Movie Review: Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015)

We are finally here, my friends. The final part in my series of reviews leading up to “Mission Impossible: Fallout” in August. As for anyone wondering about “Ghost Protocol”, I already reviewed that one back in the day when my blog was fucking awful… so you’re not getting a review of it now. And after this review, there will be no more “Mission Impossible” content on this blog… until “Fallout” gets released at least. Anyway, let’s get into the final part of this review series.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation”!

After the IMF gets disbanded, Ethan (Tom Cruise) and the gang have to go rogue to try to take down a shadowy organization known as The Syndicate. That’s the basic plot, not saying much more about that due to potential spoilers. But what I can say is that while the plot is relatively straight-forward, it still succeeds in feeling like a good spy-thriller plot. Instead of going for convoluted twists and turns, it focuses more on being a fast-paced, suspenseful, and engaging thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat for most of it.

The characters int this are colorful, unique, interesting, and overall entertaining. As expected, Tom Cruise of course returns as Ethan Hunt. This is the same Ethan Hunt as in most of the previous ones, but a bit more developed. And seeing the shit he has to endure throughout this (not counting crazy stunts) is just as engrossing as it’s been in the past. And Cruise is of course great in the role. Next we have Simon Pegg reprising his role as techie Benji Dunn. He once again acts as a comic relief, but he also gets a few more dramatic moments this time around, and it just makes the character even more interesting. And Pegg is great in the role. Ving Rhames returns as Luther Stickell, the other techie of the team. He’s once again a charming, caring, (sort of) voice of reason kind of man that is so much fun to watch. And Rhames is really good in the role. Jeremy Renner returns as agent William Brandt, and he once again provides a bit of fun commentary on Ethan’s antics while still being a very important part of the team. And Renner is really good in the role. Newcomer time! First up we have Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa, a mysterious woman who Ethan and the audience can’t be sure to fully trust, and she’s given a good arc in this film. And Ferguson is great in the role. Next we have Sean Harris as Lane, a dangerous hitman who acts as the movie’s main villain. Not gonna say much more because his role is better left experienced rather than explained. But he’s a suitably creepy villain with good enough motivations. And Harris is really good in the role. We also get some supporting work from people like Alec Baldwin, Tom Hollander, Jens Hultén, Simon McBurney, and more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Joe Kraemer, and I think he did a damn good job with it. Sure, he mostly builds upon sounds established in previous installments, but that doesn’t take away from the quality of it. His score is badass, bombastic, exciting, and suspenseful, often elevating the movie’s many scenes.

“Rogue Nation” was written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, and I think he did a great job with it. His direction has a good flow, making even the actionless scenes interesting. And then we come to the action scenes, which are beautifully shot. There’s not a shaky-cam in sight, everything is fully visible and shot to be as exciting as possible. Also, minimal CGI. Real vehicle chases, real fights, real Tom Cruise strapped to a big-ass plane like a crazy person. McQuarrie shows here that he has an eye for making compelling and awesome action scenes.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 93% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 75/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,4/10.

“Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation” takes what was good in the previous installments and blends it to make a damn fine action film. It has a really good plot, really good characters, great performances, really good music, and fantastic directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation” is a 9,86/10. Which means it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation” is now completed.

I really enjoyed going through these movies. Love doing review series like this.

Movie Review: Up in the Air (2009)

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Flying, something that we humans can’t naturally do, but for some reason really want to be able to do. So that’s why we place ourselves and other people in giant hunks of metal that can miraculously get into the air.

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s fly… “Up in the Air”.

Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) is man who works as a corporate downsizing expert, which really is just a fancy way of saying that he fires people for the bosses at their places of employment so that they themselves don’t have to get their hands dirty. And with this comes a good amount of perks, including getting to fly for free(ish) all over the country. He really loves the lifestyle of not really having a home and having to give too much of a damn. However, all of this takes a bit of a turn when he meets Alex (Vera Farmiga), a woman whom he starts a bit of a “casual” relationship with, but it might possibly be going a little further than “casual”. Ryan’s world also gets a little shaken up when he has to take a young, new co-worker (Anna Kendrick) under his wing (plane pun, ladies and gents). Let me tell you this: The marketing for the movie makes it look like your typical romantic comedy, but it really isn’t. I would really describe the movie as a character study of a man who loves to be free, not having to be settled down. And if you go into the movie knowing that, then I think you might enjoy it. And I think that is something that makes the plot of the movie so much better. I was invested in the plot, I really wanted to see what was gonan happen next in Ryan’s life. It was funny, dramatic, heartfelt, and actually a little bittersweet. Yes, there’s romance in the movie… but that’s not techincally the main focus of it all.

The characters in this movie are all pretty great. They are all pretty damn flawed and that really helps make them compelling. George Clooney honestly knocks it out of the park as Ryan Bingham, perfectly playing this man who really doesn’t want anything to do with love or marriage or anything like that. Keep in mind, he isn’t an asshole… he just does his job… while also being a little bit of a jerk. Vera Farmiga is great in her role, playing this woman who comes into Bingham’s life and adds a little something to it. Anna Kendrick as the young woman who works with Bingham to learn the job, she’s really good. I haven’t really seen her in anything that made me go “Fuck yes, Anna Kendrick!”. She’s never been bad, but she’s also never really impressed me in any way. But I gotta say that she did a really good job here. As for the rest of the supporting cast… Yeah, it was great. There are a lot of pretty big names within the supporting cast, but none of them get a particularly big role. Biggest of them might be Jason Bateman who plays Bingham’s boss/co-worker, but even then he has a relatively small role. Most actors in this movie only get like one pretty small scene each… but god damn, are those scenes well acted!

The score for the movie was composed by Rolfe Kent and while it wasn’t used too much in the movie, it was really good. It helped elevate the few scenes it was used in. What happened though was that a lot of scenes had licensed tracks by various artists. But that’s okay because the music choices in the movie were pretty great and perfectly worked within the scenes they were used in.

This movie was directed by Jason Reitman, who also made “Juno” and “Thank You For Smoking”, the latter of which being one of my favorie comedies ever. With that said, this movie isn’t a straight-up comedy. This is a drama with comedic bits every now and then. The jokes that are in the movie are really funny, especially a few early on that are pretty dark. But as you probably know by now, I love dark humor. But as for the directing itself, which I should have mentioned first before the genre stuff… yeah, it’s really good. It’s a very well directed movie even if it doesn’t do anything too special in that area. The writing on the other hand… fucking great stuff, I tell ya.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes a 91% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 83/100. Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,4/10. The movie was also nominated for 6 Oscars in the categories of Best Picture, Best Actor (Clooney), Best Supporting Actress (Farmiga), Best Supporting Actress (Kendrick), Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

“Up in the Air” is quite a surprisingly great movie. It has an interesting story, great characters, great acting, great music, really good directing, and great writing. Time for my final score. *Cough*. My final score for “Up in the Air” is a 9,87/10. This of course means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “Up in the Air” is now completed.

And we’re flying through the night away
Far far away
And we’ll fing a place we’d like to stay
Far far away