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The Mission: Impossible Series – Anyway, That’s All I Got!

mission: impossible

With the recent release of Mission: Impossible – Fallout, we here at ATAIG thought it would be the perfect opportunity to trace the lineage of the series—from 1996 to 2018—and try to figure out how and why this franchise has managed to keep going strong. We talk about the ones that worked (five of them), the one that didn’t quite work, all of the crazy stunts, and all of the insanely complicated storylines over the years. We also have an important announcement at the beginning, so make sure you don’t miss that, and enjoy!

Hosted by Sam Noland, Jason Read, and Anthony Battaglia!

Question For You: Which M:I movie is your favorite? Also, whose facemask would you want to have? But, most importantly, can you explain the plot of any of these in one sentence? Comment below, email us at ataigpodcast@gmail.com, or follow us on Twitter: @AnywayCast.

Go on…The Mission: Impossible Series – Anyway, That’s All I Got!

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‘Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation’ Review — The Bomb Cruise

mission impossible rogue nation review

Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation is the fifth film in the nearly 20-year-old franchise, once again starring Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, as well as a host of old and new characters.

One of the interesting qualities of this franchise is the frequent remix of creativity. Each Mission: Impossible has had a different director. Many of them, like Brad Bird and J.J. Abrams, have managed to breathe life in the aging franchise, while others…John Woo…have made it gasp for air.

So I was pleasantly excited to hear that Christopher McQuarrie — known for Usual Suspects, Valkyrie, and last year’s Edge of Tomorrow — would be bringing his signature style to “Rogue Nation” as both writer and director. And as you can imagine, the results are excellent.

mission impossible rogue nation review

The basic set up of the film is pretty basic. The IMF (Impossible Mission Force) has been disbanded, and Ethan is now a fugitive hunted by the CIA. He has to gather old allies to combat a shadow organization that the CIA doesn’t believe exists called “The Syndicate,” aptly nicknamed the “Anti-IMF” by Simon Pegg’s character, Benji.

The Syndicate is composed of former government agents from around the world, sort of like a “dark” G.I. Joe, making them a pretty formidable foe for Ethan and his team. They’re not as chilling as Phillip Seymour Hoffman (the franchise’s best villain so far), but the plot is certainly fresher than Ghost Protocol and the second Mission: Impossible.

As always, Tom Cruise does many of the death-defying stunts we’ve come to expect in these films, adding to the tension of actually seeing him hang off of an airplane lifting off a runway. Every set piece in this movie graciously feels like a thrill ride that’s hard to get out of your head. You can tell that McQuarrie wanted to recapture some of the thriller aspects of the first Mission: Impossible, while making sure the action was nonstop as it’s been since M:I3. And it works to great effect.

mission impossible rogue nation review

You’ll probably love the characters, especially newcomer Rebecca Ferguson, who plays a femme fatale who seems to be having the most fun with her role. She’s electric on the screen and a welcome addition to the franchise. Alec Baldwin plays a CIA…manager or something…and has a forgettable role in my opinion, though the few scenes he’s in are pretty fun and break up the action.

Overall, this is an entertaining movie with great action and likable characters. I enjoyed it far more than this year’s Fast and Furious installment, a similar franchise that’s not ready to quit. Unlike that movie, “Rogue Nation” had me on the edge of the seat and smiling like a teenager all throughout.

Grade: B+ 

The villains aren’t particularly interesting and the smart plot is undercut by predictability, but the superb action scenes and great performances make this a standout in this year’s best action films.

Extra Credits

  • Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames are back and better than ever. I highly doubt the franchise would still be this good without them. I was less impressed with Renner, but he did have a running joke that had the whole theater laughing at one point.
  • I can neither confirm or deny that this movie is good. OK, I can.
  • They actually make fun of Tom Cruise’s height in this movie. Seriously.
  • The plane is hyped up in the trailers, but it’s not even the best scene. This was a great choice.
  • Hunt is the living manifestation of destiny!

Rogue Nation was directed and written by Christopher McQuarrie. It stars Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, Jeremy Renner as William Brandt, Simon Pegg as Benji Dunn, Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust, Ving Rhames as Luther Stickell, Sean Harris as Solomon Lane, and Alec Baldwin as Alan Huntley.

I’m Jon and thanks for reading this. You can subscribe to my posts by clicking “Follow” in the right sidebar. Or just say hey on Twitter! @JonNegroni

Goodbye Philip Seymour Hoffman. Thank You For These 4 Films.

Earlier today, I was told the sad news that Philip Seymour Hoffman, celebrated actor, was found dead today in Manhattan at the age of 46.

Hoffman is responsible for many performances that I have truly enjoyed, but I’m not going to sugarcoat it. I loved his presence because it made me (and many others) feel uneasy. He was a fantastic villain, and he stole the show from other formidable leads on a consistent basis.

He will be surely missed. I’m not going to pretend as if I am qualified to declare what his best performances were as a sort of memoriam. I don’t know what they are, and I honestly don’t care.

First and foremost, I want to say goodbye and wish his family and friends well. They’re losing a good man. Second, I’m not going to get into how he passed away. At the time of this writing, nothing has been confirmed related to the cause of death, and it’s ultimately irrelevant.

So I’m going to honor his memory the only way I know how. By saying goodbye. To do that, I want to thank him for all of the films he put work and effort into for us to love. The following four films stand out to me, as they are my favorite performances by the cherished actor. Of course, I’m leaving out many great films, so please feel free to consider listing the films that impacted you in the comments.

4. Doubt

philip seymour hoffman doubt

I was unprepared for Doubt, a fictional, suspenseful story of a priest who is being accused of pedophilia by the head nun, played by Meryl Streep.

The performances in this film caught me years before I was mature enough to appreciate them. I can still feel the intensity of the conclusion, which affected the audience in a deliciously deceptive plot twist that still lingers in my head when I think back on the film.

3. The Big Lebowski

big lebowski philip seymour hoffman

Brandt (Hoffman): Her life is in your hands.
The Dude: Man, don’t say that, man.
Brandt: Mr. Lebowski asked me to repeat that: her life is in your hands.
The Dude: Oh, s***, man.
Brandt: Her life is in your hands, Dude.

2. Mission Impossible III

philip seymour hoffman mission impossible

There are plenty of other films I would place above this Tom Cruise action spy flick, but I feel compelled to include it due to the embarrassing fact that before I watched this movie, I had no idea who Philip Seymour Hoffman was.

Boy, did I learn, and if I hadn’t, I probably would have missed out on Pirate Radio.

1. Almost Famous

almost famous philip seymour hoffman

Hoffman was responsible for my favorite scene of this movie.

Lester Bangs (Hoffman): Aw, man. You made friends with them. See, friendship is the booze they feed you. They want you to get drunk on feeling like you belong.
William Miller: Well, it was fun.
Lester Bangs: They make you feel cool. And hey. I met you. You are not cool.
William Miller: I know. Even when I thought I was, I knew I wasn’t.
Lester Bangs: That’s because we’re uncool. And while women will always be a problem for us, most of the great art in the world is about that very same problem. Good-looking people don’t have any spine. Their art never lasts. They get the girls, but we’re smarter.
William Miller: I can really see that now.
Lester Bangs: Yeah, great art is about conflict and pain and guilt and longing and love disguised as sex, and sex disguised as love… and let’s face it, you got a big head start.
William Miller: I’m glad you were home.
Lester Bangs: I’m always home. I’m uncool.
William Miller: Me too!
Lester Bangs: The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone else when we’re uncool.
William Miller: I feel better.
Lester Bangs: My advice to you. I know you think those guys are your friends. You wanna be a true friend to them? Be honest, and unmerciful.

Goodbye Mr. Hoffman. Rest in peace.

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