ARTS & LIFE
Surreal films in focus / D3
Quantum of Solace The Syndicate are ominously congregating .
This results in an elaborate but beautifully mounted sequence in which Ethan is obliged to prevent an assassination during the performance. It’s especially impressive compared to the comparatively clumsy opera sequence in Quantum of Solace. Director/co-writer Christopher McQuarrie evidently set his sights higher, modelling after the climax of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much.
From here, though, the movie goes through the Mission Impossible motions, as Ethan breaks into an ultra-secure computer facility (see the first movie), participates in a thrilling, breakneck motorcycle chase (see the second movie) and is blackmailed by the villain to employ his talents to do his bidding (see the third movie).
You get the whiff of desperation throughout, as when the shirtless Ethan is prepped for torture, an opportunity to see Cruise remains buff at age 53. Even when Cruise is not on screen, people talk about him, as when Baldwin’s spymaster warns his odious British counterpart (Simon McBurney): “Hunt is the living manifestation of destiny and he has made you his mission.”
Dialogue-wise, that’s a clunker worthy of a Steven Seagal movie.
Consider it a signal that the franchise has not only abandoned the team dynamic of the original TV series, it has largely abandoned its hero. Mission Impossible 5’s mission is to allow Tom Cruise to defy his age and waning box-office clout. Its success will be judged at he weekend box office... should you choose to accept it.
— Cary Darling, The Intense Tom Cruise Face — you know the expression I mean, where he looks like he’s about to explode and/ or start yelling, but doesn’t — makes frequent appearances, as does the trademark arm-chopping Tom Cruise Run. — Moira Macdonald,
is a sigh of defeat. Now Tom’s only goal is to give us a kickboxing fight or a motorcycle chase every eight minutes, and hope for the best. — Kyle Smith, This is entertaining in its schematic way; it’s impossible not to respond to the theme music on a Pavlovian level. There’s a sentimental attachment. But like Tom in that almighty opening plane stunt, I’m finding it harder and harder to hang on. — Peter Bradshaw, For about 90 minutes or so,
is grandly exciting. But in the final half-hour, McQuarrie makes a critical mistake: He starts taking this enjoyable nonsense seriously. — Rene Rodriguez,