Archives for posts with tag: simon pegg

You know what I love about the Mission: Impossible movies? I love the lack of lady-nonsense. Possibly I should resent that they don’t even attempt to pass the Bechdel Test, but I only tolerate the string of disposable beauties in Bond movies out of habit, and I’m glad I don’t have to do that here. It’s great that he’s married and can’t see her, that Julia (Michelle Monaghan) is essentially the dog from John Wick, except living. Could there be ladies without lady-nonsense? Rogue Nation suggested that the answer might be yes–Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson) was tough and not especially interested in Ethan–but here we get mired in sentiment and silliness.

MV5BMTk3NDY5MTU0NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDI3MDE1NTM@._V1_UY268_CR0,0,182,268_AL_The rest is pretty great, though. The Syndicate from previouslies has metastasized into The Apostles, and they’re looking for nukes. Ethan (Tom Cruise, as you know) accidentally sort of loses track of the nukes. So he and a CIA agent called Walker (Henry Cavill, whose accent is admirable) have to halo-jump into Paris and blah de bloo de blah it’s a M:I movie and there are shenanigans and hijinks galore.

There’s a pointlessly goofy super-villain(-spy?), the White Widow (Vanessa Kirby), who only wears white and seductively sips martinis and is probably the worst part of this movie. There are Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames, who are great, because they’re always great and they see no reason not to be great here. Alec Baldwin isn’t even phoning it in. There are chases and gadgets and it may not make much sense but it is mostly loads of fun.

Except when it isn’t, and, bear with me here, but I don’t like my M:I movies with gravity except of the literal kind that makes Tom Cruise fall out of and off things. Sure, Ethan has the occasional feeling, that’s good. Ving Rhames makes the occasional speech, which is fine because it’s Ving Rhames. And, yes, the stakes are usually very, very high. But they are usually cartoonishly high, and here it’s a little too grounded and serious.

Also the lady-nonsense.

Stray observations:

  • Motorcycle chase? Amazing.
  • Jump? Incredible.
  • Rooftop chase? Tom Cruise, he cray.

Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Rating: PG-13
Length: 147 minutes
Score: 3/5

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MV5BZDRiOGE5ZTctOWIxOS00MWQwLThlMDYtNWIwMDQwNzBjZDY1XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjU0OTQ0OTY@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_Into Darkness was so uninspiring that Beyond didn’t prompt me to go to the cinema. And while perhaps it was better on a big screen, I’m glad its cost was only the marginal one of a Hulu membership rather than whatever crazy amount the kids are asking at the movies these days.

Jim Kirk’s (Chris Pine) birthday is coming up. You may recall that this is also the day on which his father died, and, if you don’t, this movie is going to have some daddy issues come out of nowhere to remind you. That’s right, Captain James Tiberius Kirk, all of like twenty-eight years old, and in command of the nicest fanciest fastest awesomest starship ever to grace the galaxy, is moping into his stolen scotch about how he’ll never achieve anything.

And then he acts like a dumbass.

Some lady alien (I think Lydia Wilson?) comes hurtling out of a nebula towards a space station bleating a distress call. So the Enterprise goes into the nebula after her crew that is obviously a trap. And some other alien, Krall (Idris Elba), cuts the Enterprise apart with swarms of tiny spaceships and she crashlands on a planet and the crew is dispersed and/or enslaved until Krall can unleash a weapon to destroy the Federation.

It’s basically The Rock, but in space and worse.

Because (spoiler alert, and I don’t even care) of course Krall is actually some Starfleet captain who disappeared centuries ago and then felt abandoned by the Federation and now he’s hanging out on space-Alcatraz until he can destroy space-San Francisco with his weird space-nerve gas. Somehow he has also developed some sort of magic-adjacent skill whereby he can suck the life out of people and prolong his life. All he has to do is touch them and then he starts looking increasingly weird and unlike Idris Elba and seriously why hire Idris Elba if you’re going to put him in nineteen tons of make-up.

It’s really dumb, and it doesn’t hang together, and it’s not even that much fun, even though Simon Pegg helped write it. Sulu’s happy home life is maybe the best part, and that’s fifteen seconds.

Director: Justin Lin
Rating: PG-13
Length: 122 minutes
Score: 2/5

I’m not entirely clear on what happened in this movie. I do know that it starts off with Tom Cruise in a Russian prison, that within 30 minutes the Kremlin has blown up, that Tom Cruise falls off the Burj Khalifa, and that then, for some reason, they go to India, and Anil Kapoor gets involved.

And I do not care. The whole thing is rollicking good fun. Simon Pegg does his Simon Pegg thing, Jeremy Renner does his Marvel thing rather than his actual-actor thing, Paula Patton is… there, and Anil Kapoor– Well, Anil Kapoor made me worry for a little while, that the writing was, shall we say, not entirely progressive. And I still have that concern, but with the proviso that the responsibility for his anomalous behavior is at least 50% on Mr. Kapoor’s own head. I have seen Taal, and he is not less crazy weird in it.

Character development is heavy-handed and/or non-existent, but that’s not what you’re looking for in such a movie. Tom Cruise needs a haircut, but otherwise is his old self, which you like or you don’t. He did his own stunts and some of them are literally (and I mean literally) breathtaking. I dropped my iPad at one point.

Stray notes:

  • There are people that I think you’re supposed to care about from previous M:I movies, but I’ve only seen the first one, so I’m not sure about that. It doesn’t matter.
  • Tom Cruise has a magical jacket that is Russian army on one side and tacky American windbreaker on the other. It’s awesome. Also his disguise-glasses are hot. Not sorry.
  • Russians are such great film villains. I love that we can still do this.

Director: Brad Bird
Rating: PG-13
Length: 133 min.
Score: 4/5.