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Review: Mission: Impossible – Fallout

Your mission – should you choose to accept it – is to check your plausibility meter at the door and enjoy watching Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise, 56) run, jump, fly, shoot and crawl his way across the globe in this sixth installment of the popular spy-movie franchise. Berlin! Paris! London! New Zealand! It’s a veritable action-adventure-travelogue. There is a plot – something to do with missing plutonium, bombs, a manifesto, double-crosses galore, and millions of people at risk. But it’s the stunts, breathtaking locales and core character interactions that make for a fast-paced and engaging flick.

Review: Ready Player One

Ready Player One is a futuristic homage to the past, circa 1980s, resembling somewhat of a cross between Avatar and Divergent with the added twist of being directed by the ever-popular and prolific Steven Spielberg (The Post). If all that appeals, then go to the top of the leaderboard and ready yourself for an appealing (though far from classic) adventure that explores the pros and cons of living in the real world with all its flaws versus disappearing into a virtual reality game that promises a real pot of gold at the end of the virtual rainbow. If you’re up on your pop culture references (it helps to have seen The Shining at least once), pine for those trips to Blockbuster for the latest on VHS, or still have an Atari in the storage room, then Ready Player One is worth seeing on the big screen. Plus, it’s got a pretty awesome soundtrack.

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is a thoroughly engaging and entertaining ride, providing just the right mix of drama, special effects, and story to satisfy the ‘summer movie’ crowd… even if you’re not a big Tom Cruise fan. Love him or hate him, or somewhere in between, there’s no denying the guy is aging extremely well and can still carry an action movie (bring on the Top Gun sequel!). In fact, I still think his action-adventure flick Edge of Tomorrow was one of the most under-appreciated movies of 2014. So consider that one for the Netflix queue. But back to MI and the fifth installment of the franchise about a covert ops team tasked with missions deemed impossible for anyone else in the intelligence community…

The World’s End

From the guys who brought you Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007) and Paul (2011)…That’s really all you need to know. If you’re a fan, then hustle on over to The World’s End. If you’re not into that particular genre – a strange, yet engaging brew of comedy, sci-fi adventure and satire – then you may want to take a pass. Here’s the gist:

Star Trek Into Darkness

I enjoyed Star Trek Into Darkness, but I wouldn’t call it a “must-see” unless you’re a true Trekkie – or, at the very least, a casual fan of the TV and/or movie franchise. The more you know of the characters and the mythology going in, the more you’re likely to appreciate the latest round of challenges facing the familial crew of the Starship Enterprise. Most of the diehard fans have already seen the movie or read the spoilers relating to the villain. But I’m going to play it safe and keep it simple. Basically, the plot involves the Starfleet facing a major threat from within. Ultimately, Captain Kirk and his crew take it upon themselves to venture into some dark territory to capture the one-man wrecking crew responsible for a whole lot of death and destruction. The bad guy is played by Benedict Cumberbatch, who I’d never heard of, but certainly has a name (and face) to remember!

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

Mission Implausible is more like it. But no matter – this movie isn’t really about plot or plausibility. It’s about cool stunts and stunning imagery. So if you’re into the action stuff, go see it (in IMAX) and enjoy the adrenaline rush through Budapest, Moscow, Dubai and Mumbai.

For those actually counting, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is the fourth installment in the franchise starring Tom Cruise as secret agent Ethan Hunt. He leads a black ops team known as the IMF – the Impossible Mission Force (not the International Monetary Fund, though both are equally mysterious to me).

Paul

Here’s the deal: If you’re old enough to remember – or at least have a fondness for movies like Alien, Close Encounters, E.T., Escape to Witch Mountain, and Galaxy Quest, then trust me– you will find this movie downright hilarious – and heartwarming.