Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation

Year 8, Day 82 - 3/22/16 - Movie #2,282

BEFORE:  I'm skipping a day, and regarding my next film as Tuesday's offering - why?  Well, the short answer is that I went out to the movies on Monday, to see "Deadpool", and I will review this film later - but wait, isn't that cheating?  Not really, I make the rules around here, so there's really no way I can cheat, I just have to change the rules to suit my needs.

But for the longer answer, I have to explain my mild OCD, which states that everything must be in balance, order must be wrung from chaos somehow.  I don't have the kind of OCD that makes me turn the lights on and off 17 times before I leave the room, or wash my hands excessively during the course of the day (those people are freaks!) - I just have the kind that demands that everything be in balance, so if you really want to drive a guy like me crazy, perform dental surgery on him, and tell him he should only chew on one side of his mouth for a while. (Turns out)

But I also have the kind that wants to organize everything (umm, just not my house, except for the comic-book room).  And I've been ahead of the count for the last month or so, meaning that on Day 80, I was watching Movie #81 for the year - it's fine, really, it just makes me feel a little off, knowing that things can be slightly better.  And then I went on a small 2-day vacation last week, during which time I was only able to watch 1 movie, so since then I've been watching my Tuesday movie on Tuesday night, for example, when I'd prefer to watch it early on Tuesday morning.

But that's crazy, because somehow I was both ahead and behind one film at the same time.  (Don't think about it too much, because that's my job...)  Now, the simple solution would be to skip a day, at least on paper, call the Monday film the Tuesday film, let the numbers coalesce into agreement, losing the numerical advantage but gaining a little free time.  

But I still want to see "Deadpool", damn it, before it leaves theaters - God knows how long before it will be released on DVD or hit premium cable.  This way I have some control, I can post the review whenever I see a linking opportunity, or I can lump all the recent Marvel movies together like I did in 2014, and review the new "Captain America" film and the new "X-Men" film and a few others, maybe right before Comic-Con.  

So, a compromise - watch "Deadpool" now, post that review later, skip a day in the chain and get back on track.  This way I can see the film, I maintain my one-movie-per-day rate, the numbers line up better, and my OCD gets stifled, for the moment.  Oh, and linking is maintained, with Alec Baldwin carrying over from "Aloha".  

FOLLOW-UP TO: "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" (Movie #1,915)

THE PLOT: Ethan and team take on their most impossible mission yet, eradicating the Syndicate - an international rogue organization as highly skilled as they are, committed to destroying the IMF.

AFTER: OK, first off, IMDB, you can't say "most impossible mission", because "impossible" is one of those words that can't be modified, like "unique" or "dead" - one thing can't be more impossible than another, if they're both impossible, they're equally unlikely.  Got it?  

Here's another sign that I'm finally catching up on things - it took me four years to get around to watching the last "M:I" film, "Ghost Protocol", but only about 8 months to get to this one.  That's a marked improvement - but wait, you say, how could I be watching this, if the film is long gone from theaters, and it's not even on PPV yet, let alone premium cable?  Well, I COULD be watching an Academy screener, like, if I happened to work for a member of the Academy and I borrowed it, but that would be wrong, because those screeners are ONLY meant for the express use of Academy members during the voting process, so that can't possibly be the case.  (Not that it matters, because I pay for cable, and as soon as this plays on HBO or Showtime, I'm totally dubbing it to DVD, as is my right.  Watching it now just accelerates the timetable, I would have gotten around to paying for it eventually, one way or another.) 

Anyway, the latest film in this franchise takes us from Belarus to Austria to Morocco to London, and in each city there always seem to be people in black leather on black motorcycles chasing after black SUVs.  It's getting a little predictable, guys, when that's the kind of scene that they were making fun of in the film "Spy".  Maybe try changing it up a little, like the color of the outfits or the type of vehicle, you know, use some imagination.  

But there's some kind of international syndicate, made up of former intelligence agents from around the world who are believed to be dead, and I guess that's the rogue nation from the title?  I don't know, but they're led by a former British agent who talks like Truman Capote, but manages to capture Ethan Hunt for purposes of - torture, I guess.  It's hard to say what the plan was, but since the CIA was trying to track down Hunt at the same time, wouldn't it have made sense for the syndicate to offer him up to the CIA?  Like, in exchange for something?  Torture seems like such a dead end.  

But I guess then they framed him for the death of a dignitary, so maybe there was something of a plan.  Hunt keeps escaping with the help of a double agent of sorts, who gets into more and more trouble every time he slips away.  To resolve things, Hunt's team has to break into a very secure data site to get a list of Syndicate agents, which made me wonder why such a list exists in the first place, and then why whoever's keeping it made it so hard to get to.  And again, it can't be an "Impossible" mission if Hunt's team manages to get the data, because that means that it was possible, albeit quite difficult.  Because the truly impossible mission is the one that they start and can't finish, so the movie ends early.  

I'd love to see that in a "Mission: Impossible" film, come to think of it.  The team gets the mission specs, go over the security defenses of a building, debate whether it's possible to defeat the combination locks and the lasers and the facial recognition, determine that the task is truly impossible, then have everyone just shrug their shoulders and walk off.  That would truly be different -

Instead, this feels rather formulaic.  Maybe it's because I recently watched "London Has Fallen", which also featured the assassination of world leaders and a lot of black leather-clad motorcyclists chasing after black SUVs.  All of these modern action films are exciting, but they do seem to be drawing from the same playbook these days.

Also starring Tom Cruise (last seen in "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol"), Jeremy Renner (last seen in "28 Weeks Later"), Simon Pegg (last heard in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"), Ving Rhames (last seen in "Undisputed"), Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris (last seen in "Prometheus"), Simon McBurney (last seen in "The Theory of Everything"), Tom Hollander (last seen in "The Invisible Woman"), Jens Hulten, Zhang Jingchu.  

RATING: 7 out of 10 polygraph tests

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