director Christopher McQuarrie
I am not a dyed in the wool Mission Impossible fan, but after Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol (2011), which I checked out mainly because of the Brad Bird angle, I was a little more open to the action franchise’s latest installment. It’s had a rotating directorial thing ranging from Brian De Palma, John Woo, and J.J. Abrams to now Christopher McQuarrie as “man behind the camera”. And for some reason, my dislike of Tom Cruise has been softened over the past few years, having developed a respect of the oddly workman-like movie star.
I was interested, but as it turns out, not interested enough to go see it in the cinema.
McQuarrie brings home the goods in large part, with Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg and newcomer Rebecca Ferguson (the latter perhaps the film’s true stand-out). There are some great sequences, from the opening scene with Cruise attached to the outside of a departing airplane to more hand-to-hand combat scenes that really deliver the action in more physical form, not the souped-up superhero CGi that a lot of big franchise action films have become (though it has some of that too).
For some reason, I felt it kind of lost something in the last part of the film, losing some of the steam of the better part of it, dropping it a bit in my overall estimation.
What oddly caught my eye more than anything else were two of the production companies emblazoned on the film’s opening: China Movie Channel and Alibaba Pictures, the first of which because of its clunkiness and the latter because it underscores the China connection in this film’s funding and development.
The “China Movie Channel of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television in the People’s Republic of China” whose other noted film collaboration was Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014). Alibaba Pictures is the film arm of China’s Alibaba Group, essentially China’s monster Google equivalent empire. What this signifies is really the future of a lot of things, but for now, let’s just say “movies”. China is the market about the explode and funding movies with an eye to making big bucks overseas is probably the beginning of a long set of partnerships.
I cast no judgment here, only observe this. The idea, of course, is the future of movie franchises, ones that will have legs elsewhere. So, I guess, if you liked Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation, you’re in for a good future. It may well be the template for such things going forward.