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Review: “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” Explodes with Cruise and Cavill Carnage

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Writer/director Christopher McQuarrie returns to Mission Impossible with a fresh jolt of stunts, yes, but also more character, style, and grit that stacks so high it nearly topples over a cliff. If Rogue Nation was an attempt to reshape the franchise for his caliber of filmmaking, Fallout is the main course, serving up a fully-loaded Tom Cruise action vehicle. It’s as if both McQuarrie and Cruise took a look at the ideal Mission: Impossible movie and said let’s make it even better with more dangerous setpieces, more intense fight scenes, and double-crosses that turn to third and fourth crosses.

My biggest criticism of the previous film was that it seemed as though Cruise left everyone else in the dust and the death-defying agent Ethan Hunt, eager to hang from high places and hold his breath underwater for absurd amounts of time. Now he has an equal or at the very least a capable rival in the form of Henry Cavill playing CIA agent August Walker. If Ethan is the spry spy that can take a punch, August is the big brute that can give the blows, as seen in a brutal bathroom battle of knuckles. What role he plays in this plot is as layered and secretive as the return of MI:6 agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson). We can still rely on Ethan’s pals Benji (Simon Pegg) and Luther (Ving Rhames) to provide backup and snarky comments.

Staged as a direct sequel, Fallout carries on with the story of the sinister Solomon Kane (Sean Harris), a rogue agent that grew a beard and started the evil Syndicate organization of international terrorists. Ethan’s mission, should he choose to accept it, is to foil a new Syndicate plot of building nukes for some nasty old-fashioned political cleansing. Sounds like a standard spy affair, complete with a ticking clock and snipping the wires at the last second, but it’s brilliantly staged with the most electrifying of thrills and a personal questioning of Ethan’s history and actions.

The action scenes go the extra mile to ensure that the Impossible brand hasn’t grown stale, pushing every scene to be a tad more violent and a bit bigger with chaos. A car chase through tight streets certainly gets the blood flowing, but it becomes interesting when exploring what happens if Ethan’s extraction team runs into a lone police officer. An infiltration mission that should have gone smoothly with a classic disguise goes awry and Ethan must wing it without the aid of masks and voice changers. Effortlessly the most gripping of action pieces features Cruise in a fight of dueling helicopters that eventually crash and slide down a mountain like the most frightening bobsled run that won’t stop.

McQuarrie very much ups the ante with this sixth installment to keep up with our expectations, making sure the twists and surprises always come frequent, fast, and bright enough to rarely give the audience a chance to theorize and annoying shout “called it” in the theater. You may be able to spot a few if you keep your eyes peeled but what’s the fun in that? It’s far more fun to just get lost in Ethan’s intricate, complicated, and sophisticated plans of outsmarting the Syndicate, the CIA, IMF, and his tangled relationships.

Fallout comes with all the decadent trimmings of a summer spy blockbuster, from the sexy addition of arms dealer White Widow (Vanessa Kirby) in a club of assassins to the clever tech that always has you second-guessing, to the dazzling cinematography of globe-trotting locations. It’s not only vibrant and alive but bursting with gorgeous visuals of symmetrical expanses and further solidifies Ethan’s heroic nature that never leaves a man behind or an innocent casualty in the race for nukes. He’s the type of spy hero that’s not only fun to watch in his stunts of dangling from helicopters and zipping through oncoming traffic but also exudes a morality that’s noble and inspiring amid his many lies and disguises. After all, who wouldn’t want to be Tom Cruise at the age of 56, still jumping from roof to roof with mad speed and taking tumbles like a champ? Fallout gives him more stunts to flex those veteran action muscles amid his personality and charm, proving that both Cruise and this franchise still has plenty of vigor.

Izzy

Movie Magic: The De-Aging Technique of The Irishman

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Have you read Izzy yet? If so, you know that Izzy makes the apples that give the Gods their youth and immortality. It also seems Robert De Niro discovered one of Izzy’s apples too… In Martin Scorsese’s upcoming biographical film, he stars as Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, a labor union leader and alleged hitman for the Bufalino crime family. The trailer for the movie, which will premieres NEXT WEEK (!), also features a “de-aged” De Niro. “We’re so used to watching them as the older faces,” Scorsese said in an interview on the A24 podcast. “Does it change the eyes at all? …If that’s the case, what was in the eyes that I liked? Was it intensity? Was it gravitas? Was it threat?…How do we get that? I don’t know.” Some might consider this magic and I for one can’t wait to see the impact of Izzy’s apples on screen for myself. 😉

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“Captain Marvel” Retains Top Slot at the Box Office

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It’s no surprise that in its second weekend, the first Marvel Cinematic Universe of 2019 is still riding high. Captain Marvel, the latest in the MCU with Brie Larson starring as the lead, generated another $69 million over the weekend, placing its domestic total at $266 million. Tallying up the international box office, the film’s global total to date is $760 million. Despite the online controversy, the film is looking to be another strong box office smash for Disney and Marvel.

As for the premieres for the weekend, and there were plenty, they were all over the map. Just below Captain Marvel was the animated adventure Wonder Park, bringing in $16 million, another film with controversy when the director’s name was removed from the picture after sexual harassment charges. Five Feet Apart, the dying teen drama about a romance amid cystic fibrosis, only came in at #3 with a weekend gross of $13 million. And debuting the lowest in the top 10 for debuts was Captive State, a sci-fi dystopian tale, only making $3 million. The film debuted so low the little film No Manches Frida 2 was able to sneak about it at #6 with a gross of $3.8 million.

Drops were fairly low all around for the returning films, mostly because Captain Marvel was dominating the previous weekend. The only milestone worth noting is that The LEGO Movie 2, after six weeks at the box office, finally cracked $100 million. And the sun is now setting on Green Book’s post-Oscar run by coming in at #10 for the final weekend of its top 10 run over the past few weeks.

View the full top ten weekend box office results below:

Captain Marvel ($69,318,000)

Wonder Park ($16,000,000)

Five Feet Apart ($13,150,000)

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($9,345,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($8,085,000)

No Manches Frida 2 ($3,894,000)

Captive State ($3,163,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($2,135,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($1,900,000)

Green Book ($1,277,000)

Next weekend, Captain Marvel may very well have some competition when Jordan Peele’s new horror film Us hits over 3,600 theaters.

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“Dragon” Continues To Soar, “Funeral” Close Behind, “Green Book” Back

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With little competition for the weekend, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the third in the animated fantasy saga, was able to secure the box office once more. In its second weekend, the animated epic made $30 million to push its domestic total to $97 million. So far the film has done about the same as the previous film and is on track to stay in the top 10 for a few more weeks in March.

Debuts this weekend were small with one big exception. Tyler Perry’s latest Madea film, A Madea Family Funeral, naturally made a relatively big splash with its dedicated audience. Starting at #2, the film made $27 million for its first weekend. No word on the budget yet but it’s most likely on a budget as most Tyler Perry productions are, so it’s safe to call this a success, especially for debuting with a box office so close to Dragon.

The rest of the premieres were not as strong at all. Greta, the new thriller starring Chloe Moretz, debuted all the way down at #8 with $4.5 million box office. To be fair, however, the film was in a constant battle for its spot as three other films also reported earnings around $4 million for the weekend. Of note, Green Book, fresh off winning the Academy Award for Best Picture one weekend ago, splashed back into more theaters to arise even higher in the top 10 with its domestic total now sitting at $73 million. Don’t count on it remaining there long as bigger blockbusters will be swooping as we plow through the last remnants of winter movies.

Check out the full listing of the top 10 box office weekend results below:

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($30,046,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($27,050,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($7,000,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($6,615,000)

Green Book ($4,711,000)

Fighting With My Family ($4,691,284)

Isn’t it Romantic ($4,645,000)

Greta ($4,585,000)

What Men Want ($2,700,000)

Happy Death Day 2U ($2,516,000)

Next weekend is once again all about Marvel as their latest superhero solo film, Captain Marvel, will be appearing in 4,100 theaters.

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