MI No Likee [u]

I wanted to like Mission: Impossible V, I really did.  I’ve been a long time fan of Tom Cruise, and feel he got a bum rap.  Yes, he’s a Scientologist.  What can I say, it’s a Hollywood cult that works for some actors, John Travolta being the other big example.  As long as you’re not obnoxious — or dangerous — with your cult, what do I care?  You want to believe that aliens rule the world, more power to you.

And he had a couple rants, like the one about psychologists — where he wasn’t completely wrong.  And he jumped on Oprah’s couch.  So what.  Compared to what a lot of big stars do, that’s nothing.  It does not negate his excellent performances in Born on the Fourth of July, Eyes Wide Shut, A Few Good Men, and The Firm, nor does the public now feel repulsed by early favorites Risky Business or Top Gun.

But people just can’t forgive couch-jumping.  I was dismayed that last year’s superb sci-fi thriller Edge of Tomorrow didn’t do better at the box office, so when MI V came out and received universal praise, I was pulling for it.  When the widely panned Fantastic Four was released on MI V’s second weekend, I was rooting for MI V to come out on top — and it barely did.  I figured reviews and word of mouth had won — this one time at least — over marketing.  It was almost as good as the Yankees losing.

Then I had the sad misfortune to watch the movie.

* * *

MI V - text blockA Most Wanted Man, for its myriad of issues, struck a sober tone, one of melancholy; an atmosphere which allows one to believe, and thereby be absorbed, into the story — if only it hadn’t been so mangled.  MI V doesn’t go that route, rather choosing a James Bond tack.  A tack which often worked for 007, but sure doesn’t here.

MI V fails because the silly approach undermines the movie’s attempts to present a serious, or at least exciting, spy thriller.  When Tom Cruise is delivering nominally serious lines, I felt completely numb to them — indeed I had a hard time believing anything other than the comic relief.

Mission Impossible 5 - poster medIf you can’t be deft enough to skirt your spy flick between sober and comic — in other words, if you can’t find that Bond film balance, then choose one side or the other.  Go the way of A Most Wanted Man, or for a more fun but still serious approach, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  Decide you’re an exciting thriller.  Or decide you’re a comedy, like Spy.  Though Spy sets out no more than to make you laugh, the dramatic storyline works a helluva lot better than MI V — or Skyfall, for that matter.

So all this makes MI V an incredible bore; if I didn’t have a blog I would almost have walked out.  I mean Mr. Holmess bees generated unencumbered enthrallment compared to this clunker.  An abundance of blatant ripoff Microsoft product placement didn’t help.  On the positive side: a night at the opera, one good vinyl self-destruct scene, two good action sequences, a small handful of “cute” moments, and cool beginning and ending credits.  3/10

UPDATE: Now 4/10

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2 thoughts on “MI No Likee [u]

  1. Pingback: Film Brief: The Diary of a Teenage Girl | movies remark

  2. Pingback: The Best and Mostly Worst of 2015 | movies remark

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