107129-TwoByOne Hello, Agent.

We are currently living in a new age of action/adventure films. James Bond, Fast and Furious and many comic book movies have reached a new level. However there is one series spanning just short of two decades that has proven to be more and more entertaining with each new release. This series stars one of Hollywood's biggest names. An actor whose career has had many ups and downs yet continues to push the envelope by performing his own stunts and learning new tactics for this very series.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to watch the latest and great chapter of the Mission Impossible series. You must go to the theater and see amazing action pieces, creative cinematography, smart dialogue and many twists and turns that will keep you guessing and manage to still surprise you.

Now I know I tend to be rather extreme with my opinions on films. I either bash the hell out of it or praise the hell out of it. That's not my fault, I swear! It's the movies that are given to me! Now with Mission Impossible it won't be much different... and I'm not going to bash it at all!

This is the fifth entry in the franchise. 19 years of these films, guys. Last time we got Ghost Protocol which brought in some new actors like Paula Patton and Simon Pegg. It was fun, exciting and the major action piece, Tom Cruise hanging from the tallest building in the world, was breathtaking when you realize it's filmed on location with no stunt men. It was a great ride that had its faults yet still entertained. As far as I'm concerned Rogue Nation has no faults. The script is very well polished and we get multiple large action pieces. hell, the one they've been advertising is simply the opening of the movie. Ya know, where Tom Cruise hangs onto the outside of a plane during take off FOR REAL. yeah, that's nothing compared to later scenes. Mostly a car/motorcycle chase and an under water sequence that has set a new bar for underwater sequences.

Let's get to the plot before we explore those action bits. From the start we see the IMF (Impossible Mission Force... I know, just roll with it, ok?) in action. Ethan Hunt (Cruise), Luther Stickell (Rhames) and Benji Dunn (Pegg) working a mission with there usual flair and banter. It's fun and funny and gets you into the mood for the rest of this film. However the next scene involves William Brandt of the IMF (Jeremy Renner of Avengers fame) in a congressional hearing where Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) the head of the CIA is trying to get the IMF shut down. It works and they are folded into the CIA with Hunley now out to bring Hunt back in. However Hunt is busy. He's tracking his nemesis, an organization known only as The Syndicate. Few believe it's real however Hunt is trying to prove it to everyone.

The rest of the film hinges on Hunt's... hunt and the CIA hunting Hunt. So far there are a lot of dudes in this film so where are the women? Well we get only one main female character. Kinda stinks BUT WAIT! Ilsa Faust is her name played by the beautiful (hey, I'm a dude with eyes and I have to say this woman is gorgeous) played by Rebecca Ferguson. She's a spy much like Hunt and is therefore very skilled and badass. Never is she the damsel in distress. When she's in trouble she makes her own way out. Her presence is also 100% integral to the plot. Without her this movie wouldn't happen. Though it's still kinda ridiculous that she's the only woman...

Ok, the action. I'm only going to ding into one scene because I think it really shows Christopher McQuarrie's caliber as a director. There's an underwater scene which I won't spoil for you so no worries. Cruise taught himself how to hold his breath for six minutes in order to film this scene. That dude is 54 years old and is making all of us look bad with his Scientologist magic. McQuarrie takes advantage of this and films the most beautiful underwater action scene outside of Top Secret (hard to top an underwater western bar fight). In the constantly swirling water the camera is not in a fixed position, it moves and swirls along with the action and the actor. It's a very unique take on keeping us in the action and doesn't resort to shaky cam nonsense. It's easily my favorite scene in the movie and my favorite action scene all summer.

Speaking of the summer this is the best action film this year. I can't imagine anything beating it. I was entertained and engrossed throughout the entire thing. The acting was just right and the direction was outstanding. Even little touches during the famed motorcycle sequence help to extend the experience. Now I'm still bothered that there's only one female role in the movie. That's not something that makes any sense in this day and age. However even though I take major issue with that it doesn't change the fact that the film itself was beyond outstanding and shouldn't have any effect of critique of what we were presented with.

Go see this film, I can not recommend it enough. This review will self destruct with five stars.

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Review: The World's End

The World's End

The final film in the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy director Edgar Wright decides to tell the bizarre story of five middle aged men determined to recapture their youth by attempting a twelve pub marathon of drinking, known as the golden mile. Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Martin Freeman lead the pack as they embark on an adventure normally reserved for insufferable teens in otherwise forgettable movies.

We are initially treated to a Simon Pegg narrated sequence in which we see our five heroes try and masterfully fail to do the golden mile as teenagers. This was a nice establishing sequence for all of the personalities that we would later meet in the film. Directly afterwards, we are introduced to Gary King (Simon Pegg) who is sitting in a group therapy session and realizes what his lifelong dream is; to complete the golden mile. He goes about recruiting each of his friends for another go at a drunken night of debauchery. Gary recruits Peter (Eddie Marsan), Oliver "O-Man" (Martin Freeman), Steven (Paddy Considine) and finally Andrew (Nick Frost) and they head back to their old stomping grounds of Newton Haven.

The story really begins to pick up once all five guys are well on their way through the pub challenge. I found the movie pretty slow up until they got to the 5th pub. Once the major reveal happens the movie goes from sluggish to classic Edgar Wright fun action. The hilarious reveal, much like the other two movies in the trilogy, is just plain odd. Apparently, Newton Haven has been overtaken by alien robots. Its the job of our five unlikely heroes to not only take out the alien robot menace, but also finish the infamous golden mile. The premise is wholly absurd and I loved every minute of it.

As the five guys make their way through the golden mile the audience is slowly given information as to what the team has been up to since they last saw each other. Edgar Wright has a tendency to put in moments of extreme seriousness into his otherwise comedic films. Those moments are jarring yet refreshing. Allowing us to see the range of Pegg and Frost especially. Dealing with issues of drug abuse, alcoholism, and life regret The World’s End manages to give us an interesting look at our own lives and what it means to hit middle age; all while taking on headless robot aliens of course.

Of all the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy films (Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz), The World’s End shows Simon Pegg at his best. As I stated before his range from loveable goofball to pathetic addict is great to watch, and I think he could handle a non-comedic role with ease. Nick Frost is on point per usual and just lays down the laughs and dramatic moments as he always does. He always play as the faithful sidekick to Pegg, but he is never the lesser of the two; strong performance all the way around. The rest of the cast was serviceable and did nothing to drag the movie down. However, outside of Martin Freeman the other guys got little to no attention. If I had one major criticism is that they aren’t given enough screen time. Also Rosamund Pike plays Martin Freeman’s sister. She was of course Simon Pegg’s love interest in Shaun of the Dead. She unfortunately didn’t have as much to do in this film, but she was enjoyable while on screen nevertheless. The World’s End was an easy sell for me as I really love the rest of this trilogy. If you are a fan of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz then this movie is more of the same. However, if this is your first foray into the Cornetto trilogy sit back and relax and enjoy the beer guzzling, alien robot punching lunacy that is The World’s End.

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