Jeemo wrote:Death of Stalin. Very funny with some great performances.
I wanted to watch that, but couldn't remember the password to rent anything new, so had to go with what's on Netflix.
So these Mission Impossible
films seem to have been getting good reviews, especially the latest one. I'll start with this which is what, number four in the series? Tom Cruise is one of those actors who does the same thing in every film but when the film is specifically written to let him do that, then that's fine. Here, he has to thwart the late Michael Nyqvist - who has a pretty lame part as a villain who doesn't do much except walk around with a briefcase - who wants to start a nuclear war in order to end all other conflict and strife on the planet. Makes sense in a way, I guess.
Cruise is aided by Paula Patton, who does not seem very competent as a secret agent but is at least very attractive, and Simon Pegg, who I must admit I didn't find as attractive, but who does do the 'Q' thing very well, and Jeremy Renner, who is suspiciously beefy and capable for a "chief analyst" and that's not really a spoiler, is it? Because they get the blame for blowing up half of Moscow, they have to go "ghost protocol" which means they have to operate totally undercover with no support, because ordinarily I assume they are doing all their secret agent sneaking and killing and exploding on live Youtube streams or something.
He is hindered by Lea Seydoux, who rivals Patton in attractiveness and seems much more clued up, and a Russian guy called Vladimir Mashkov who I thought was effective and underused as the well-meaning-but-misinformed detective character. And assorted henchmen etc.
The first two thirds of the film, in Moscow and Dubai, are preposterously entertaining, with all the big bangs and car chases and tension you could hope for, and some well-placed humour, largely courtesy of Pegg, although the random Russian guy Cruise springs from prison is a bit of a waste of space. The Burj Khalifa sequence in particular is dynamite: as soon as they mentioned Dubai I expected some kind of mile-high hi-jinks and I was very satisfied with what we got.
After Nyqvist escapes with the nuclear launch codes it suddenly becomes very important - for reasons I could never really work out - that they all go to visit a guy who is some strange cross between Donald Trump, Benny Hill and Omar Sharif, and Jeremy Renner has to fly around in a wind tunnel with - of course! - a big fan with sharp blades (and a spike to boot!) at the bottom, while the others enjoy one of those opulent, slightly patronising parties you get in films like this when they go to another country and get some investment from the local tourist board. Renner and Pegg recognise how ridiculous the situation is and keep the whole thing grounded, but the plot has by this point given up and they can't even come up with a good showdown, which is a shame as the earlier part of the film did deserve a good finish.
Still, much more fun than Spectre
. I should point out that I had had a bit to drink before watching this and a bit more during. I expect that someone who does not drink much and only watches films made by Michael Haneke might not enjoy it as much as I did.