Film review – Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

I seem to be on an action movie kick at the moment, so I thought I might as well finish off the round with this one. Tom Cruise (a man who clearly moisturises) is back for the fifth outing in the Mission Impossible series. The plot (not that it matters a great deal) centres around an organisation set on wreaking chaos across the globe, and destroying the Impossible Missions Force (yes, that’s what they’re called) in the process.


When you hit the fifth film in a series, the trick is not to take yourself too seriously. There are some genuinely funny moments supplied by Simon Pegg, and even Tom Cruise manages a few seconds of slapstick while trying to get into car, having just been revived from drowning. Sean Harris is very convincing as the slightly deranged villain – and thank god I’ve finally remembered where I’ve seen him before! He played the gay assassin in The Borgias! That’s been driving me mad! Anyway, he’s very, very good. A film like this lives and dies by the quality of its principle villain.

Aside from that, there’s not much to tell really. The script is fine, the action sequences are top notch, though I don’t think they’re quite as gripping as the Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, and the ending is predictably satisfying.

If you’re a fan of Tom Cruise then you’ll see it anyway; if not, then I think it’s worth a few hours of your time. It’s not too taxing, and still very entertaining. Another seven out of ten.

Avoiding the dodgy movie REboot.

We’re in the age of the movie reboot. Films that you can remember seeing about four years ago are being rebooted for the new era. Fortunately, when it comes to deciding whether to go to cinema or wait until it shows up on Sky Box Office, the title of the movie plays a very important part.

Case in point:

Now, I’m not saying this is going to be a bad movie, but the title doesn’t give me a warm fuzzy feeling. I have a real problem with film titles that reference the franchise, rather than the story. I get to thinking that not a great deal of artistic thought has gone on here. It’s sort of saying: ‘Hey folks, this is the Transporter – again’ rather than telling me that I’m getting more of the stuff I love and enjoy.

Here’s another example: I absolutely loved The Matrix, but I wasn’t that keen on The Matrix Reloaded. The title was telling me that this was just the next one in the series, rather than an outstanding film in its own right.

Do you ever wonder how Fast and Furious made it to seven movies?  I suspect the clue is in the titles. I’m pretty sure Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift wouldn’t have been such a hit if they’d named it Fast and Furious: Resprayed.

Film Review: The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

I always get a little nervous when someone tries to take an okay-ish TV series and tries to make it into a blockbuster movie. Guy Ritchie avoided one obvious pitfall by not trying to update the concept; he left it firmly in the sixties, and the movie was better for it.  In case you don’t know, the Man from U.N.C.L.E. is a pretty run-of-the-mill thriller about two spies from opposite sides of the iron curtain, forced to work together to retrieve a nuclear warhead. It stars Henry Cavill as the ever-s0-slightly camp Napoleon Solo, and Armie Hammer as llya Kuriyaken, the near-superhuman Russian agent.


Alicia Vikander brings the fiery glamour and, refreshingly enough, most of the brains.

And that’s all you need to know really. It’s a two-hour treat of car chases, machine-gun fights, sneaking about and folk running for their lives. The script was passable, as was the storyline (but don’t expect it to stretch you). The musical score is excellent and even though the film was shot all over the shop, Guy Ritchie as screenwriter, producer and director, gives it a very British feel (and Hugh Grant pretty much seals the deal – if that’s not too much bad rhyming).

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. offers no surprises, but is, nevertheless, very watchable.

I’m going to give it seven out of ten.

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