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‘Mission Impossible’ mimics Bond for risk-free action

The bad guys are back and that means Tom Cruise is, too. With chases and explosions galore, “Mission Impossible 5” sticks to the standard action tricks. But that’s exactly why it will be a hit.
This time, it only takes three minutes before secret agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is dangling in the air, hanging on for dear life to the side of a cargo plane marked with the logo of his special unit, Impossible Mission Force.

From the ground, his colleagues desperately try to open the door to the airplane with their computers and remote control. The jet continues to climb and at 5,000 feet the wind is blasting in Ethan Hunt’s face. At the very last moment, the IMF team manages to open the door and Hunt is sucked into the belly of the plane, where he can do what he set out to do: Disable the bomb planted by the enemy.

The daring airplane scene has been circulating through the Internet for weeks, whetting fans’ appetite for the fifth film in the series. According to rumors spread in part by Tom Cruise himself, the impressive stunt wasn’t a stunt – but a real feat by the actor himself:

Cruise is known for rarely relying on doubles in his action films.

MI5: Start the popcorn maker

The makers of “Mission Impossible – The Rogue Nation” make no secret about it: The distribution company in Germany described it openly as the “biggest popcorn event of the year with its tongue-in-cheek humor, amazing stunts and Cruise-y coolness.”

Salty or sweet? Popcorn cinema isn’t necessarily a compliment, but frankly, that’s exactly what MI5 – as fans are calling it – is.

For two hours, movie-goers can sink back in their armchairs, crunch on their kernals, switch off their brains, and simply let themselves be entertained. Whether it’s high or low quality entertainment is another matter – but it’s anything but boring and doesn’t skimp on excitement.

If you like James Bond films, you’ll like MI5 and can look forward to an abundance of action scenes on land, in the water, in the air and hundreds of feet under the earth.

Borrowing from James Bond

The fast-paced opening sequence even before the title is shown on screen is reminiscent of the Bond films’ classic prologue. Beyond that, if it wasn’t clear that this was the fifth Mission Impossible film and that it was based on a TV series from the late 1960s, it could be almost accused of Bond plagiarism.

But that won’t bother diehard fans. After all, Bond films also thrive off of reinventing similar storylines and actions scenes again and again. The story behind MI5 is secondary. In a nutshell: Ethan Hunt and his team, which has actually been dissolved by US politicians and the CIA, are fighting against an enigmatic syndicate. The scrupulous enemy, as usual, is out to conquer the world.

In pursuit of the syndicate

Hunt and his friends don’t just have to track the syndicate, they also deal with the British secret service, a dubious two-faced – and of course drop-dead gorgeous – secret agent (played by Rebecca Ferguson), and clumsy politicians from their own ranks.

Superficially speaking, the mission is to locate a memory stick containing dangerous data. Whoever has the stick, wins.

Shot in Vienna, in downtown London and in Morocco, the film draws on a variety of aesthetics, from old-fashioned Europe to mega-metropolis to exotic desert. And don’t worry, sparks do fly between Hunt/Cruise and that drop-dead gorgeous agent, even though the scenes remain rather innocent compared to James Bond.

Action, action everywhere

There is certainly no shortage of chase scenes and hardly a vehicle is left out. There are planes, motorcycles, plenty of cars of a particular German brand, and even chases on foot. Of course, don’t forget the explosions, dodgy tasks and tests of courage – seasoned throughout with a dash of humor.

The result seems a bit like a collage of Hollywood’s best standard tricks. It’s clear it was strategically planned for worldwide success.

Cruise is not only in the lead, but also produced the film, as he did the four previous movies in the series.

“Mission Impossile – The Rogue Nation” is poised to fill the cinema cash registers around the world. The US box offices are expecting to bring in $40 million this coming weekend, once the film opens on July 31. It comes out in the UK on July 30.

Risk-free action film recipe

While some of the most promising Hollywood productions have bombed, that’s unlikely to happen to MI5 because it doesn’t take any risks. It banks on the standard action film ingredients: Attractive settings, pure action without a lot of effects, and bad guys that aren’t from Moscow or the Arab World.

As an old-school action flick, it’s predictable, but also exciting and turbulent. Just like James Bond, who will be coming to cinemas this fall with the 24th 007 film. By then, MI5 will have brought a few bucks to the box office.

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