Movie Review: Mission Impossible: Fallout (2018)

I know, I know, you’re probably sick of me talking about “Mission Impossible” at this point after all the previous reviews. But like I promised you in my “Rogue Nation” review, that would be my last “Mission Impossible” post until “Fallout” came out. And now it’s out. And after this post, no more “Mission Impossible” stuff… unless they come out with a new one, but we’ll cross that bridge if and when we get to it. So let’s go.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Mission Impossible: Fallout”!

When a group of terrorists get hold of some items that could cause a nuclear holocaust, it’s up to Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team to find these items and stop the terrorists. Right, there are elements of this plot that certainly are recycled from other movies, but they’re all mixed together in such a way that it feels fresh and interesting. What I also like is that the plot doesn’t really hold your hand, it respects its audience enough to not spoonfeed them everything, trusting us to pay attention to what’s going on. Combine that with the usual “MI” twists and turns, genuinely engaging drama, as well as some real suspense, and you get what could be the best and most intriguing plot in the franchise so far.

The characters in this are layered, unique, and quite interesting. After all the previous reviews, I don’t need to go into Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, I already did in my previous reviews, and not much has changed in that regard, but I don’t mind since Ethan is such a well realized action protagonist. And yes, Cruise is still great in the role. Same with Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg. Rebecca Ferguson reprises her role from the previous movie, and she’s still great. Same with Alec Baldwin and Sean Harris. So let’s talk about the newbie that is Henry Cavill as August Walker, a CIA agent who’s been tasked to help Ethan and the gang out with this operation. He’s an intense bruiser who is constantly at odds with Ethan and his ways, which creates an interesting character dynamic. And Cavill is great in the role. Then we get supporting performances from people like Vanessa Kirby, Angela Bassett, Kristoffer Joner, and more, all doing very well in their respective roles. Sorry if I’m being a bit vague with this, but I do it to either not repeat stuff from previous reviews or to not spoil some character stuff that’s better left experienced.

The score for the movie was composed by Lorne Balfe, and I think the score here is great. It really does help improve on an already well crafted movie by adding to the intensity or overall fun-factor of a scene. Not much else I can say, it’s a badass orchestral score that works very well for the movie.

Returning as director we have Christopher McQuarrie. That’s right, first “Mission Impossible” movie where the director hasn’t been switched out. And I’m glad, because McQuarrie is one of the best action directors working today. I loved his work on “Rogue Nation”, and also really liked his work on “Jack Reacher”, so I was actually happy to see him return for “Fallout”. And he fucking outdid himself here, giving us fast-paced, suspenseful, and badass direction. Both in the quieter scenes and the action. And yes, the action is spectacular. From fights, to shootouts, to chases, to insane Tom Cruise stunts, this movie has all the action… and all of it is amazing. Not only because we know it’s Tom Cruise actually doing stunts, but because of how visible it is. Not shaky shit here, this is sleek and brutal action that is shown beautifully through McQuarrie’s direction and Rob Hardy’s cinematography.

This movie came out fairly recently, but it’s been very well received so far. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 97% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 86/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,3/10 and is ranked #133 on the “Top 250” list.

“Mission Impossible: Fallout” is an action lover’s wet dream and it’s absolutely my favorite of the franchise. It has a great plot, really good characters, great performances, great music, and fantastic directing/action/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Mission Impossible: Fallout” is a 9,90/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

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

This is how you do action.

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: Mission Impossible 3 (2006)

Holy shit, we’re already at the third part in my “Mission Impossible” review series. Time sure flies. Well, I guess we should jump into it like a Tom Cruise stunt.

Ladies and gents… “Mission Impossible 3”.

We once again follow IMF agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) as he gets dragged into another mission. And this time his mission is to find and capture a very elusive and dangerous arms dealer (Philip Seymour Hoffman, R.I.P). So now we have our twisty-turny spy thriller plot. What’s fun is that it takes the MacGuffin, single villain plot of the second movie and mixes it with some of the deeper conspiracy/twist-based stuff of the first. It’s a good, fast-paced, and entertaining spy thriller plot. But there is also where we find the main flaw/draw of the plot: It’s fast-paced. Like, “almost give you whiplash with how fast-paced it is” fast. It’s good because it keeps stuff from getting boring or too slow (a la the first half of “MI2”), but it also makes some scenes feel a bit too rushed. So overall this plot is really good, if a little too fast at times.

The characters in this are flawed, layered, and quite interesting. Tom Cruise of course returns as IMF agent Ethan Hunt, and I really mean it. This is not the wannabe James Bond from “MI2”, this is the Ethan of the first movie, but with some added details. He’s trying to settle down, but he’s also active in operations, trying to keep that side of his life secret. And Cruise is great in the role. Next we have Philip Seymour Hoffman (may he rest in peace) a Davian, the villainous arms dealer antagonist of this film. He’s a sinister, matter-of-fact, menacing motherfucker who proves a truly formidable foe for Ethan and his team. And Hoffman is fantastic in the role, taking lines that would be shit in lesser hands, and turning them into some of the most menacing things I’ve heard in movies. Next we have Michelle Monaghan as Julia, Ethan’s fiancée. Not gonna say too much as her development and such is kind of spoiler territory, but let’s just say that she’s a more interesting character than one would assume at first. And Monaghan is really good in the role. Then we get supporting work from Ving Rhames, Laurence Fishburne, Keri Russell, Jonathan Meyers, Maggie Q, Billy Crudup, Eddie Marsan, Simon Pegg, and more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Michael Giacchino and it was pretty damn good. What he did here is that he gave us an orchestral score that featured both big, bombastic action tracks and smaller, tension-building tracks for some of the smaller scenes. It’s really a damn solid score that works very well for this movie.

This movie was the feature film debut of J.J. Abrams, and I think he did a really good job with it. As some of you might know, he has a penchant for making his movies very fast-paced, and while that can be a little bit of a detriment to the plot here (as mentioned in a previous section), it does nothing but help the action scenes here. The action here is fucking great, giving us fighting, shooting, swinging, running (so much running), and more, blending it into some damn entertaining stuff.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 70& positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 66/100. Roger Ebert gave it 2,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,9/10.

“Mission Impossible 3” is a return to form after the disappointing second installment. It has a really good plot, good characters, great performances, really good music, and really good direction. As I mentioned earlier, the relentless pace of this movie makes a few moments throughout feel a little bit rushed (but not enough to ruin the movie). Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Mission Impossible 3” is an 8,87/10. So while flawed, it’s still definitely worth buying.

My review of “Mission Impossible 3” is now completed.

Only one more to go.

Movie Review: Mission Impossible (1996)

With the upcoming release of “Mission Impossible: Fallout”, I decided that I should go back and review the previous movies in the series… except for “Ghost Protocol”, since I already reviewed that way back when my blog was total shit (now it’s only partial shit). So without further ado, let’s jump into the first installment of this franchise.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Mission Impossible”.

When he’s framed for the deaths of his teammates, IMF agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) has to go rogue to find out who truly is behind this entire situation. So now we have spy thriller. And I do think this plot is quite good. What I like most is that it focuses more on building a suspenseful and somewhat unpredictable spy narrative rather than being a typical shooty-bang-bang summer action movie. It went for a somewhat different approach to its storytelling than its contemporaries. The slowly building sense of dread and paranoia is what makes it stand out. That said, the plot isn’t flawless. While enjoyable and well told, it can at times feel a little bit convoluted. It’s not as insane in that regard as some other movies, but it’s still worth pointing out. So overall this plot is good.

The characters in this are all layered, likable, and interesting. Tom Cruise plays Ethan Hunt, a young and slightly cocky agent who gets put to the ultimate test when he gets blamed for his team’s demise. What I like about him here is that he’s a very vulnerable hero whose mind slowly kinda snaps after the shit that happens to him, and it’s interesting to see him get developed throughout the movie. And Tom Cruise is damn good in the role. Next I wanna mention Ving Rhames as Luther Stickell. A generally tough guy playing the tech dude… that’s just amazing. And Rhames is so much fun in the role. Then we get performances from people like Jon Voight, Vanessa Redgrave, Jean Reno, Henry Czerny, Kristin Scott Thomas, Emmanuelle Béart, Emilio Estevez, and more, all doing very well in their respective roles. The reason why I’m keeping it vague is because their characters/arcs are best left experienced rather than explained.

The score for the movie was composed by Danny Elfman, and it is pretty fantastic. His score jumps between bombastic, droning, emotional, and fun, and it just elevates the movie quite a bit, adding so much to the scenes where it can be heard. And can we just take a second to talk about that classic theme? It’s just so fucking good and is just the epitome of awesome spy/action stuff.

Based on a 1960s tv show, this movie was directed by Brian De Palma and I think he did a great job with it. His direction here is incredibly tight and manages to build some absolutely nailbiting suspense at times. Just take the famous vault sequence for instance, one of the most suspenseful scenes I’ve ever watched, and that thanks to De Palma’s relatively minimalist direction. And the action scenes in this are in general very well choreographed and shot. This movie also has some of the best uses of the dutch tilt that I’ve seen. Though that could also be because I’ve seen a whole bunch of films use it as a crutch rather than a tool. Again, De Palma and crew did a great job.

This movie has gotten somewhat mixed reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 62% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 59/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,1/10.

“Mission Impossible” is a suspenseful and highly entertaining spy thriller. It has a really good plot, good characters, great performances, really good music, and great directing. As previously mentioned, the plot can be a little bit convoluted at times, but it doesn’t ruin it too much for me. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Mission Impossible” is an 8,87/10. So while flawed, it’s definitely still worth buying.

My review of “Mission Impossible” is now completed.

One down, three to go.

Movie Review: The Dark Tower (2017)

Right up front, I adore Stephen King’s “Dark Tower” books. They’re epic, unique, engaging, and just awesome. So I was worried about the series being adapted to film. Then the trailer came out and it looked like shit. But now we’re here, reviewing it. Comparisons to the novels are inevitable, but I will do my best to not rely on that stuff. Try to judge this on it’s own. So here we go.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Dark Tower”.

Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) has been having dreams/visions of a strange land filled with strange stuff. And one day he finds an actual portal to that world. There he meets Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), AKA the gunslinger. And they meet up to try to find and stop the evil wizard known as the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey) from destroying the one thing holding all the universes together… The Dark Tower. So now we have our adaptation. And it’s not a direct adaptation of any of the books, but rather mixes the stories of all of them into one thing. And it feels quite messy. Cramming a ton of stuff into a 90-minute runtime. So you get a rushed mess that has stuff from all the books, but only feels very surface-level. And even if you take the books aside for a second, it still feels rushed and messy. And not very interesting. At best the plot is meh. But for the most part it is not good.

The characters here show potential to be interesting, but never reach that full potential for me (at least I didn’t dislike them, I guess). Idris Elba plays Roland, a gunslinger. Quick lesson: A gunslinger is a sort of guardian who has sworn to protect Mid-World and the Dark Tower. And Roland is the last of the gunslingers because someone (the Man in Black) was a dick. But you can see some history with him and that there’s some pain behind those eyes. But they never go and fully develop him. But Elba is really good in the role. Tom Taylor play Jake Chambers, the young man who gets visions of Mid-World and Roland and all the shit going on with the Dark Tower. He gets some backstory, and you get a decently clear idea of who he is as a character. And I didn’t hate him, he was probably the most well developed character here (even if it’s not full-on development). And Taylor was really good in the role. Matthew McConaughey (alright, alright, alright) plays the Man in Black, the big threat to Mid-World, our world, and all worlds that are connected by the Dark Tower. He’s a wizard of sorts who can tell you something and you do it. He’s like a less interesting version of Kilgrave from “Jessica Jones”. And while McConaughey is clearly having a lot of fun in the role, his performance isn’t great. It’s average-ish. The rest of the actors in this movie range from fine to good. Serious waste of Jackie Earle Haley in this.

The score was composed by Tom Holkenborg (AKA Junkie XL) and it was okay. Bit generic, often reminded me of “The Da Vinci Code”. It’s not bad, but nothing stuck out to me as great or memorable. Most of it is just fairly typical stuff. Takes cues from action, horror, emotional drama, and more in the various tracks. It’s overall… fine.

This movie was directed by Nikolaj Arcel, and I think he did an average job. It’s clear that this movie was rushed into production, so a lot of the less than stellar stuff in direction and such might not be his fault. There is almost no tension here, and the movie looks really generic. For one of the most unique and interesting fantasy franchises, the adaptation sure looks bland. Admittedly there are moments in this movie where I had fun with some of the action. Mainly in parts where action gunslinging was happening, I kind of enjoyed those bits. But there’s also some action here that leaves no impact and just comes off as… meh. Let’s also talk about the visual effects. Some of them look good, and some were kind of bad… distractingly so. It’s kind of like what I said about the plot… messy.

This movie hasn’t been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 16% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 34/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 5,7/10.

As an adaptation of Stephen King’s books, “The Dark Tower” isn’t good. As a movie on it’s own, it’s slightly better but still not that good. Good things include a couple of performances, the character of Jake Chambers, and a couple of action moments. But the plot, most other characters, the music, and directing/cinematography/action range from meh to bad. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Dark Tower” is a 4,65/10. I didn’t want to dislike it… but I kind of did. I’d recommend skipping it.

My review of “The Dark Tower” is now completed.

I didn’t wanna dislike it. I wanted it to be good. *sigh*. At least I can still read the books.

Movie Review: The Lego Batman Movie (2017)

“The Lego Movie” is one of the most surprising movies ever. The idea of having a feature length movie about Lego just sounds like the most blatant piece of product placement ever… which it still technically was. But it actually had great writing, direction, and acting, so it turned out to be kind of awesome. So let’s see if the second movie in the (not officially titled) Lego Cinematic Universe is any good.

Ladies and gents… “The Lego Batman Movie”.

The many villains of Gotham are out to once again wreak havoc, and it’s up to Batman (Will Arnett) to stop them! But it’s not just another “Bats stopping bad guys” story, as we also follow him as he goes through some family issues after he accidentally adopts Dick Grayson (Michael Cera). So now we have our family-friendly adventure. And the plot here wasn’t just a silly and fun adventure, as it shows a surprising emotional core in the Batman family issues side of things. Because of what happened to Bruce in the past, he is afraid to get attached to anyone in case of him potentially losing them, but he’s too proud to show it. So you get a fun and fast-paced Batventure combined with a surprisingly investing family story, filled with lots of heart.

The characters in this are fun, entertaining, and relaly interesting. Will Arnett reprises his role as Batman/Bruce Wayne from “The Lego Movie” and he just kills it! This version of Batman is very self-centered, with an ego the size of Norta Dakota. He always talks about how awesome he is, but he also goes through a pretty surprising character arc. And really, I just can’t stress enough how awesome Will Arnett is as Batman. Michael Cera plays Robin in this movie, and from the trailers he almsot seemed like he could get a little too much based on how energetic and excitable he was. But he was actually a really fun and endearing character that I found myself caring about, and Cera was great in the role. Ralph Fiennes plays Alfred in this, and he jsut nails it as the character. There’s nothing unique about him compared to other Alfred’s we’ve seen before, but the lines he’s given and his deadpan delivery is just great. Rosario Dawson plays Barbara Gordon and what is there to say, really? She’s tough, she’s smart, she’s Rosario Awesome. Zach Galifianakis plays Joker in this and I think he’s good in the role. The character has a fun and important role in the story, and he was overall fun, but it’s mainly his voice that didn’t sit that well with me. I like Galifianakis, and I get that there’s only one Mark Hamill, but I feel like the voice here was a bit too… normal to work for the Joker. Again, Galifianakis was overall good in the role. And then there’s… I don’t exactly want to spoil it, and I can’t sit here and list every character that pops up, so I’m just gonna list some of the people doing voices here, because there are plenty of great names here. Though I will mention, Two-Face is played by Billy Dee Williams, and if you don’t get the significance of that… then you should go back and watch the 1989 “Batman” movie. Anyway, here’s the cast list: Zoë Kravitz, Conan O’Brien, Jenny Slate, Jason Mantzoukas, Eddie Izzard, Doug Benson, Kate Micucci, Riki Lindholme, Seth Green, Jemaine Clement, Ellie Kemper, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Adam Devine, Hector Elizondo… and more.

The score for the movie was composed by Lorne Balfe and it was great. It was big, bombastic, epic, and just badass. It’s the perfect type of music for a “Batman” movie as it takes elements of the scores from various “Batman” movies. And I liked that. There’s also some new songs created for this movie that were quite fun. None as catchy as “Everything is Awesome”, but I feel like none of them would get on my nerves as easily as that one. Then there’s also a bunch of licensed tracks that are used very well throughout.

This movie, unlike “The Lego Movie”, was not directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Instead it was directed by Chris McKay who is currently slated to direct the live action “Nightwing” movie. And I think McKay did an excellent job with the direction. This movie is so fast-paced and filled with energy that I never felt bored or out of it at any point. There was something interesting happening every second, and that kept me invested and energized. And the animation, mother of god, it is fucking amazing. It is of course done in the same stop motion-esque style that “The Lego Movie” was done in, and it is just so fun to look at. The animation especially shines in the action scenes, something there’s plenty of, keeping any kiddos watching interested. And seeing as this is a comedy, let’s talk about the humor. I laughed a lot in this movie, there’s joke after joke after joke here, rarely giving you time to breathe between them. For the most part it uses the humor to oke fun at Batman’s history, but not in a “HA, this is dumb!” kind of way. It’s a sort of loving tribute to the Caped Crusader and his many iterations, done in the way of satire/spoof. And it’s all funny, at various levels of laughter. There are also references to other pieces of pop culture, and those are really fun too.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 90% 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.

“The Lego Batman” movie is an incredibly fun animated movie with loads of heart. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, fantastic directing/animation, and great humor. Time for my final score. *I’M BATMAN!*. My final score for “The Lego Batman Movie” is a 9,78/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “The Lego Batman Movie” is now completed.

DARKNESS, NO PARENTS, CONTINUED DARKNESS.