20 Years of Mission Impossible!


So last weekend, I decided to watch Mission Impossible : Rogue Nation again, because I was having a lazy Sunday! A wonderful film, but it got me thinking, which is the best one out of the entire franchise? Checking out the IMDB pages, I saw that it’s been 20 years since the first film came out, and that they have grossed over $2.7b in that time! (thank you http://www.boxofficemojo.com/ for that figure!). I doubt the makers behind the first film would have foreseen it still going strong two decades later! So in reverse order………..(this is just my opinion! so feel free to disagree 🙂 )


5. Mission Impossible 2 (2000)

This sequel was actually the highesb82911422229089088t grossing movie out of the original trilogy, but personally, I believe that was more down to the hype of the second film, rather than the substance. After the intense, espionage thriller that was the first film, director John Woo was bought in, and totally changed up the film. Woo is known for his over the top actions scenes, and this film had it all. Slow motion, sliding with two guns in hand, doves!  The plot was very generic, and the villain forgettable. What made the original great was its spy element, they tried to make this film more ‘Bond’ like, and it just didn’t work. For me, its the worst of the bunch!


4. Mission Impossible 3 (2006)

mission-impossible-iii-563a32076536bThere wasn’t anything seriously wrong with the 3rd installment, it was a perfectly good film, with a stellar cast, including the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, Laurence Fishburne, and the introduction of Benji, played by Simon Pegg, who has since become a fan favorite and series regular. The movie does do well in providing a more human side to the superspy persona of Ethan Hunt, showing a much more vulnerable side to him. J.J Abrams does a solid job after the disappointment of the 2nd film, but the feeling of franchise fatigue and a straightforward betrayal story line didn’t really entice anyone, with people asking if a third installment was even required!


3. Mission Impossible (1996)
still-of-tom-cruise-and-henry-czerny-in-mission-impossible-1996The original, and probably the finest of the original 3 movies. To be honest, the CIA break-in scene alone makes the film stand tall. But it is so much more then that! Brain De Palma creates a cerebral thriller which not only had several action scenes, but also moments that required you to pay attention to a plot which could get complex, but it pays off in the end. Watching it for the first time when i was younger, the film was rather messy, but its on future viewings when you can really appreciate how all the plot points come together, and the end game is revealed. It’s startling how different this film is, compared to it’s direct sequel. There’s no slow motion, no corny action, just pure suspense!


2.  Mission Impossible : Rogue Nation (2015)

mission-impossible-rogue-nation-2015-after-credits-hqIt’s probably fair to split the franchise into 2 parts. The first 3, then the following films.  Both Rogue Nation, and Ghost Protocol have been by the biggest success of the series, and it’s not hard to see why! It’s a difficult decision in deciding which one I prefer, but personally, one scene in GP probably tips it in its favour. But make no mistake, RN is still not only one of the best MI films, but probably one of the most polished action films in recent times. The opening scene involving the plane taking off is ridiculously well done, and edge of your seat stuff. Though the scenes during the Opera at the Vienna Opera House is personally one of my favourite scenes in film. The entire scene goes perfectly with ‘Nessun Dorma’ being preformed in the background, the choreography is simply amazing.


1. Mission Impossible : Ghost Protocol (2011)

Left to right: Jeremy Renner plays Brandt and Tom Cruise plays Ethan Hunt in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL, from Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions.
Left to right: Jeremy Renner plays Brandt and Tom Cruise plays Ethan Hunt in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL, from Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions.

There really isn’t much to separate the top 2, but GP has the edge, solely down to the Burj Khalifa scenes. The climbing segments are by far some of the most intense stunt-work you will see in any film from Hollywood. The fact Tom Cruise did this himself, adds to the wonder of these segments. The film also does great in rebooting the franchise after the luke-warm reception of MI3. They even went as far as removing ‘4’ from the title, to make it appear as a stand alone movie. Benji returns, and has a greater role, out in the field, and the character of Brandt, played by Jeremy Renner is introduced.  If there are any low points, its the fact the movie seems to peak in it’s middle arc, and the villain is total non presence. The movie does a spectacular job in producing several memorable set pieces, from the prison escape, Kremlin break-in and of course the Dubai set piece! So for that alone, its my favourite of the entire lot!

And just because this scene is SO well done…….here it is again!

 

 

‘Captain America : Civil War’ Review

Ever since ‘Avengers Assemble’ released back in 2012, the cracks in the relationship between Tony Stark’s Ironman & Steve Rodger’s Captain American were starting to appear. It all finally comes down to an explosive conclusion in one of Marvel’s finest films so far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

A film containing so many different superheroes could have become a complicated mess. But the Russo Brothers once again served up a right treat for fans and critics alike. After their stellar work in creating the superb ‘Winter Soldier’, they have proved that they are capable of handling the upcoming Avengers movies.

Following the destruction in previous films caused by members of the Avengers across several previous films. The world has decided to reign in the action of the Avengers with the introduction of the ‘Sokovia Accords’. Which would mean the United Nations would have control of what the Avengers do. Simply put, Ironman is for it, Captain is against it.

This all eventually leads to  two sides being formed, which has been the main angle the marketing team for the film have used to stir up the crowd. What works well here is that all the players in the ‘Civil War’ get their moment to shine. Even the minor characters such as Falcon & Vision get their moment in the spotlight. The usual Marvel humour is there as always, though they know when to use it, the final act is virtually devoid of any humour. The new additions also hit the right spot. Chadwick Boseman does a great job as the fearless Black Panther, his no nonsense attitude makes a refreshing change from the usual Avengers banter and quipping. Tom Holland’s portrayal of a young Spiderman steals the show in his brief appearances, and has everyone looking forward to his solo adventure! The Russo Bros. did a fantastic job in managing to fit everyone in, and making it work so fluently.

The films centerpiece is the showdown at the airport, where the 2 sides finally get down to trading blows. In what some will say is one of the greatest action scenes ever filmed, the set piece is filled with cameos, humour and action. The build up to this does not disappoint. It’s pretty obvious the heroes are pulling their punches during the scene, as they don’t really want to hurt one another. The final showdown at the end of the film between Ironman, Captain & The Winter Soldier is the polar opposite. The showdown is dramatic, and filled with tension. Which served as a nice treat, not the usual ‘end of the world’ scenario. This film is very much about Captain America, not the Avengers. Chris Evans & Downey Jr put in probably their best performances so far in all of the MCU outings so far.

The film though isn’t perfect. On the plus side of 2 hours, the film is stretched out a lot. The first hour or so is key in setting up the showcase battle, but it feels like some scenes could have been shortened or even cut to speed up the pacing. The 3rd act is a brutal fight, but it feels a bit of a let down after the epic airport scene. The films ”antagonist” was once again one of its weak points. Not since Loki have Marvel been able to  produce an enticing villain. This is somewhat put on the side, as the feud between Tony & Steve is what really drives the film, the villain feels like somewhat of an after-thought. If he was removed entirely, it really wouldn’t have made much of a difference.

After the underwhelming critical response to Dawn of Justice, Marvel once again proved that they are the kings of the comic book big screen experience. The hype to the film has most certainly been justified, and it will interesting to see if they can top this in Infinity Wars.

5/5

 

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