Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
The “Mission Impossible” movies somehow keep impressing me. Right when the franchise started to get dry, they released “Ghost Protocol,” and the addition of Simon Pegg and Jeremy Renner added a fresh feel to the series. It made “Ghost Protocol” my favorite “Mission Impossible” movie yet.
Well, Rogue Nation outdoes all of the predecessors.
The team is back at it again. When Senate member Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) gets the IMF disbanded, things start to go awry. However, that doesn’t stop Ethan (Tom Cruise) from continuing to hunt The Syndicate, a rogue organization fixated on offing the IMF. He gets the team back together, along with some unlikely allies, in order to take down the Syndicate.
“Rogue Nation,” much like its predecessors, never stops delivering the action. It brings the crazy amount of stunts that the “Mission Impossible” series is known for, and somehow makes them even better. You will be on the edge of your seat the entire movie, eagerly awaiting what will happen next.
The abundance of superhero movies that have been released in the past five years is getting absurd. It seems like there are at least four or five coming out every year. I know many people who are getting burnt out on superhero movies, myself included. Most of these movies tend to be origin stories, which involve explaining how the hero got their powers. They are all the same. The hero starts off as a nobody, something happens so he or she gets powers, a villain happens to pop up shortly after (almost like they planned for that or something), hero fights villain, hero loses, hero trains, hero wins, everyone is happy. It’s become predictable — the same goes for “Ant-Man.”
When cat-burglar Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) stumbles upon a super suit, he gets the power to shrink down (you know, to the size of an ant). He then meets the maker of the suit, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), who tells Scott that he must use the suit to thwart his old protege Darren Cross (Corey Stoll), who plans to replicate the suit to use it for evil. Then the rest writes itself.
Ant-man wasn’t unwatchable by any means. The superhero movie genre is simply played out to the point where new entries are redundant. If you’re a huge superhero buff, you’ll probably enjoy it, but don’t expect anything different from the 30 other superhero movies that have been released recently.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
If “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” feels familiar, don’t worry — it should. The film is a well-made comedic sendup of serious spy movies featuring a tuxedoed seducer, a la the James Bond franchise. Parodying the genre is hardly a new idea — the film is based on a TV series from the 60s, which was co-written by Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond. After a decade of penning the suave spy, Fleming was ready to begin parodying his earlier creation.
The film takes place at the height of the cold war, when Henry Cavill (“Man of Steel”) and Armie Hammer (“The Social Network”), agents from opposite sides of Berlin’s wall, are forced to work together to stop Elizabeth Debicki (“The Great Gatsby”) from building a nuclear weapon. Cavill and Hammer are also both trying to get Alicia Vikander (“Ex Machina”) to share her father’s secret research with their side, but not the other’s.
Nothing here is particularly new, but that doesn’t stop it from being a fun ride. “True Lies” (Arnold Schwarzenegger’s best), “Johnny English” and a hundred others have spoofed James Bond before, “Lethal Weapon” and “Rush Hour” have forced mismatched partners to work together before and nearly every sitcom has exploited sexual tension for comedic hijinks, but “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” takes the best of everything. Directed by the stellar Guy Ritchie (“Snatch,” “Sherlock Holmes”), this is a great way to kill a few hours.
by Brook Gardner-Durbin