Mission: Accomplished

When I was a teenager I loved the local ABC affiliate especially after 10:00. Larry Connor was the news anchor and he was good, but I only watched him to hear him say the magic words at 10:30….”Coming up next MASH”. Mash was my favorite comedy and I loved watching it. Then after Mash (not After-Mash, the crappy spin off, but after Mash was over) came Nightline. Now Ted Koppel was a true news anchor. I learned more about politics and the world from him then any college professor could ever teach me. And then after that came those wonderful musical notes duh, duh, du-du, duh, duh, du-du, duh, duh, du-du, duh, duh, du-du. doodledoo, doodledoo, doodle doo, doo-doo! If you hummed that right you just heard the Mission: Impossible theme.


That’s right I stayed up until 12:30 each night watching Mission: Impossible repeats. And it was so worth being tired the next day. I loved that show. There was nothing about that show I did not like. It was amazing. Seriously if you have never seen any of the original shows you need to. I have them on DVD so you can borrow them…..as long as you drive to South Dakota to get them. There was nothing half as cool as watching some guest actor rip off a latex mask and have Martin Landau or Leonard Nimoy appear on your screen. Or watch Barbara Bain play the cold sex siren while Greg Morris was doing some unheard of techno stuff. That show was amazing!!!!

So way back in the 1990s when they announced they were doing a television remake I was hesitant, but excited. And I loved it. I was saddened that they made the decision to Make Mr. Phelps go bad, but just chose to believe that it wasn’t the real Mr. Phelps but a different one since he wasn’t played by Peter Graves, but by Angie’s daddy. But they got the whole thing about what made M:I so amazing, Great spy capers, latex masks, car chases, and awesome gadgets. And each of the following ones were just as good. Now don’t get me wrong these aren’t movies that are deep emotional pieces of drama, but they are high quality action spy movies with a little complex story that calls for the audience to keep up. Add in great stunts and a couple of nice twists and what’s not to love.


This weekend Tom Cruise and gang came out with their fifth M:I movie, Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation. And it is just as exciting and thrill packed as the last four. It has everything going for it as the last four and add to that the fact that we have all been dying for an intelligent action film this summer. No we have not had one yet. Jurassic World was a retold story. Avengers and that Ultron thing wanted to be smart, but yeah let’s get real a flying city? Ant Man, nope no brains went into that script. No we have needed a movie that called for the audience to think and this is it.


The movie starts off with an adrenaline rush of action sequence that includes having Tom Cruise jump on a moving Russian cargo plane. Much was made last summer about the fact that Cruise did his own stunts and pictures hit the web showing him actually on the plane. I have mad respect for Cruise. He’s a talented actor that stretches himself and is always committed to the fans. He gives himself over to a role and goes that extra mile to make sure the fans get their money worth. This opening action sequence delivers even beyond what we see in the trailers. It’s classic M:I!


We have the old gang back together again. Ving Rhames, who has been in all five movies is back as Luther, the tech wiz. Simon Pegg returns for his third go round as Benji, the comic relief of the movie. And Jeremy Renner returns for his second go as William Brandt, the second in charge that wants to be in charge. Joining the gang this go round as the sexy siren of the team is Rebecca Ferguson, a Swedish actress playing an English agent. She’s really good and I hope that maybe for the first time in the franchise they can have the female spy return for a film.   There are a few villains in the film, Sean Harris is the big bad as Solomon Lane, but Alec Baldwin as Alan Hunley, the CIA Director trying to shut down the IMF comes real close to stealing the show, as Alec is want to do.


The action is amazing and the cinematography on the missions is amazing. As is typical with the M:I films the team finds themselves circling the globe, which means some great set pieces and scenery. This one even has a great underwater sequence that is shot wonderfully. I don’t want to say a whole lot about the action sequences because for me part of the joy of these movies is the element of surprise. Let’s just say you won’t be disappointed.


If I had to pick one thing about this installment in the franchise is that I don’t feel like there was enough fun taken in developing new gadgets and introducing them to us. I’m a gadget guy, and I need more cool gadgets. Also they only use the mandatory latex mask sequence as more of a joke than a real caper. Damn it people we need more latex masks in this world and you not using them to their full potential is very disappointing. I expect more latex in the sixth installment. Without the latex masks this could be a James Bond film and his missions are always possible.


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