Thursday, 31 March 2016

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015)

Here we go again, entry number five for Cruise and his James Bond-esque team of super agents. Once again Rhames, Renner and Pegg rejoin Cruise to fight for justice and, this time, the IMF. Things look bleak for the IMF as tough CIA director Huntley (Alec Baldwin) manages to shut them down and basically absorb the IMF into the CIA. The reasons being their destructive methods of getting the job done, misconducts and the fact they don't have a secretary at this point. In the meantime Hunt is still trying to prove the existence of the Syndicate, a large crime consortium, which the CIA does believe exists, another reason why they shut them down. Further on down the line and a few disavowed agents later, Hunt is set up for the death of the Austria Chancellor whilst trying to save him. The CIA are hunting him down whilst Hunt and his old crew are trying to gain proof of the syndicate via some data which they must retrieve from within a highly secure building. Of course the data is not what everyone thinks it is and the syndicate are actually after it themselves. So who can Hunt trust this time around? will he save the IMF? will the CIA believe him? what does the syndicate actually want?

I went into this film reasonably content, happy to see what was to follow in this everlasting franchise. Admittedly I had some reservations, I'm not a avid franchise fan by all means, I think these films are serviceable at best in light-hearted action entertainment. I do however firmly believe they have somewhat turned into a one trick pony, that pony being one big fuck off stunt that Cruise performs. Now again admittedly Cruise performs these stunts admirably, he's got balls that's for sure, but in no way do they constitute an entire movie, you can't just ride these one-off stunts all the way to bank, which they have been doing, amazingly. So yeah, it has boiled down to pretty big stunt is impressive, everything else besides that is serviceable, done. Does this fifth film change that?

Well in all honesty no, it doesn't. The film starts off much in the same vein as your standard Bond movie, with a big stunt, the now expected big Cruise stunt which he does all by himself. This time (as if you didn't know by now) he clings onto the side of a plane as it takes off. Of course he's strapped on there pretty fudging good, so essentially he's simply attached to the side of plane, well near the door. So yeah, it would have been bloody windy, and I doubt he would of seen that much because of the wind and pressure against his face, but I'm sure it was a rush no doubt. Is it the be all and end all? no not really, was it impressive to watch? well I guess, its not like I haven't seen that done before in a certain British spy franchise. Was it as good as his last stunt in M:I4 on the Burj Khalifa? no, not for me, that was certainly death defying and made me sweat through my pants! this on the other hand was simply being attached to a plane and doing nothing (not much you can do).

Now here lies my problem, the big glorious stunt happened right at the start, so now what? what is left? well not much frankly. Everything following is, in my opinion, all the same shit we've seen before countless times. The plot kinda annoyed me at multiple points concerning the characters, mainly Ilsa Faust. Jesus! this character is at first a baddie, then she helps Hunt, so you dunno where she stands exactly, maybe she fancies Hunt. Then at the Opera whilst Hun is trying to stop the assassination of the Austria Chancellor, Faust is seen apparently taking aim as one of the assassins, but then she helps Hunt escape again, but not before apparently trying to kill Benji (Pegg). We discover she is a disavowed MI6 agent, or so it may seem, she speaks of loyalty and gaining Hunt's trust to the main villain Lane whilst in his presence, but speaks of being undercover within the syndicate to Hunt and co. This goes back and forth for quite a portion of the movie and while it might seem like good writing and exciting, I found it frustrating. Even when she meets with her MI6 handler you're still not entirely sure who's side she's on, this being a spy flick you can never tell what character twist might pop up. They also make it so painfully obvious that they're trying to make this female character a sexy femme fatale, but it just doesn't work, not for me anyway. But geez alright we get it, the blatant hints have been picked up.

The movie tries to remain exciting for its runtime but just can't seem to manage it. There isn't really any highlight other than Cruises big stunt, nothing at all that really hit me, maybe the bit when he's under water I guess? yeah like he's gonna die, pfft! I guess the motorbike chase was pretty good, it looked good for sure, fast, thrilling, slick and glossy, usual stuff, it actually had John Woo vibes if you ask me. It was kinda spoilt by the outcome though, yet another serious crash inflicted on hunt, with no body protection, yet he's fine! Then you had the car crash prior to that. Hunt and Benji somehow manage to survive that crash too! and how over the top was that crash sheesh! I'm not even sure if it was real, it looked CGI to me, the bloody car flips and spins over about six times! But no worries Hunt and Benji are just fine, just a scratch, on to the next set piece! Speaking of the next set piece, the scene towards the end at the restaurant with the bomb strapped to Benji. You notice all of Lane's men are there on hand, well had that bomb gone off, wouldn't Lane had killed all his own men too?

It all just feels so run of the mill now, all the bad guys drive around in black cars, or black bikes with black helmets. No one can actually shoot Hunt despite being at point blank range with a machine gun, the strong female agent is of course a martial arts expert because everyone always is in these films, the good guys are always driving around in top of the line cars somehow, the villain Lane mumbles and is hard to understand, oh and there are red phone boxes in London? eh?? As for the ending, blimey talk about drab and uneventful, they just trick Lane into that transparent bulletproof box...and that's it? How the hell did they set that up anyway? how did they know Lane would follow Hunt? what if he didn't jumped down through the manhole following Hunt and just shot him when he saw him through the gap? Also the fact that Lane actually believed Hunt when he said he had memorised that entire readout of data (mainly lot of figures, sums of money in a list) is a joke. I highly doubt many people could memorise all that so quickly, not saying it couldn't be done, but its just unlikely for most. But the fact Lane believes this bluff was lame, he couldn't take that chance you say? sure, but come on! I'm sure there would be another way even if Hunt was telling the truth.

I just don't get it, this had mirror images of the first movie from back in 1996, like I said, clearly trying to recapture the mood and the thrills, but it just doesn't, it just feels all the same but slower and older. I just don't understand how a film like this does so well when its essentially a lax remake of sorts, a very, very wholeheartedly average sequel, its very strange. I don't have a great deal to say here because the movie underwhelmed me, I've literately forgotten most of it, and what even happened. For me this franchise and Cruise's outdated, overacted antics have run their course, this doesn't suit Cruise anymore. Oh and what on earth is going on with Baldwin's hair in this?? looks like he's had an electric shock.