Entertainment

Mission: Impossible – Fallout is the Blockbuster of the summer!

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The following discussion/rant may contain spoilers due to the writer being unable to hold back excitement or rants. If you have not seen the movie as yet and you plan to, don’t read this. If you plan to see it, but don’t mind spoilers or if you’re just curious about someone else’s thoughts other than yours, then by all accounts, be my guest. 

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Let this sink in: it’s been 22 years since Tom Cruise embarked on a mission to save the world as Ethan Hunt. Twenty-two years since I’ve met Ethan Hunt and decided that he’s my favorite action spy. 

And he’s still doing things James Bond could only dream about in his sleep. The latest Mission has been certified fresh…

…but I don’t need Rotten Tomatoes to tell me so. The pulse-pounding engaging action had me leaping off a rooftop and ducking from bad guys… okay, that did that happen… but it happens in my writing! 

Mission: Impossible – Fallout is a solid summer blockbuster. When I first watched the movie, I couldn’t decide if to give it 4 or 5 stars. I eventually settled on five and because of that, I’ll be discussing why I give the movie this rating instead of doing a ‘traditional’ review. This post can get lengthy. You’ve been warned. Again. 😒

Ethan Hunt 

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Unfortunately, this clip didn’t make the final cut 😢

Ethan gets better with age and experience. He is the heart of the team and a great leader. Tom Cruise IS Ethan and this character should never be recast. I also love the fact that McQ treats Hunt like a human rag doll rather than a superhero. He is human after all and we have to buy into the character which was well written. Hunt makes James Bond look lazy with his incredible running form and work ethic. After all, the best lie Tom ever told is that he’s an actor when he’s actually a real-life spy who uses acting as his cover.

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Christopher McQuarrie is a directing genius!

I feel as if McQ doesn’t get enough props. The first movie I’ve seen of his was Jack Reacher. Where Rohit Shetty doesn’t seem to know what he wants to do with cars besides flipping them, sinking them and blowing them up (Dilwale, Chennai Express, etc.), McQ approaches car scenes with action respect. He coordinates car chases spectacularly as in the case of Jack Reacher even though the poor Chevelle takes a crucial blow. RIP.

What I also love about McQ, he doesn’t use any fancy sounds/songs to strangle the action scene, something I’ll talk about when I reach the bathroom fight. He served as a director on Rogue Nation and Tom brought him back to do Fallout. McQ has topped himself and I wish Tom could work with him for the rest of his action life. What am I talking about? I don’t want to see Ethan Hunt in a wheelchair! 😁McQ knows how to craft spectacles and I take my hat off to him. I’ll love for him to direct one of my screenplays… well if I wrote any. 

The stunts 

TC is going to die while performing one of those crazy stunts one day, but he’ll go out doing what he loves for I bet he’ll find a way for the writers to write his death into the movie. Anyways, if you were to look up the word ‘stunt’ in the dictionary, you’ll probably see Tom Cruise as the definition. While it’s admirable that at 56, he still wants to do his own stunts, ain’t nothing wrong with the green screen sometimes. 

I enjoyed the stunts, though. There was a car chase in Paris and going the wrong way on a motorcycle at the Arc de Triomphe. A helicopter chase was shot in New Zealand, the HALO (high altitude low opening) jump sequence in Abu Dubai and the fight scene on Pulpit Rock in Norway. Watching TC dangle from a helicopter over dizzying landscapes was gasp-worthy. 

Yeah, he plane crazy!
GIF via Skydance

The action

Thrilling! The action was thrilling from start to end. It’s probably the best action movie of the century. The action in this film was kicked up a notch because McQ and TC had to top Rogue Nation. There’s a tunnel shootout, bike runs, car chases, running, cliff climbing, and helicopter parachuting. There’s a sequence where the camera rolls with TC for a few seconds in an uninterrupted sprint across a rooftop in London and I was sitting there randomly thinking, ‘Bolt was lucky to not have to compete with that!’ 

BMW rules!

Two BMWs make appearances in this film. At the beginning of the film, the sleek and classy brand-new BMW M5 makes her cinematic debut and it was gorgeous eye candy for a few minutes. 

However, the real star of the film was a classic 1986 E28 BMW 5 Series which Ethan Hunt bashed! I mean, he went in on that car. A funeral was promptly held after the drifting scene.

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He even smashed a BMW motorcycle in the Parisian streets.

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*shrugging* Sue me. I like seeing things get damaged… fictionally speaking of course!

That bathroom fight scene!

I talked about this epic fight scene in a post last month, but I’ll touch on it again. The fight looks realistic despite Liang Yang tearing a drain pipe from the wall as if he’s Hulk. I love that Hunt doesn’t beat everyone in the room singlehandedly and walks out unscathed, but he gets blows and lands blows. Even August Walker gets his butt kicked. The fight choreography was well done right down to Hunt’s keysi moves and reaction timing. The fact that there is no music makes it even better for the realism and grittiness simply shines through. Hollywood (and Bollywood), take note, for THIS is how you do a fight scene.

August Walker 

I love the name, but I like Henry Cavill better when he isn’t speaking. I get why women like him: he’s tall, dark, brooding and good-looking, but thankfully, the man is not my cup of tea and I can watch movies with my eyes open. I’ll rather watch TC watch paint dry anyway. 

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Walker is an assassin who is put in charge of babysitting Hunt if he ever tries to go rogue again. This is a spoiler, but when Hunt was telling Walker how to catch John Lark and Hunt aims the masked gadget at Walker’s face, it foreshadows that Walker and Lark are one person. I like the character, but I feel as if Cavill didn’t do Walker much justice. He’s wooden but shares good chemistry with TC. It gave me immense pleasure when Walker met his demise in the end.

Men in suits

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White Widow and Ethan 

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Vanessa Kirby as Alanna Mitsopolis aka White Widow the daughter of Max from the first MI was my favorite female (shockingly!) and I would’ve loved to see more of her. She is a lover of paradoxes and there is playful chemistry between her and Ethan. 

I guess if Hunt wasn’t already spoken for, there might have been some sort of ‘relationship’ between these two characters for they look good together. 

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Ilsa Faust and Ethan

Their relationship is complex, but they care about each other. Ilsa has Hunt’s best interest at heart and she’s sort of protective of him. Although he doesn’t need her protectiveness, her hovering is kind of cute.

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They’re endgame after all and although many fans complain that they’re yet to kiss, I don’t have any problem at all. Their tenderness for each other is beautiful enough. 

Ilsa Faust — rebeccalouisaferguson: Tom Cruise and Rebecca...

The 3 Musketeers! 

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And everyone else…

The cast gelled great and Tom Cruise seems to have some sort of chemistry with everyone. The women (White Widow and Ilsa Faust) are not sexualized like the Bond films even when the camera is on them. They’re capable and independent and they’re not in need of rescuing. Luther (Ving Rhames), Benji (Simon Pegg) and Erica Sloane (Angela Bassett) were also given their moments to shine regardless of their time on screen. I was particularly happy to see a chapter close for Hunt’s ex-wife Julia (Michelle Monaghan). Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) was scary good and Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) might have made his last appearance as the IMF Secretary. 

The supporting cast was great and I love how McQ layers a character.

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The Ending

When the credits start rolling, I realized that Fallout actually closes out a chapter in the series leaving room for a new story altogether. The storytelling started with Rogue Nation all thanks to McQ. It also closes the storyline of Ethan Hunt being a one-man show for he now has someone by his side to bear the burden with him. This brings us to the 7th MI which Tom says is going to be in the works and has asked McQ to direct. If McQ does direct the 7th MI, it’ll be a trilogy of sorts for him. He breathed new life into a 22-year-old franchise in which the main character is still Tom Cruise. I have no idea what they’ll do for the 7th one, but I think they should come film in the Caribbean. You know? Change up the scenery a little bit? Trinidad has a lot to offer. 😁Or maybe they can head to space. Now that’s going to be an impossible mission for sure!

Thoughts aside, while it’s refreshing to see that TC refuses to stereotype himself as a ‘grandpa’ actor (taking on certain roles because his boyish charms are long gone), I refuse to see Hunt in a wheelchair. 

Overall

The lighting and the atmosphere in the movie is just gorgeous! The movie was like a dose of human love towards humanity. It was relentlessly entertaining, the plot was solid, and it’s the only franchise I’ve seen get better with every film. Everything was well done from the directing, writing, music score, and cinematography. This film was made for fans and not to appease Hollywood elitists. There were several scenes that were shown in the trailer that didn’t make it into the final cut, but the movie turned out well and the shots of Paris were magnifique

TRIVIA

^ Tom Cruise trained for an entire year to perform the HALO (High Altitude Low Opening) stunt in this film.

^ Solomon Lane is the first villain in the franchise to appear in two films.

^ At 2 hours and 27 minutes, this is the longest “Mission: Impossible” film to date. Still wasn’t long enough for some people (including my sister and friend) who didn’t want it to end. 

^ Christopher McQuarrie was the first director in the franchise to direct more than one film.

^ The bathroom fight was meant to be shot in 4 days but due to the complexity of the fight, it ends up being shot over 4 weeks. Best. Fight. Ever!

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^ This was the first “Mission: Impossible” film to be released in 3-D.

^ Tom Cruise did all stunts by himself. Props.

^ The building Tom Cruise was jumping across when he broke his ankle is Baynard House, near Blackfriars, in London. It is a building owned by BT and used as offices, meeting rooms, a car park, data routing centre and telephone exchange.

^ The helicopter which Ethan Hunt pilot is an H125 which was manufactured by Toulouse-based company Airbus. Ayy, France! 

^ Tom Cruise and Ving Rhames are the only actors to appear in all six “Mission: Impossible” films.

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(Via IMDb)

Would I watch it again?: Already did.

Memorable Lines:

Solomon Lane: There cannot be peace without first a great suffering. The greater the suffering, the greater the peace. The end you’ve always feared… is coming.

AND

Delivery Man: Fate whispers to the warrior.
Ethan Hunt: There’s a storm coming.
Delivery Man: And the warrior whispers back.
Ethan Hunt: I am the storm.

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***All photos and GIFs via Google Search

If you’ve read the entirety of this discussion, thank you, or simply skip and came to the end of this, I have a question for you: Did you enjoy Fallout as much as I did? 

Entertainment, Thursday Ten

Thursday Ten: Top 10 Tom Cruise fearless stunts

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“I look at cities and architecture and I’m always thinking, I want to jump off that building,”

Tom Cruise

And I look at you and I’m always thinking, How are you not dead yet? You’re almost 55 and you still want to be the best stuntman in Hollywood. You’re going to die during a stunt!

Sometime last week, I posted that Tom Cruise has been working on a single stunt for a year for MI6. And I was like…

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Yet, I wonder what could that stunt be (and how are they going to keep it under wrap once they start shooting?) seeing that Tom has already done it all. Director at the helm, Christopher McQuarrie is touting it as TC’s biggest stunt ever. *rolls eyes* Excuse me, sequence. Yes, the director called it a sequence and not a stunt…

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And I’m over here, like…

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Anyway, over the years, I’ve seen Tom shake his fists and defiantly stare death in the face. I’ve seen him hang off an airplane, involve in a high-speed motorcycle chase, jump from an exploding fish tank, sword fight, bare-knuckle box, and dangle from the tallest building in the world (is it still the tallest building in the world because if it isn’t, Cruise is going to find it and climb it). He’s the most fearless actor out there and although he enjoys doing stunts for the entertainment value, I think I have to agree with McQ: it’s a hobby for Cruise.

In real life, Cruise is every inch the hero that he is on screen. I’ve read some heartwarming stories which involved him saving a family from a burning boat and paying a woman’s medical bills. But that can be saved for another time. I think TC is the last dying breed of genuine movie stars and I do appreciate what he brings to the screen, but sometimes, he leaves my heart in pieces.

Today, I bring you my top ten favorite TC stunts. I hope it’s possible to choose 10 because I had to leave out the one where he lay under an out of control truck in the 3rd Mission: Impossible.

STUNTING

1. Dangling off the Burj Khalifa Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol/ Jeremy Renner & Tom Cruise:

I’m not afraid of heights. I’m not afraid of heights. I’m not afraid…

Really, I am not afraid of dizzying heights, but watching TC perform this stunt gave me vertigo especially when he calmly sat on top of the building and posed for photos as if it’s part of his everyday meditation ritual. 

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Ghost Protocol remains my favorite in the MI franchise to date.

2. Hanging off the A400M Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

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This stunt stole my action packed heart! Tom was protected by a small safety harness during this scene which he shot 8 times until it was perfect. This is his most impressive stunt to date.

3. Holding his breath underwater for six minutes Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

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The 5th installment of Mission Impossible was wickedly death-defying for Cruise, but he went about it as another normal day at the office. Holding your breath underwater for six minutes is no easy feat.

4. Motorcycle high-speed chase Knight and Day

One of my absolute favorite stunt! I remember thinking that Cruise must be cut from Evel Knievel’s DNA! I love the part where he flips Cameron Diaz around on the bike so she can shoot at their pursuers. It was brilliant! 

5. The exploding fish tank Mission: Impossible

I simply love the camera angle they used from below during this scene and Tom looked cool performing this stunt. I mean, the stick of gum, the explosions, shattered glass and 16 tons of water! The exploding restaurant fish tank was Tom’s idea.

“Kittridge, you’ve never seen me very upset.”

6. Knife to the eye Mission: Impossible II

The first time I watched this scene, I was distracted by the sexy hair. The knife was real, but by this time I was already accustomed to Tom’s craziness. Yet, this could’ve been his last movie had the knife touch his eyeball. Make that a quarter of an inch to his eyeball.

7. Rock climbing scene Mission: Impossible II

In the opening sequence of this film, Ethan Hunt is free-scaling cliffs over Utah’s jagged Dead Horse Point with bare hands. Were he to fall, there was no safety net underneath him to catch him. Tom ended up tearing his shoulder while jumping between rocks. John Woo, the director, did not have the stomach to watch this scene because there were no wires involve.

8. Shootout Collateral

It’s not too often we see TC step into the shoes of a mean killing machine villain and this movie shows what he is capable of as an actor. Michael Mann and TC had rehearsed the club sequence for weeks, but it was TC’s floor-bound barrel roll which left me the most impressed.

This movie features the greatest club scene of all time.

9. Hoverpack chase scene Minority Report

Cruise was dangled from an 80 foot with 1.3 miles of cable during this stunt.

10. Breaking into Langley Mission: Impossible

This iconic scene needs no introduction. Cruise is an acrobat in this. 

**GIFs/Images that don’t belong to LPM are via Google Search (Right-click for original source)

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Entertainment

Oui! Tom Cruise will run in Paris!

Maybe he’ll climb the Eiffel Tower and jump off it. Maybe he’ll tackle the Arc de Triomphe or the famous Louvre or the Notre Dame… whatever! Tom Cruise would be shooting scenes for MI6 in Paris and they should get him to run along the Champs-Élysées. The Latin Quarter would make a great shot too.

The sixth and perhaps final installment of the Mission Impossible franchise would see Tom Crusie and company globetrot a bit with Paris, London, New Zealand, and India on the itinerary. Unfortunately, Jeremy Renner won’t be back because his dates are clashing with Avengers: Infinity War, something I don’t care for, but I’ll miss his presence. He was funny and the voice of reason.

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India is another destination I am excited for. I think Cruise and McQuarrie should consider asking Shah Rukh Khan to make an appearance to give it a sultrier appeal or Ranveer Singh seeing that he is Bollywood’s future heir or even Hrithik Roshan so he can learn how to perform better action stunts from the world’s greatest action star. 

STUNTING

Tom Cruise made stunt history in Rogue Nation for hanging off a plane and holding his breath under water for 6 minutes and I remember thinking that he isn’t going to top that, but McQuarrie recently revealed that the actor has spent the past year training for a single MI6 stunt. Is he going to finally fly without restraint? Kidding. Kidding! Hmmm… I wonder if it involves the Eiffel Tower or the Big Ben or maybe the Taj Mahal? 

MI6 starts shooting in April and already has a release date for July 27, 2018.

Tom Cruise

**GIFs/Images that don’t belong to LPM are via Google Search (Right-click for original source)

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I’ve always wanted to see Tom Cruise run in Paris!

Mission in Paris? Well, I certainly hope so because I’ve always wanted to see Tom Cruise run in Paris.

While it is yet to be made official and cemented in ink, reports are circulating that key scenes from the 6th installment of Mission: Impossible will be shot in Paris, France. My girl Rebecca Ferguson who is returning as the lethal Ilsa Faust confirmed that the French capital will be featured during her interview with Cinema Blend:

“I’m doing stunt work right now, so I’m not missing it. I’m on break for a minute. But it’s lovely going into it not knowing what the big sequences are going to be. Because they don’t really present it all at once, and then you train for it. You train in martial arts, and you learn the technique, and then you break it up, and from that comes movement. I’m going to New Zealand and Paris!

So, I’m holding my breath for Paris.

Meanwhile, *groans* they’ve added more British cast to the 6th installment.

Just call the upcoming Mission: Impossible the battle of the British. After the incredibly boring Henry Cavill was added to the 6th MI, they added someone by the name of Vanessa Kirby…

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… and Sian Brooke.

Reports are saying that Vanessa was brought in to play the lead opposite Tom Cruise. If Rebecca Ferguson is returning, there is no need for this Kirby woman to be lead. I do not care about anyone else being Ethan’s love interest if it isn’t Faust.

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What’s next? Inviting the Queen for a cameo appearance?

MI TRIVIA: The Ilsa Connection

In 2010, Tom Cruise told People magazine that his first celebrity crush was Ingrid Bergman in Notorious (1946).

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After he saw Rebecca Ferguson in The White Queen TC thought she looked like Ingrid and cast her in Rogue Nation. 

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Where’s the trivia in this? Ferguson’s character is named Ilsa just like Bergman’s character in Casablanca (1942). If you watched Rogue Nation and paid attention, then you would’ve appreciated the homage when Hunt and Benji tracked Ilsa to Casablanca at some point in the film.

Both Christopher McQuarrie (writer/director) and Tom Cruise shares an obsession with Casablanca’s Ilsa. I’ve never seen the movie and I don’t intend to.

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 It’s a cine fact that NO ONE outruns Tom Cruise on screen

**GIFs/Images that don’t belong to LPM are via Google Search (Right-click for original source)

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