Fast reviews for busy people! Watch as I review three movies in less time than it takes to turn on the lights! Have a look as I race against the clock to tell you about the wild action of “Mission: Impossible–Dead Reckoning,” the drama “The Miracle Club” and the extreme sports doc “The Deepest Breath.”
I appear on “CTV News at 6” with anchor Andria Case to talk about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week I have a look at the he wild action of “Mission: Impossible–Dead Reckoning,” the Netflix “Wham!” documentary and the new Steven Soderbergh Crave series “Full Circle.”
I sit in for NewsTalk 1010 host Jim Richards on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “NewsTalk Tonight” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse Like This?” This week we talk about the wild action of “Mission: Impossible–Dead Reckoning,” the drama “The Miracle Club” and the extreme sports doc “The Deepest Breath.”
I joined CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres. Today we talk about the wild action of “Mission: Impossible–Dead Reckoning,” the drama “The Miracle Club” and the extreme sports doc “The Deepest Breath.”
I joined CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres. Today we talk about the wild action of “Mission: Impossible–Dead Reckoning,” the drama “The Miracle Club” and SAG joining the writer’s strike.
I sit in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with guest host Andrew Pinsent to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the action packed “Mission: Impossible–Dead Reckoning,” the drama “The Miracle Club” and the extreme sports doc “The Deepest Breath.”
When the “Mission: Impossible” franchise began in 1996 the movies were big, prestige spy thrillers, heavy on the intrigue and supported by large action sequences. Then came 2011’s “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” a popcorn flick built around an eye-popping sequence featuring star Tom Cruise scaling the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, with only a pair of suction gloves and courage coming between him and certain death.
That sequence made audience’s eyeballs dance and changed the focus of the franchise. It also turned Cruise into the Evel Knievel of cinematic risk taking.
Since then, the movies have been driven by the death-defying stunts performed by their star, the seemingly fearless Cruise, rather than the convoluted plots of the first batch of films. In the world of “Mission: Impossible” there is no building is too high for Tom to climb, no chasm too wide for him to jump.
The new film, “Mission: Impossible—Dead Reckoning Part One,” files the actual story down to a nub—”I’m going to need a few more details,” says glamourous international thief Grace (Hayley Atwell), as if commenting on the script. “They tend to get in the way,” replies Benji, nodding his head.—while letting it rip with wild action sequences.
The catalyst for the action is artificial intelligence run amok. Called The Entity, it is an all-powerful machine, “who is everywhere and nowhere” and has no center. “We don’t want to kill it,” says Eugene Kittridge (Henry Czerny), the former director of the Impossible Missions Force, “we want to control it.”
The key to controlling it is, well, a key. Split into two halves, the key only works when made whole. Kittridge’s best chance of intercepting the key is the IMF, a secret group of expert spies made up of Ethan Hunt (Cruise), computer technician Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames), field agent Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) and sometimes member Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson).
The IMF’s mission, should they choose to accept it, is to retrieve one half of the key from glamourous international thief Grace (Hayley Atwell) before she can sell it to black market arms dealer Alanna Mitsopolis (Vanessa Kirby). The fear is Mitsopolis will pass the key’s combined halves to terrorist Gabriel (Esai Morales). “None of our lives can matter more than the mission,” says Stickell.
Cue feats of daring-do and wild action.
“Mission: Impossible—Dead Reckoning” is the ne plus ultra of modern, big-budget studio filmmaking. Director Christopher McQuarrie manages the breathless, super-sized movies with an expert hand, blending old school action movie filmmaking with real stakes.
Whether it is Cruise flying through the air on a motorcycle or navigating through the streets of Rome in a tiny, but speedy European car or hanging on for dear life as a train car disintegrates around him, the green-screenless action scenes seem to be saying, “Take that Marvel.” The organic stunts, no matter how foolhardy they may be, up the stakes, have real danger to them and set “Dead Reckoning” apart from most action flicks. It is escapism at an eye-watering level.
Tempering the action is some humor and an emphasis on the connections between the characters. Loyalty to the cause has always been paramount in these movies, but the bond between the characters has been tempered, probably because we are near the end of the franchise, by a dose of nostalgia and sentimentality.
Still, this is, first and foremost, an action movie, the characters each have an archetype to fill. Rhames and Pegg are the playful foils, Vanessa Kirby is a deliciously vampy femme fatale and Esai Morales is the kind of baddie who makes grand pronouncements like, “I will disappear like smoke in a hurricane.”
Most notable is the latest lead addition, Grace. She is a slippery character whose motives shift and change with the wind, which makes her interesting. Unlike Isla (Rebecca Ferguson), however, who could handle herself in any situation, Grace is more a damsel in distress, although in the arena of self-preservation, she is a master. She is the kind of character that franchises are built around.
“Mission: Impossible—Dead Reckoning Part One” isn’t all played at 11. It has peaks and valleys, of course, but the valleys are welcome respite from the sensory overload provided by the spectacle and adrenaline. It is a heckuva mission, satisfying, even if we have to wait a year or more, for the story’s conclusion.