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Ben X

Missions Impossible

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Just saw Fallout. Really enjoyed it, it has all the usual strong points and the final sequence literally had my palms sweating. But this is pretty much the same film as the last three. As flawed as the second film is (though I still enjoy a lot about it), I kind of miss the days when the franchise was doing something wildly different with each installment, before JJ combined everything good about the first two movies and the tv show and filed off the rough edges.

 

It also runs a little long. That combined with the lack of surprises makes this an MI film I'm not likely to re-watch for a few years at least.

 

I enjoy all of the films to a similar enough level that it doesn't feel worthwhile my ranking them. 3 and 4 are probably my favourites, then 1, 5 and 6 jostle. 2 is last, BUT I still enjoy a lot about it.

 

However, I happen to know that @BigJKO just embarked on a franchise re-watch (only including 2 on my insistence!), so he may be able to give a more precise ranking at some point soon...

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Man I thought 3 was boooooooring. 2 is also boring as hell for the first ~1,5h, but that last half hour is the best thing John Woo has made since he came to Hollywood.

 

My ranking:

4>1>5>2>3

 

Looking forward to seeing the new one. Might catch it this weekend.

 

Y'know what, if anyone here hasn't seen MI2 because of the bad reviews, at least treat yourself to this:

 

 

This beautiful physics-defying slo-mo motorcycle-spectacle is arguably the movie's highpoint.

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I've always had a big big weak spot for 3, simply because Philip Seymour Hoffman is the perfect villain. He is a believable menace.

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@Roderick Would you go so far as to say "After the mildly entertaining but dumb experience that was Ghost Protocol, this was like a cool shower of awesome. Such a tight, personal and heartfelt action film. Really, how could anyone not have been disappointed in part 4 after this one? Phillip Seymour Hoffman is so effective and scary as a villain"?

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6 hours ago, Henke said:

My ranking:

4>1>5>2>3

 

 

I'd reverse 2 and 3 but otherwise agreed.  I don't remember much about 3 apart from not really liking it.  2 I actively dislike.  4 and 5 were much better than I was expecting, 4 in particular.  I really like 1, especially in contrast to the following movies (although 1 also has a HUGE pet peeve moment for me during the infamous computer heist scene).  I like that Ethan just barely manages to come out on top, he's competent but not the super agent he is in the rest of the movies.

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I just watched Jason Bourne, and it's pretty striking how the then-44 year old Matt Damon visibly has a fair amount of grey hair coming through, whereas 55 year old Tom Cruise doesn't have a single grey hair on his head. He would look great for his age, but he's getting that dissonance where someone has the face you'd expect for their age but not the grey hair that goes with it and so they look like a weird puffy-faced person in their 40s rather than someone in their 50s or 60s with the expected amount of crag.

 

So come on, SAM, what's your pet peeve?

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That's those level 9 scientology powers at work! B)

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21 hours ago, Ben X said:

@Roderick Would you go so far as to say "After the mildly entertaining but dumb experience that was Ghost Protocol, this was like a cool shower of awesome. Such a tight, personal and heartfelt action film. Really, how could anyone not have been disappointed in part 4 after this one? Phillip Seymour Hoffman is so effective and scary as a villain"?

 

I bless these words from yesteryear.

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Honestly I liked the fact that 4 was structured like an Indiana Jones movie, so that the mission was actually credibly impossible.

 

I have no time for Tom Cruise unless he's playing a douchebag or doing something reckless and probably deadly, and his cult-addled brain does at least still understand how to give the crowd what they want (Jack Reacher movies excepted).

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23 hours ago, Ben X said:

So come on, SAM, what's your pet peeve?

 

Spoiler

The computer vault at the CIA has a very elaborate set of security measures including a laser grid on the air vent, a pressure sensitive floor, temperature sensors, and audio sensors that will all go off at the drop of a hat.  And yet the most basic security measure was not taken, which is to HAVE THE ACTUAL COMPUTER ALARM IF IT'S BEING USED WHILE ALL THE SECURITY IS STILL ON.  They didn't hack or disable any of the systems, they just worked around them by doing a flashy trapeze act.  I was about 13 the first time I saw the movie and that's bugged me ever since.

 

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Saw the latest one. Liked it quite a bit! My rankings go like this (scores out of 100):

 

1. Mission: Impossible (85)

2. Mission: Impossible - Fallout (83)

3. Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (82)

4. Mission: Impossible III (71)

5. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (69)

6. Mission: Impossible 2 (43)

 

I think the first movie is the only one with a plot that grabbed me even the slightest bit. Mostly I'm watching for the spectacle and because Tom Cruise is an amazing actor. There's some pretty insane stunt stuff in this latest one (in all of 'em really) which you can get a glimpse of in this overlong video (spoilers of course). Tom Cruise was flying that helicopter!

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That video's great. It's very funny the way it has Tom Cruise doing car, bike and helicopter stunts while occasionally cutting to Henry Cavill walking across a field. It's an interesting situation that Cruise is a multi-Oscar-nommed actor and also a relatively accomplished stunt performer.

 

No MI thread is complete without the Tom Crooz video, though. If nothing else, MI2 brought us this:

 

 

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Alright!! I saw Fallout just now in the cinema. It was great! A really solid spy thriller that takes the viewer seriously (unlike the horrible shit that is Inferno, marginally in the same genre, which I netflixed yesterday).

 

I loved the Wolf Blitzer hospital scene. Halfway through I caught on what was happening and it felt so good that it was in no way hinted at before. It sets up a movie's worth of double bluffs and scenes that play around with your expectations, such as when Baldwin doesn't chew Hunt out at the start, but lauds his good sensibilities. In fact, in a world of edgy, gritty stories where the ends increasingly justify the means, it's great to have this movie unapologetically tell you that it's super heroic to care about single lives too, even if mulitple lives hang in the balance (or are tied up on trolley rails).

 

I was also smitten by Vanessa Kirby's character, the White Widow. Goodness, she is a magical presence.

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Maybe I was tired, but I basically didn't see any of the double bluffs coming and was pleasantly surprised every time, but thinking back on it I can't spot any moments where it's unreasonable that the protagonists and antagonists were prepared for a situation they shouldn't possibly have been able to predict. Atomic Blonde couldn't manage that trick, in part, I think, because this film kept its twistiness to single scenes, so you don't have moments where characters act on information that should have dictated their actions earlier and they can't have learned it between then and now.

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I enjoyed Fallout a lot! With all the globetrotting and extravagant action of the latest movies, Mission Impossible has started to feel like James Bond that isn't written by a super horny and often gross teenage boy, which I'm on board with.

 

I think the cast was stellar, with a possible exception of Henry Cavill, who was okay in Man from the U.N.C.L.E., but simply felt flat and boring here, especially alongside the other actors. Some of that might have been the script's fault, of course. On the other hand, I liked Ilsa's character and Rebecca Ferguson's portrayal of her a lot, and I'm happy that Simon Pegg is basically an action guy by now. I agree with Roderick about White Widow, and was a bit bummed about

 

how quickly the script got rid of her.

 

Apart from the first one and Rogue Nation, I haven't watched the MI movies recently, so I won't attempt to rank them. I remember practically nothing about 2 and 3.

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I agree on Cavill. He's so tremendously serious and up-right, but maybe that was kind of the point of his casting and character? To have him be that obvious stick in the mud?

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I just sawwwwww Mission: Impossible! 1! By Brian DePalma! And featuring an impossibly young Tom Cruise!

 

Thoughts: WOW, this is such an interesting movie to see today. I remember it coming out in the early nineties and it must've been top of the line in terms of modern cinematography back then. Watching it now, it feels INCREDIBLY formal, in a way. Not that it isn't slick and sexy and very stylish (it is, hugely), but the way the camera moves and pans and the scenes are cut give it this classic feel. Loving those DePalma zooms to frame people in their environment. UNF.

 

At the same time, here's an Ethan Hunt who feels like the rookie of the team, wisecracking until he steps up to become the broodlord he will remain for the rest of the series. It's fun. They got to define the character where nowadays he's quite solidified.

 

Jon Voigt feels like a throwback badguy to another era, like some old-timey spy, for sure, but already this movie lays out the basic M:I plot for decades to come: Ethan and his team are compromised, hunted by the people that should have their backs, and elaborate cloak and dagger antics unfolds. There's already the Insane Stunt By Cruise Himself and various other tropes. But damn it if it doesn't just outright work.

 

It's entirely bizarre to realize this series began before smartphones were a thing. Nowadays they can do nearly anything and all the schemes involve deep technological theatrics. But the same is true here already, except it's all done through huge laptops and hilariously fake usenet interfaces where Ving Rhames is all but typing in 'HACKING THE THING'. At some point, Ethan literally types 'ACCESS INTERNET' into a random prompt, because that's how computers work.

 

But hey, this is surely some slick ass movie, with both an old-fashioned vibe (the whole scene surrounding the Prague ballroom) and a very modern feel to it (the TGV ending spectacular). It's clear that DePalma greatly put his stamp on this. Looking forward to seeing part 2 by John Woo. I feel the series has found its tone today, and though it's superb throughout (as I mentioned, I loved Fallout), there's something auteur-y about this first movie that the later ones lack.

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MI2 is also very auteur-y! It came at the point where the idea for the franchise was to have a totally different directorial style for each entry, and has all of Woo's strengths and weaknesses on full display. After that, JJ Abrams delivered a slick modern feel that the franchise pretty much stuck with going forward.

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Yeah, as is known by now, I love 3, but I haven't seen 2 in quite a while. All I remember is that it features Doctor Ecclestone and at one point he snips off a guy's finger while saying 'GAGGING', and that's pretty much all I remember. Also some horse racing and a moterbike with doves.

 

'GAGGING.'

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