Runtime: a seemingly
endless 147 minutes
In case you don’t realize it, you can tell when a story is weak by how many car chases the director inserts into a film. The weaker the story, the more car chases. This one has more idiotic car chases than I’ve ever seen in a movie; one after another through the streets of Paris. Finally, after what seemed like four hours of car chases, I looked at my watch and there were still 90 more minutes to go. Then when it did finish its climax it goes on with a five-minute maudlin continuation. Yikes!
These things just get sillier and sillier. Written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, and starring little Tom Cruise who has let his apparent Napoleonic complex get the best of him. At 5-7 on his tiptoes, he ruined the Jack Reacher movies by portraying a 6-5, 240 lb. man who in the books makes everyone shrink back when he walks into a bar. Somehow Tom got involved in these Mission Impossible things. In the TV show there was a team and each did something that added to the whole of what they were trying to accomplish. Here, Tom is the boss and does it all. His “teammates” are just there for comic relief, basically.
There is not an ounce of tension in this. The bad guy is so obvious if you don’t know it from the outset you haven’t seen enough of these things (lucky you!). The car chases are so derivative they can put you to sleep. How many times can you see Tom drive a motorcycle or a car the wrong way on a one way street to try to get away from the bad guys chasing him before you say, “enough, already!”
Tom and his gang are trying to get to two nuclear weapons before they go off and destroy the world. So what else is new?
They didn’t make movies like this back in the day. They made musicals and comedies and dramas and detective stories and war movies. Superman was unintentionally laughable on TV with a guy playing him that looked like he was too fat for his underwear. Likewise Batman, who was played for laughs (brilliantly) by Adam West, but on TV, certainly not on the big screen.
Now Hollywood puts out scads of superhero junk and things like this with a protagonist that does things that are impossible for an ordinary human being. It’s all fantasy filled with special effects and stunts which strain credulity (that Cruise claims to perform all himself) and they are no more involving or believable than Buster Crabbe playing Flash Gordon.
Tony Medley is an MPAA-accredited film critic. See more reviews at TonyMedley.com.