Film Review: MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT (USA 2018) ***1/2

Mission: Impossible - Fallout Poster
Ethan Hunt and his IMF team, along with some familiar allies, race against time after a mission gone wrong.

Writers:

Christopher McQuarrieBruce Geller (television series)

The 6th instalment and touted last of the Mission Impossible franchise sees Tom Cruise reprise his role as IMF’s Ethan Hunt who went rogue in the last film and getting into more trouble in this one.  Christopher McQuarrie, a veteran of action picks as in MI: ROGUE, X-MEN, THE MUMMY and the two Tom Cruise JACK REACHER films, writes and directs FALLOUT, a non-stop series of action setups punctuated by a forgettable story line or one that does not really matter.  It thus plays like a James Bond movie, which is a good thing, as success at the box-office has proven.

Cruise is back, though looking more his age.  No nude or even upper body shots of the actor who is now 55 years of age, but still hunky-looking as a true action star.  He still has the chops.  His crew is back which includes Luther (Ving Rhames) and technical field agent, Benji Simon Pegg), the new IMP Secretary Hunley (Alec Baldwin) and new director of the CIA, Erica (Angela Bassett).  New to the cast is Superman Henry Cavill in the odd role of August Walker, a CIA agent who is initially on Ethan’s side then sanctioned to kill him.

When the film begins, an IMF mission ends badly and villain Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) escapes custody, the world is faced with dire consequences.  McQuarrie allows the villain 5 minutes to deliver his spill on terrorism, which is funny and somewhat logical in a twisted sort of way.  As Ethan Hunt takes it upon himself to fulfill his original briefing, the CIA begins to question his loyalty and his motives.  Hunt finds himself in a race against time, hunted by assassins and former allies while trying to prevent a global catastrophe.  Like most action films, the world needs saving, and just in the nick of time (James Bond in 007 seconds, Ethan Hunt in just one) by the film’s titular hero.

The skydiving sequence at the film’s start is a real nail-biter though this one is topped.  The fight scenes are violent, fast and well executed like the one in a club toilet.  The only credibility point is the few people in it.  At a typical packed club, the toilet is always full with customers lining up for the stalls, urinals, right up to its entrance.  There is a bike chase with Hunt on a motorcycle again, though not on a bright red Ducati as in MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2.  This one has Hunt unable to start his bike, starting only in the nick of time when the cops show up, an excuse for another chase.  Just as one might think McQuarrie has run out of ideas, he comes up with one of the most inventive and exciting climax in an action film ever.  Though the film runs a lengthy 147 minutes, the extended action sequence with Hunt and Walker battling it out on a  perfectly smooth vertical rock face after their helicopters crash into each other is nothing short of amazing.  The sequence also shows how difficult it is to climb up a taut tight rope (to the helicopter).  Added to the thrills is suspense as Hunt has to retrieve a detonator as his team dismantle two bombs simultaneously.  It is an impossible task.  The film emphasizes this, but one has to remember that this is, after all, a Mission Impossible film. 

A solid actioner that should leave MI fans wanting for more.  Maybe one more really last MI film in the franchise.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb49-oV0F78

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Film Review: THE MUMMY (USA 2017)

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the mummyAn ancient princess is awakened from her crypt beneath the desert, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension.

Director: Alex Kurtzman
Writers: David Koepp (screenplay), Christopher McQuarrie (screenplay)
Stars: Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Russell Crowe

Review by Gilbert Seah

When THE MUMMY’s opening credits begin, the words Dark Universe appears instead of the studio name Universal on the company logo. THE MUMMY launches the studio’s Dark Universe, a shared cinematic universe of classic movie monsters.

Tom Cruise takes over the leading role from Brendan Fraser and Dwayne Johnson in this MUMMY re-boot that does not do any justice to the franchise. Cruise plays rebel soldier Nick Morton who steals ancient artifacts, while dressed like Indiana Jones. This runs him into trouble with an old Egyptian curse that the film spends a whole 15 minutes of opening time explaining.

It all starts way back when, when really bad Egyptian princess Ahmanet (Algerian actress, Sofia Boutella) murders her father and infant brother to usurp the throne. As if this is not bad enough, she consorts with some demon that can give her everlasting life. But she is caught and mummified as punishment with her body banished from Egypt. The silly plot has the audience believe that she is put in a tomb and buried underneath London, England where she is dug up when building new tunnels for London trains, thus unleasing some curse. That is THE MUMMY’s humour. If that is not enough silliness, the demon later possesses Nick Morton when Nick Morton attempts to save the day. Tom Cruise as a demon possessed character means Tom Cruise in hyper-active mode.

The tie in of ancient times to modern day activities is laughable. Morton is a soldier in Iraq where the enemy wants their cultural monuments destroyed. The other tie in is the modernization of London’s trains resulting is uncovering the tombs.
The climax of the film requires the director to show that the possessed Nick Morton resurrecting Jenny (Annabelle Wallis from THE TUDORS) instead of the evil princess. This segment is done in the most sloppy way ever.

At a production cost of $125 million, THE MUMMY is a complete mess. The story, pacing, acting (Cruise desperately trying to show he still has the chops), dialogue are all less than memorable. Director Kurtzman who has never made a blockbuster special effects movie deserves some credit for two well executed action segments. The plane crash action set-up, after Morton fires bullets in a plane causing it to crash due to cabin de-pressurization is well-executed with bodies and debris flying all around. The other scene, an underwater segment showing the undead skeletons swimming after Morton is impressive and stunning.

The final ending is totally incoherent. The script requires the Russell Crowe character to explain what is happening. The next scene has Nick Morton and partner riding their horses in the desert with a voiceover promising another sequel soon in the making. What is all this about with the horses, Morton’s possession and evil returning and some saying that it takes a monster to kill a monster?

At least four more monster movie reboots have already been planned for Universal’s Dark Universe including BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, THE INVISIBLE MAN, VAN HELSING and THE WOLF MAN. Judging from this horrid first entry, the fate of the films might follow the equally horrid DC’s extended universe films MAN OF STEEL, BATMAN V. SUPERMAN, SUICIDE SQUAD and the mediocre WONDER WOMAN. It looks like the mummy’s curse desperately needs to be broken.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjHgzkQM2Sg

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Happy Birthday: Tom Cruise

tomcruise.jpgHappy Birthday actor Tom Cruise

Born: July 3, 1962 in Syracuse, New York, USA

Married to: Katie Holmes (18 November 2006 – 20 August 2012) (divorced) (1 child)

Nicole Kidman (24 December 1990 – 8 August 2001) (divorced) (2 children)

Mimi Rogers (9 May 1987 – 4 February 1990) (divorced)

While he was working with Paul Newman in the The Color of Money (1986), he engaged in much conversation with the politically active actor. The resulting conscious raising changed him from an actor who ignored the jingoistic tone of Top Gun (1986) to a performer who chose a film with a strong anti-war tone, Born on the Fourth of July (1989) to counter his contribution to the former film.

RISKY BUSINESSRisky Business
1983
dir. Paul Brickman
Also Starring
Rebecca DeMorney
Joe Pantoliano
LEGENDLegend
1985
dir. Ridley Scott
Cast
Tom Cruise
Mia Sara
TOP CRUISETop Gun
1986
dir. Tony Scott
Also Starring
Kelly McGillis
Val Kilmer
Rain ManRain Man
1988
dir. by Barry Levinson
Also Starring
Dustin Hoffman
Born on the 4th of JulyBorn on the 4th of July
1989
dir. by Oliver Stone
Also Starring
Raymond J. Barry
Willem Dafoe
DAYS OF THUNDERDays of Thunder
1990
dir. Tony Scott
Also Starring
Nicole Kidman
Robert Duvall
A FEW GOOD MENA Few Good Men
1992
dir. Rob Reiner
Starring
Tom Cruise
Jack Nicholson
THE FIRM MOVIE POSTERThe Firm
1993
dir. Sydney Pollack
Also Starring
Jean Tripplehorn
Gene Hackman
INTERVEIW WITH THE VAMPIRE MOVIE POSTERInterview with the Vampire
1994
dir. Neil Jordan
Starring
Brad Pitt
Cruise
MISSION IMPOSSIBLEMission Impossible
1996
dir. Brian DePalma
Tom Cruise
Starring
Jon Voight
MagnoliaMagnolia
1999
dir. by PT Anderson Anderson
starring
Julianne Moore
John C. Reilly
Mission Impossible II
2000
dir. John Woo
Starring
Tom Cruise
Thandie Newton
SydneyWhiteLions for Lambs
Directed by Robert Redford
Also Starring
Robert Redford
Meryl Streep
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE IIIMission Impossible III
2006
dir JJ Abrams
Starring
Tom Cruise
Philip Seymour Hoffman
COLLATERALCollateral
2004
dir. Michael Mann
starring
Cruise
Jamie Foxx
War of the WorldsWar of the Worlds
2005
dir. Steven Spielberg
starring
Tom Cruise
Dakota Fanning
Tim Robbins
Tropic ThunderTropic Thunder
dir. Ben Stiller
Also Starring
Robert Downey Jr.
Jack Black
ValkyrieValkyrie
dir. Bryan Singer
Also Starring
Kenneth Branagh
Tom Wilkinson
KNIGHT AND DAYKnight and Day
dir. James Mangold
Stars:
Tom Cruise
Cameron Diaz
MOVIE POSTERTAPS
1981
dir. Harold Becker
Starring:
George C. Scott
Timothy Hutton
MOVIE POSTERMISSION IMPOSSIBLE GHOST PROTOCOL
dir. Brad Bird
Stars
Tom Cruise
Jeremy Renner
movie posterJERRY MAGUIRE
1996
dir. Cameron Crowe
Starring:
Tom Cruise
Renee Zellweger
MOVIE POSTERROCK OF AGES
dir. Adam Shankman
Stars:
Julianne Hough
Diego Boneta
MOVIE POSTERJACK REACHER
2012
dir. Christopher McQuarrie
Stars:
Tom Cruise
Rosamund Pike
MOVIE POSTERMINORITY REPORT
2002
dir. Steven Spielberg
Stars:
Tom Cruise
Colin Farrell
movie posterALL THE RIGHT MOVES
1983
dir. Michael Chapman
Stars:
Tom Cruise
Lea Thompson
MOVIE POSTEROBLIVION
2013
dir. Joseph Kosinski
Stars:
Tom Cruise
Morgan Freeman
MOVIE POSTEREDGE OF TOMORROW
2014
dir. Doug Liman
Stars:
Tom Cruise
Emily Blunt

TOP TOM CRUISE PHOTOS2011 – See the best of his pictures.

ABS – See the best of his pictures.

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BEFORE AND AFTER – See the best of his pictures.

BOB – See the best of his pictures.

BODY – See the best of his pictures.

BOOTS – See the best of his pictures.

BUTT – See the best of his pictures.

BEARD – See the best of his pictures.

COAT – See the best of his pictures.

CLOSE UP – See the best of his pictures.

CASUAL – See the best of his pictures.

EARS – See the best of his pictures.

EYES – See the best of his pictures.

FACE – See the best of his pictures.

FASHION – See the best of his pictures.

FEET – See the best of his pictures.

FACIAL HAIR – See the best of his pictures.

GORGEOUS – See the best of his pictures.

GIRLFRIEND – See the best of his pictures.

HANDSOME – See the best of his pictures.

HAIR – See the best of his pictures.

HAIRSTYLE – See the best of his pictures.

HOT – See the best of his pictures.

JEANS – See the best of his pictures.

LIPS – See the best of his pictures.

LONG HAIR – See the best of his pictures.

MEASUREMENTS – See the best of his pictures.

MODEL – See the best of his pictures.

MUSCLES – See the best of his pictures.

MAKEUP ON – See the best of his pictures.

NOSE – See the best of his pictures.

ON THE STREET – See the best of his pictures.

PHOTO SHOOT – See the best of his pictures.

POSE – See the best of his pictures.

PROFILE – See the best of his pictures.

PANTS – See the best of his pictures.

RED CARPET – See the best of his pictures.

SEXY – See the best of his pictures.

SHORT HAIR – See the best of his pictures.

SUIT – See the best of his pictures.

SHOES – See the best of his pictures.

SHORTS – See the best of his pictures.

SKINNY – See the best of his pictures.

STYLE – See the best of his pictures.

SUNGLASSES – See the best of his pictures.

SWIMSUIT – See the best of his pictures.

SHIRT OFF – See the best of his pictures.

SMILE – See the best of his pictures.

TUXEDO – See the best of his pictures.

TEETH – See the best of his pictures.

TATTOO – See the best of his pictures.

UNDERWEAR – See the best of his pictures.

WALLPAPER – See the best of his pictures.

YOUNG – See the best of his pictures.

ON SET – See the best of his pictures.

ESQUIRE – See the best of his pictures.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY – See the best of his pictures.

AND WILL SMITH – See the best of his pictures.

STUNT SHOT – See the best of his pictures.

AND DAKOTA FANNING – See the best of his pictures.

AND STEVEN SPIELBERG – See the best of his pictures.

AND SURI CRUISE – See the best of his pictures.

AND CAMERON DIAZ – See the best of his pictures.

AND ROBERT REDFORD – See the best of his pictures.

EYEBROWS – See the best of his pictures.

SHORT – See the best of his pictures.

WEDDING – See the best of his pictures.

KISSING KATE – See the best of his pictures.

LEATHER – See the best of his pictures.

OPRAH COUCH – See the best of his pictures.

BALD – See the best of his pictures.

JOGGING – See the best of his pictures.

AND NICOLE KIDMAN – See the best of his pictures.

ADOPTED CHILDREN – See the best of his pictures.

AND SEAN FARIS – See the best of his pictures.

AND PENELOPE CRUZ – See the best of his pictures.

BRACES – See the best of his pictures.

AND BRAD PITT – See the best of his pictures.

MOTORCYCLE – See the best of his pictures.

DUCATI – See the best of his pictures.

DETAILS – See the best of his pictures.

TIME – See the best of his pictures.

VANITY FAIR – See the best of his pictures.

PEOPLE – See the best of his pictures.

HELLO – See the best of his pictures.

GOOD HOUSEKEEPING – See the best of his pictures.

ROLLING STONE – See the best of his pictures.

VAMPIRE – See the best of his pictures.

VOLLEYBALL – See the best of his pictures.

AND KELLY MCGILLIS – See the best of his pictures.

UNIBROW – See the best of his pictures.

SCIENTOLOGY – See the best of his pictures.

RIPPED – See the best of his pictures.

AIRPLANE – See the best of his pictures.

MAVERICK – See the best of his pictures.

LEGEND – See the best of his pictures.

CALENDAR – See the best of his pictures.

POSTER – See the best of his pictures