Tag Archives: Alec Baldwin

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

Movie:  Mission Impossible:  Rogue Nation

Rating:  4 Stars (Out of 5)

Review:   Some very bad people in a cargo plane are starting to taxi down a runway in Minsk, Belarus, with a load of deadly nerve gas on board.  If they get airborne, there is no telling what mayhem will be unleased on an unsuspecting population, but there is no stopping them now.  But wait!  We see Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) sprinting after the plane and grabbing onto the fuselage just as the plane takes off!  What was Hunt thinking?  Can he do anything about the nerve gas, and how is he going to survive this reckless act of bravado?

Meanwhile, in the sterile but cutthroat world of Washington D.C. bureaucracy, CIA Director Alan Hurley (Alec Baldwin) is making a case for the Impossible Mission Force (IMF) to be disbanded.  Despite defender William Brandt’s (Jeremy Renner) best efforts, the IMF is officially shut down and team leader Ethan Hunt is officially sanctioned and becomes a fugitive from the U.S. Government.  After six months on the run from a worldwide search, Hunt manages to summon Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) to Vienna, where they encounter a mysterious agent, the beautiful Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson).  While Faust’s intentions remain unknown, they all are seeking the dangerous head of a criminal organization known as the Syndicate, and its diabolical leader Solomon Lane (Sean Harris).  Unless Hunt and his renegade band of IMF operatives can somehow foil the shadowy and ultra-powerful Syndicate, violence and chaos will be the order of the day around the world.

This film is jam packed with insane stunts that will amaze and thrill the audience from the opening scene to the end of the movie.  Tom Cruise at 53 years old is still able to perform all these stunts himself (there’s gotta be a billion dollar insurance policy on the guy).  Ethan Hunt is the closest thing America has to James Bond, and dammit, that’s a good thing!  All of the supporting characters have game, and the pace of the movie careens from one locale to the next at breakneck speed.  The plot might not hold up to the harshest scrutiny, but no one will care.  It’s just a very satisfying rollercoaster thrill ride you will be glad to take.

Dialogue Nuggets:  Hunt – “Can you open the door?”  “That’s the wrong door!”

Hunt – “You were officially declared dead two years ago.  Nice shoes, by the way.”

Brandt – “This may very well be our last mission, Ethan.  Make it count.”

Hurley – “Ethan Hunt is living his last days as a free man!”

Dunn – “I didn’t win those free opera tickets, did I?”  Hunt – “I’m afraid not.”

Dunn – “She tried to shoot me!”  Hunt – “That doesn’t make her a bad person.”

Dunn to Hunt – “Are you okay to drive?  A minute ago you were dead!  This is not going to end well.”

Ilsa Faust – “I’ve saved your life twice.  I won’t be able to do it again.”

Huh?  What the….:  There is a scene where a person is trapped in a small bullet-proof area and fires multiple bullets inside.  Hello?  There is something called ricochets!  Ouch!

Existential Thought – This is the fifth Mission Impossible movie.  Just who is the Secretary, and why is he willing to disavow the IMF team if they are caught or killed?  Who would want to work for him?

 

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Aloha

Movie:  Aloha

Rating:  3 1/2 Stars (Out of 5)

Review:    Come to beautiful Hawaii, the tropical paradise of the Pacific.  Brian Gilcrest (Bradley Cooper) has returned to Hawaii and Hickam AFB, although he is no longer an air force officer.  And his former girlfriend Tracy (Rachel McAdams) is now married to Major John Woodside (John Krasinski) and has two children.  So as Sam the piano player once famously said to Ilsa, a lot of water has gone under the bridge.

These days Brian Gilcrest is a contractor, working for billionaire Carson Welch (Bill Murray) on a hush-hush space satellite program.  As a VIP of sorts, Brian has Captain Allison Ng (Emma Stone), F-22 fighter pilot, assigned as his escort officer to assist him in his duties.  Captain Ng is a native of the state, 1/4 Hawaiian, 1/4 Chinese and 1/2 Swedish, and insists on giving Brian a running commentary on the island’s history and customs.  Gilcrest, having been stationed there as an air force officer, believes he knows enough about Hawaii without her help.  As if the satellite program wasn’t enough to worry about, Gilcrest is tasked to negotiate with the native Hawaiian tribal government on rights to a new gate for the air force base.

If there wasn’t enough on Brian Gilcrest’s plate, he has four star General Dixon (Alec Baldwin) on his back to not screw up the high visibility satellite program, code named Brave Angel.  While we don’t get a lot of background, there is obviously some history between the two men from the time when Gilcrest was on active duty.

This is a very good movie, character driven with darn good acting.  The only problem is there are too many major plot lines struggling to be resolved in just two hours.  There is the troubled Brian Gilcrest coming back to Hawaii with all sorts of unresolved feelings for former flame Tracy, and her issues for Brian and the husband as well.  The attractive and ebullient Captain Ng has inserted herself into Brian’s life and mission.  There is a brief treatment of the native Hawaiians and their attempts to maintain relevance in their own land.  Oh yeah, and then there is the enigmatic and charming Carson Welch and the all important satellite project.  It just feels like none of the story lines had enough chance to breathe on their own, but it was a brave effort anyway.  Worth seeing, especially in the summer season of movies that mostly blow stuff up.

Huh?  What the….:  Emma Stone as half Hawaiian and Chinese?  Those other Swedish genes really kicked butt!

Actor To Watch:  This movie would have benefitted with more of Alec Baldwin in it.  He has become one of the best character actors in the business, with a real flair for comedy.  If he ever gets the right vehicle he should win an Oscar.  Just saying.

Dialogue Nuggets:   Gilcrest – “Colonel, I am here to save you and your big, white obsolete whale.”

Gilcrest – “I don’t even remember why we broke up.”   Tracy – “We broke up because you didn’t show up for a vacation!”

Gilcrest – “I saw that missile coming and I didn’t get out of the way.  I didn’t care.”

“We have stuff to deal with before the famous Gilcrest exodus.”

Tracy – “Was he angry?”   Daughter – “He decapitated Santa Claus!”

Carson – “You can’t stop the future with one silly desperate act.”

Gen Dixon – “One more thing, Mister Three Day Beard Guy.  Stay away from Allison Ng!”

Gilcrest – “Well, I remember the good times.”   Gen Dixon – “THERE WERE NO GOOD TIMES!”