If you have not yet seen Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1, or, as the cool kids call it, M:I7, I assure you, it is WELL worth the price of admission. I kicked my own ass to go watch the thing yesterday, despite quite horrid weather and a general sense of deep laziness, and went along to watch it on the big screen.
It was totally worth the trip.
This is exactly the kind of movie that we all need, after seeing so many woke Hollyweird disasters – especially like Not Indiana Jones 5. (There are precisely THREE Indiana Jones films, and the third one was the best. End of story, no discussion, case closed. That fourth one, involving Cate Blanchett and a bunch of crazy CGI monkeys, DID NOT HAPPEN.)
As our drunken Scottish friend points out, there are actually a great many parallels between the two films:
This movie has pretty much everything you could ask for – an intricate, complicated, yet still comprehensible plot; tremendous action sequences with death-defying stunts, all done in real life and not on a green screen; compelling and interesting characters, with real interpersonal stakes involved; moments of triumph and grief, mixed in with all of the pulse-pounding action; and, most importantly, a sense of deep respect for the source material and the audience.
We must not overstate the value of that last part. As we saw with Top Gun: Maverick, when Hollyweird actually respects the audience, we reward them for it. This is not difficult for anyone to figure out – as long as that someone does not work at, say, Disney. You can see the respect for the audience on the screen – the producers never talk down to you, never insult your intelligence, and never try to pull those stupid subversion tactics on you that plague so many modern movies.
We cannot discuss this film without talking about the man behind the character of Ethan Hunt, because these movies would not happen without him. Tom Cruise is probably the last of the true Hollywood action heroes left. He is, of course, absolutely bugshit NUTS – he IS a Scientologist, after all – and as such, he does truly crazy things, but no one can dispute his love for his work, or his dedication to his craft. He genuinely loves doing these insane stunts – and you KNOW, when you are watching the movie, that EVERYTHING you see on the screen, is HIM (for the most part).
The jumping-off-a-cliff-on-a-bike scene, for instance, is genuine and real, and heart-stopping – and he shot that scene at least SIX TIMES in one day:
This is a man who loves and respects the fans. None of that should take our attention away from his very real and serious personal defects – he has three ex-wives and a long list of people who hate him, for a VERY good reason. The man’s ego is enormous, which is why, at 60, he is still doing things which would be impossible for men a THIRD his age.
Yet it is precisely because of his dedication to his craft, and his respect for his fans, that we get movies like Top Gun: Maverick and M:I7, that do precisely what movies SHOULD: entertain us.
Now, the odd thing here is, the movie has not quite made the box office numbers you would expect, given its GIGANTIC US$300M production budget. As of this writing, the best data we have indicate a global box office gross of around US$266-274M. The problem is, with that production budget, and with marketing and sales costs roughly 50% of that, and given movie studios take about 40% (or thereabouts) of a ticket’s sale price, the film needs to make AT LEAST US$600M, JUST TO BREAK EVEN. And that is a tall order, given it is now competing with Barbie (do NOT watch that movie, for reasons I will explain), and Oppenheimer – not to mention Sound of Freedom, which is already past US$100M despite showing at only about half the number of screens of your typical summer film.
Making US$600M globally is going to be very difficult, not gonna lie. When I went to see the movie yesterday, about a third of the seats were empty – this, after the film had been out for a good 5 days. I think it will manage nonetheless, because it is a truly great film, but that is no guarantee of anything – I thought The King’s Man was phenomenal, yet it made only US$121M globally against a US$100M budget.
But I would like to think that people will reward good quality, one way or another, especially given how appallingly bad some of the competition is.
And that brings us to the Barbie movie. Now, obviously, I have not watched it – nor will I ever do so. But it is important for people to understand that it is the greatest bait-and-switch ever released into cinemas. The studio marketed this movie as a fun, inoffensive, mindless bit of family-oriented fun nonsense. It is in fact a toxic stew of feminist insanity and pure misandry:
Do not waste your money on people that hate you and want to see you destroyed. Spend it on people who actually respect you and give you what you want, in exchange for your hard-earned cash.
M:I7 is that latter kind of movie. There is NO feminist toxic bullshit in any of it. Hayley Atwell‘s character is beautiful, sharp, smart, talented, and witty, but she is NEVER cunty or bitchy, and she often finds herself wanting and needing Hunt’s help to get things done. Rebecca Ferguson‘s character, Ilsa Faust, was one of the best things about the last three Mission: Impossible films, and you really get to see the depths and strength of that character’s relationship with Ethan – and how much she means to him. Even Paris, the BADD-AZZ WAMMENZ!!! in the film, gets beaten down, HARD, by Hunt.
And there is a moment of real grief in the film, involving one of the female characters – I will leave it at that. I found it a genuinely moving part of the movie, given how much has been invested into that character.
In summary – if you want a movie that actually respects you and wants to reward you for your time, go watch M:I7. It is well worth your time.