I’ve been wanting to see the movie Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation starring Tom Cruise since it opened a few weeks ago, but Babette and I have been on the road because I’ve been speaking at events across North America.
Now that we’re home for a few weeks, I grabbed her this afternoon and took her to a matinee.
Yes, I prefer going to matinees because a) there’s almost no one in the theater; and b) I can come home and do things like write articles, like the one you’re reading now, instead of just going to bed. (Makes me feel like I accomplished something.)
Okay, so why did I want to see this movie in the first place?
1. The film stars Tom Cruise.
Now, you may not agree with his behavior; you might not like his views on things.
But the guy can act.
Frankly, it’s sad that his “celebrity” and all of his general weirdness has overshadowed the fact that he is simply one of the best screen actors of all time.
Yes, I said it.
There simply aren’t more than a handful of actors who’ve created the body of work that he’s done over the length of time that he’s done it, and done it at such a high level.
To say nothing of his stuntwork, which we’ll get to in a minute.
Plain and simple: I like watching the guy act.
(I never even got to post my review of Edge of Tomorrow, which was one of the best and least-respected time-travel-with-alien-invasion-end-of-the-world action movies ever made.)
2. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation was produced by J. J. Abrams, whom readers of this blog already know is one of my absolute favorites (see /should-you-see-the-movie-tomorrowland-starring-george-clooney )
3. I absolutely loved the previous film in the M:I franchise, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, which was directed by my other favorite Hollywood director, Brad Bird (see that link again).
Even though Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation was not helmed by Bird, but by Christopher McQuarrie, I felt that the trailer looked sufficiently amazing to justify going.
Walking into the theater, I had no idea how they could top Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol because that film had some literally breathtaking action sequences – like, oh, Tom Cruise hanging on the outside of the world’s tallest building and all.
So, at the risk of sounding disloyal to Brad Bird…
I liked Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation even BETTER than Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (which I honestly didn’t think was possible).
How is it possible, you ask?
Well, for openers, there’s the opener.
The opening 4-minute sequence, that is.
I’m sure you’ve seen the trailer where Tom Cruise is hanging on the outside of an airplane during take-off.
I was reading in Entertainment Weekly about how they filmed that sequence.
Bottom line: it was not CGI.
Repeat: NOT CGI.
Meaning, when you’re watching Tom Cruise hanging on to the side of an airplane while it was taking off, that actually happened. He really did that.
I especially loved the fact that you kept expecting the camera to cut away… except it doesn’t.
Seeing that sequence alone was more than worth the price of admission.
But is that the end of the action?
Oh no. Not by a long shot out of a flute gun. (You’ll have to see the opera scene to get that reference.)
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation has some of the most astonishing and realistic action sequences I’ve ever seen, including probably the most dangerous, harrowing, I-was-gripping-Babette’s-hand-so-hard-she-squealed motorcycle chase ever put on film.
So yes, there’s no question that that is Tom Cruise on that BMW S 1000 RR sportsbike and he is going at impossible speeds…
And it’s Tom Cruise who is holding his breath underwater for three actual minutes in one long, unedited take…
You get the idea.
(That same Entertainment Weekly article said of Tom Cruise’s stuntman that he has “the least work of any stuntman in the world.”)
So, should you see Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation?
Oh hell yes.
By the way, do you have a mission that seems “impossible”?
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