Straight From a Movie

Pensive Thoughts on Paper | Movie Reviews and Quotes Website

Tag: Angela Bassett

Mission Impossible Fallout Review (2018) | Ethan Hunt is on Another Wild Joyride

Christopher McQuarrie walks in with yet another installment of the MI series and he doesn’t fail to deliver. Mission Impossible Fallout is fully packed with action and a mind-racking mission that will have your heart in your mouth. To ice it all, the fact that Tom Cruise has done all his stunts himself deserves a standing ovation per se. The bloke is so invested in acting that even a broken foot doesn’t stop him from completing a scene. It is just thrilling to see him this phenomenal at the age of 56.

Mission Impossible Fallout doesn’t have any separate memorable side-missions like all the prequels used to carry except the immediate prequel. I guess we have to accept McQuarrie’s way of filming an MI movie. He doesn’t really cash in on a sub-plot rather focuses more on the actual one. For him, the idea of an impossible mission is to stay with the primal plot, and it makes sense too. He has literally changed the way we have been looking at an MI mission. For some, this very fact could be bothersome while for some, it doesn’t really matter.

The end you’ve always feared is coming. And the blood will be on your hands. The fallout of all your good intentions.

Mission Impossible Fallout has old school written all over it even though it is working along with all those latest gadgets IMF has. Everything boils down in the end to a cliched helicopter chase where the hero throws himself in the nick of time on a rope or someone in the team does something as intricate as cutting wires off bombs. But what makes it all different and why does Mission Impossible Fallout movie stand out?

The Direction of Mission Impossible Fallout Movie

McQuarrie believes in delivering a realistic experience to his audience. The fact that he doesn’t resort to that much visual effects in order to shoot an action sequence just goes on to prove how serious he is about filmmaking. If you get a complying actor who never fails to impress either, lo! the circle is completed. Judgment is delivered. You get a complete cinematic experience that focuses on what’s innate and not what’s fabricated. Tom is his golden goose, and the magic seems to be working every time.

Mission Impossible Fallout Team

Christopher McQuarrie satiates action lovers with all kinds of stunts in this new installment that capers around topics that makes all its stunts justified. It is a mind-boggling adventure of a tale that comes with its own twists and turns. Working for IMF and for so long (we are talking all the installments here) the team has become capable enough to outsmart people, and they do it plenty of times here, thus proving why experience gives them the upper edge.

There are close calls aplenty that will have you jumping on your seats. It also has an endearing love angle that places the two women Ethan loves and his boss in front of his mission and he juggles them all like a pro. There are split-second decisions to be made that Ethan makes unflinchingly. Plans going kaput that places him in dire situations and he always manages to come through.

McQuarrie leverages Tom in a way he has never before whilst depicting uncut original shots that will have you biting your nails off. Whilst Cruise cruises through it all dedicatedly and unfazed by what it might do to him. Such a level of commitment! It leaves you speechless.

The Plot of Mission Impossible Fallout Movie (Spoilers)

Set two years later after the events of Rogue Nation, the movie starts off with a dream Ethan Hunt has where he is concerned about his ex-wife Julia’s (Michelle Monaghan‘s) safety with the prequel’s villain Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) by his side as the world speeds up into oblivion. With Lane in custody, the remains of The Syndicate forms itself into a terrorist group called The Apostles. Ethan is assigned a mission (“should you choose to accept”) to intercept the sale of three Plutonium cores which are being handed over to their client John Lark.

There cannot be peace without first a great suffering. The greater the suffering, the greater the peace.

Cut to Berlin where he meets the rest of his team Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) and Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) to carry out the mission. Ethan fails when he chooses to save Luther’s life over securing the plutonium cores which is stolen by the Apostles.

Nuclear weapon’s expert Nils Debruuk (Kristoffer Joner) is captured by the team then and is tricked into believing that the nuclear bombs indeed went off and that cities like Rome, Jerusalem and Mecca were destroyed in its wake. Duping him, they take the info about Apostle’s next move.

August Walker

Enter August Walker (Henry Cavill), a Special Activities Division operative who is instructed by CIA director Erica Sloane (Angela Bassett) to shadow Ethan for the rest of the mission after knowing about his debacle in Berlin.

You use a scalpel, I prefer a hammer.

The next job is to Halo jump into a party to intercept John Lark, impersonate him using all that face imitation technology we had seen in the prequels, and to retrieve the cores from White Widow (Vanessa Kirby). The mission goes kaput when August and Ethan end up in a fist fight with John Lark who is eventually shot by Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson).  That fight scene is one of the many good things about the movie.

Unable to make the mask in time, hoping that White Widow hasn’t met John Lark in person, Ethan takes the risk of meeting her anyway portraying as John Lark. A lot of agents from all across the globe wanted him dead and show up to attack John. Despite their attempt Ethan and White Widow escape. White Widow then breaks it to Ethan the price of obtaining Plutonium was to extract Lane from a convoy crossing Paris.

Testing Loyalties

Avoiding a mass massacre of the innocents, Ethan and his team extract Lane even though he is forced to go against White Widow’s team, Ilsa Faust, who is bent on killing Lane, and the police. Watch out for that chase scene! Simply dope! White Widow changes her term of core’s deliverance by wanting Ilsa too along with Lane.

Please don’t make me go through you.

Mission Impossible Fallout Ilsa and Ethan

Walks in IMF Secretary Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) pointing fingers at Ethan calling him the real John Lark. On being cornered after being asked to stop the mission, Ethan knocks him out to complete the mission.

How many times has Hunt’s government betrayed him, disavowed him, cast him aside? How long before a man like that has had enough?

Taking Lane’s face to continue the meeting with White Widow, Benji is tied against Lane. When Walker is left behind with Lane, he spills the beans in front of him revealing himself to be the real John Lark. The team along with Hunley (who was acting all this time) catches him red-handed and Erica is informed on the phone. She sends a shadow team to take them all in.

Turns out Walker is a step ahead as his apostles have already infiltrated the shadow team. A fight ensues and Hunley gets stabbed and Walker escapes. Ethan follows suit racing after him and narrowly cuts him only to fall back owing to a threat about his ex-wife.

The Bomb Trouble

With the help of a tracker, the team is able to track down Walker and Lane to Kashmir. Lane’s plan, with the help of the nuclear explosion, is to contaminate the water supply of India, Pakistan, and China to affect one-third of the world’s population. Benji explains how the remaining nuclear bombs are so intricately synchronized that if one gets defused the other one goes off and that bombs can only be defused when the countdown timer is running. If that ain’t an impossible mission, I don’t know what is.

The two bombs are deliberately placed at a radioactive location to mask their radioactive signature. As Benji and Ilsa try to figure out the bomb’s exact location, Ethan goes after Walker in a helicopter chase to retrieve the detonator.  To make matters worse Julia and her husband are also deliberately planted there by Walker. Lane hands over the detonator to Walker after activating the bombs and chooses to stay.

My running days are over. This is where it all ends.

Mission Impossible Fallout Team

Luther finds the first bomb and starts defusing it with the help of Julia. While Ilsa and Benji run into Lane trying to find the second weapon. A fight ensues as Benji is almost killed but is saved in the nick of time as Ilsa subdues Lane. Ethan rams his helicopter into Walker’s and kills him before retrieving the detonator as they all successfully defuse the bombs.

Eventually, we see the remaining two cores being retrieved too as Lane is handed over to MI6 by Sloane. Ilsa is exonerated as the rest of the team joins Ethan while he recuperates.

Ballsy Choices

Apart from being what it already is, Mission Impossible Fallout is much more. There are critical situations that take shape in front of Ethan’s eyes which question his judgment as a human being. Like the choice of saving a friend’s life on being cornered.

Then Ethan chooses to not go with White Widow’s plan of a mass massacre, instead creates a difficult mission to ensure plenty of lives are saved. Then there’s another one where he is forced to kill four bad guys to save the life of one policewoman. It just goes on to show how thoughtful and decisive Ethan is and that he is willing to work around the way in order to stay good. Saving lives and taking impossible risks is what Ethan is all about.

So the internet is ranting about this very particular scene where Henry’s beard grows and his shirt magically grows a pocket as he locks and loads his arms. While the scene looks insanely theatrical the world is too harsh on him I think.

These are obviously two shots that are merged together but the details aren’t given proper attention to. The second shot of the arm gun reload moment was shot later to make it look more appealing. Given how brilliantly the images have been merged you cannot say that the editor did a bad job there at all, except for the overlooking of minutiae. To be really honest, I don’t feel it’s that big of a deal.

The Missing Scenes

While for some there is no such thing as too much action for an action movie, McQuarrie believes it is better to leave a movie well crafted since a meal is supposed to be savoured when it has all the ingredients in the right amount. That being said a lot of frames that were shown in the trailers couldn’t make it to the final cut. It is sad because in the back of the head I kept waiting for some scenes.

That truck scene, in particular, where Ethan is about to ram into a truck before lights go out.

What’s done is done when we say it’s done.

With such a huge scene missing from the movie, Mission Impossible Fallout becomes one of those flicks that doesn’t promise what it sells. I guess we can only say, it is better to not watch the trailers or you end up creating your own little storyline for every scene in your head. And when you don’t see it in the final cut, it ends up being a huge bummer.

You can order Mission Impossible Fallout from here:

The Final Verdict

With all the things that are going inside its powerful plot, it goes without saying, Mission Impossible Fallout is an extraordinary flick. The fact that its action is as real as it gets, makes it a definite watch per se.

Fate whispers to the warrior. There’s a storm coming. And the warrior whispers back. I am the storm.

Tom Cruise does justice to Ethan once again, and it’s hard to imagine a world where Tom does not play Ethan. He literally is Mission Impossible! Just go and watch this one for the thrill of being in Ethan’s disaster saving shoes once again.

Black Panther Movie Review (2018) | Wakanda Forever!

Marvel ups their level! Black Panther is what Marvel had been scared to do hitherto. That is lower the humour throttle and become really serious with the filmmaking. Bringing Ryan Coogler into the vanguard who had directed the brilliant film Creed in 2015, I think they made a pretty good call.

Black Panther is everything we wanted from a superhero movie, maybe a little bit more action but the exceptional story compensates for it. It has an appreciable plot that gradually unfurls into bigger intricacies.

What happens now determines what happens to the rest of the world.

The African Touch

Wakanda the fictitious city of Marvel is built on a culture that’s centered somewhere in Africa. Ryan made sure that the Wakandans were heavily influenced by the mannerism and style thus successfully painting a next to real picture about a place that doesn’t exist. It’s like moulding a comic impeccably into a reality.

Wakanda

Wakanda puts something contrasting about the image the world holds about a place like Africa. It is like a poor child’s dream who wishes to roll the dice and change his fate. It is the ultimate contrast where the less fortunate are extremely blessed. All they are trying to do is hide what they have from a ravenous world.

I have seen gods fly. I have seen men build weapons that I couldn’t even imagine. I have seen aliens drop from the sky. But I have never seen anything like this.

Whilst Wakandans have a hard time grasping the concept of sharing, it is understandable why someone would keep something so powerful as Vibranium for themselves. The Black Panther movie still, however, tries to change that by showing this transformation of ideologies by delving into “why the good in the world should be apportioned”.

For a threat that is imminent in the form of Thanos, it only provides an icing of perfection to what is about to go down. It was an ingenious build up and you cannot write it off as mere luck.

Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger (Minor Spoilers)

Black Panther movie becomes more thoughtful and cognitive as it proceeds. There is something insanely sympathetic about its antagonist Erik Killmonger portrayed by Michael B. Jordan that would leave you feeling sorry for him when the movie actually fades.

Wronged by T’Challa’s father sat a poor child in Erik who only had his father’s stories for conversations. Bereaved of a childhood with no one to care for, becoming a villain was inevitable. You don’t know that but you see that gradually happen when he shows up at the door of Wakanda asking for his birthright.

 I’ve waited my whole life for this. The world’s going to start over. Imma burn it all!

Was he capable? Yes! He defeats the king in a fair fight, announcing his arrival as the new king of Wakanda. The only problem being his motives were ulterior. He wished the world to get a taste of what Wakanda was trying to hide. If you rule that out, you realize Killmonger was too good a villain. The one who had capabilities to drive his claws into superheroes and bring them down.

The most crushing moment is the tete-a-tete with his father N’Jobu (Sterling K. Brown) where he transforms into a kid trying to reason with his life. There is so much hatred in him for the Wakandans that it is futile for N’Jobu to make him understand that the path he had set out on only houses destruction. That child had carved a purpose for himself that avenged not only his father but a deprived life. Michael B. Jordan, by the way, is outstanding as Erik Killmonger.

Just bury me in the ocean with my ancestors who jumped from ships, cause they knew death was better than bondage.

T’Challa

Whilst there are reasons enough to go gaga over the villains, nothing compares to what T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) was dealing with. He held immense veneration for a father who did something terrible to Erik as a child. He is fighting his father’s image, literally boiling his insides up trying to make sense of why T’Chaka (John Kani) left the poor child behind. That has clearly crushed him mentally making him more susceptible to enemy attacks.

You are a good man, with a good heart. And it’s hard for a good man to be a king.

T’Challa’s revival has been beautifully timed when the world is about to go down in cinders. As he is about to metamorphose into the Black Panther, he once again encounters his father’s soul. This time with tons of questions in his head.

A man who has not prepared his children for his own death has failed as a father.

T’Challa resuscitates with a clear conscience focusing on what he has to do wiping off his slate of anxiety.

Black Panther fight still T'challa vs Eric Killmonger

I did not yield! And as you can see, I am not dead! The challenge continues!

The end result this time boils down to simple awareness and he becomes successful in stopping Killmonger from spreading his perversion. He does the right thing eventually opening gates of Wakanda’s knowledge for the rest of the world.

The illusions of division threaten our very existence. We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another, as if we were one single tribe.

Other Characters

M’Baku (Winston Duke) comes strong as a helper from a mountain tribe Jabari, even though the entire tribe is not on good terms with T’Challa’s people.

If you say one more word, I’ll feed you to my children! I am kidding. We are vegetarians.

Andy SerkisKlaue is another one of those brilliantly executed villains. He lands in a rabid colloquy in place filling up the screen time with extraordinary delivery. You know whenever his bit comes, there’s something interesting about to go down. His fate, even though magnificently fills in the plot, appears like a cheap shot.

I made it rain!

Bottom-line – Serkis deserved more screen time, the villain was yet to showcase his skills for crying out loud. With Black Panther his fate was sealed with Marvel, and that I think was a huge bummer.

Another one of those roles that matter the most is that of Shuri (Letitia Wright), sister of T’Challa. Her scientific creations are next to none. The brother-sister relation between them puts a smile on your face. You instantly know she is very important, proven thus by that Winter Soldier (Bucky) cameo in the end.

Another broken white boy to fix.

You can order Black Panther movie from here:

Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), T’Challa’s ex, brings home that emotional angle to the story providing him the mental support he lacks.

You cannot let your father’s actions define your life. You get to decide what kind of king you want to be.

Her wisdom supersedes people which is her true strength. Lupita fills Nakia up with realism.

Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman) is that eye who brings home that third-party perspective to an ongoing resplendence. It is like a marveling eye that reflects ‘us’, the spectators, in those frames.

Okoye cannot be forgotten either. She makes her presence felt by being one of the finest warriors of Wakanda. Her loyalty to her king and her allegiance to what is right, comes under the cross-hair when she finally decides to take a call.

You are so full of hatred, you will never be a true king!

The Final Verdict

Black Panther’s true strength lies in its ability of story-telling. Ryan Coogler wasn’t afraid to experiment even though it stretched the story a tad too much, like by showing the ancestral meeting (the process right after consuming the heart-shaped flower) thrice in the flick. It was crucial to the plot and he made sure that he took his time with it. It is beautifully done and literally fills the movie with emotional substance.

Its action is a tad less when you pick up all the prequels and line it up against Black Panther. It is a little bit slow paced as Ryan Coogler prefers it. But I don’t think it has affected the movie at all by the way it has been wrapped.

There are barriers it breaks, lives it affects with its storytelling as it packs in hope building that staircase to the upcoming spectacle Avengers: Infinity Wars.