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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

‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ Wraps Filming

star wars episode vii

Alex Ritman | THR: 

The Star Wars: Episode VII team descended upon London’s Science Museum en masse Saturday night for a huge celebration many have speculated could be the film’s wrap party.

J.J. AbramsMark HamillHarrison FordCarrie FisherDaisy RidleyAndy Serkis and John Boyega were all in attendance, with Boyega posting several images and videos onto Instagram of him with his co-stars. One showed him dancing to Stevie Wonder‘s Superstition with Ridley, while another saw him next to R2-D2, captioned “home time buddy.” Regular Abrams collaborator Simon Pegg was also at the event, leading to further rumors that the actor-director could have landed himself a part in the film.

This movie is going to be huge. Like Titanic huge.

Not sure how I feel about Simon Pegg’s possible involvement, though. If that’s the case, it’s certainly a sign of J.J. Abrams’ growing talent harem.

The Last Four Movies That Will Star Robin Williams

By now, you may have learned the tragic news that celebrated actor Robin Williams tragically passed away today at age 63. One of my personal favorite actors growing up, Williams is best known for his wide range of talent as both a comedian and dramatic powerhouse. The word to best describe him, honestly, will always be memorable. His films simply left a lasting impression.

Films like AladdinMrs. DoubtfireGood Will HuntingGood Morning Vietnam, and of course, Dead Poets Society will be remembered as some of Williams’ best work. But there are still four more films to be released that feature the deceased actor. Here they are:

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

The third film of the Night at the Museum movies (about a museum where the exhibits come to life) will see Robin Williams reprise his role as Teddy Roosevelt.

The movie will be released on December 19th of this year, and you can watch the trailer below.

Merry Friggin’ Christmas

Another comedy coming this holiday season is Merry Friggin’ Christmas, which stars Robin Williams and Lauren Graham. In it, Williams plays a man who visits his dysfunctional family at the holidays, only to realize he left his son’s gifts at home and must travel back home with his own father to make it back in time.

Christmas opens on November 7th, 2014.

robin williams merry friggin christmas

Boulevard

Williams stars in this indie drama alongside Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad). It debuted at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival and will be a drama centered around a married man who must confront his “secret life.”

A wide release date has not yet been announced.

the-boulevard-robin-williams

Absolutely Anything

In what will likely be his last onscreen offering, Williams lends his voice to “Dennis the Dog” in this film about a man who discovers he has magic powers. The film also stars Simon Pegg and Kate Beckinsale in live action roles.

The film will open sometime next year.

robin williams absolutely anything

Of course, several other projects were “in the works” for Williams, including a possible sequel to Mrs. Doubtfire. The actor had tough year as of late due to the cancellation of his CBS comedy, The Crazy Ones.

It’s hard to say goodbye to an actor who has meant so much to so many people. It’s even harder to say goodbye so suddenly. But I hope that you will make the trip to theaters to finish Williams’ work. I know I will.

Review: ‘The World’s End’

Is the World's End Worth Watching

The World’s End is the unofficial third entry in a trilogy of (seemingly) unrelated genre-parody movies done by Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. 

Shaun of the Dead gave us a movie that pokes fun at zombie movies, Hot Fuzz obliterated buddy cop movie clichés and we now have The World’s End, which attempts to give current sci-fi a reason to feel embarrassed.

In 1990, Gary King (Simon Pegg) was the leader of a group of rebellious teens who make the cast of Skins look like respectable youths. Fast forward 20 years and King is now an alcoholic who can’t let go of the past.

Meanwhile, King’s group of once-adoring sidekicks have become estranged, settling into adulthood with careers and families. In an effort to reunite them and relive the old days, King manipulates the gang into having one final night out in their hometown of Newton Haven.

The night in question is the completion of “The Golden Mile,” a 12-pub crawl that the group wasn’t able to complete 20 years ago that King now obsesses over finishing. The final pub in that mile is aptly named “The World’s End,” a symbol of the chaotic finale Gary King seems fixated on.

By itself, the first act of the movie would be enough to solidify a great story about a grown man who makes the audience cringe with his increasingly absurd antics. Simon Pegg’s performance as King is his best yet, in my opinion, and is simply fun to watch, especially since this is a bit of a deviation for Pegg as an actor.

Of course, this is Edgar Wright, so the movie takes a turn for the apocalypse by the second act, as the group discovers that their hometown has been invaded by what they hilariously describe as “blue-filled robots.”

In order to keep the “robots” from knowing their discovery, the group decides to finish the Golden Mile anyway. Because of this, the gang gets even more drunk and begins making crazy decisions that would normally make the audience cry plot hole.

Instead, we are treated to a visually fun and frantic comedy that had me laughing wildly throughout.

Though Pegg and Nick Frost steal the screen as the main cast, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked the secondary characters who completed what King calls “The Five Musketeers.” Each character in the group was very interesting and had their own complicated personalities, giving me an actual reason to root for them in their plight.

That makes me sad to say that the love interest, Sam (played by Rosamund Pike) was a bit too one-dimensional compared to her counterparts and didn’t contribute enough to the plot in my opinion.

Still, the movie is well-done in terms of dialogue, acting and story. It was refreshing to watch something that took risks and aimed for unpredictability.

If there’s one thing I loved most about this movie, it would be how well they treated the character arc for Gary King, a fictional person with a surprising amount of depth for a comedy. Also, the conclusion of the film is easily my favorite movie ending this year. Seriously, they nailed it.

Is it worth watching?

This is a must-watch for fans of Shaun of the DeadHot Fuzz and even classic sci-fi movies in general. The jokes and mayhem are a bit raunchy, but the R-rating doesn’t include nudity. The humor is deadpan at times, so if you’re not a fan of British entertainment, you may want to go for the rental for this one. 

Otherwise, I have little doubt you will have a good time with this movie.

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