Friday, June 02, 2006


Jumps everything but the couch

Director: J.J. Abrams
Cast: Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Michele Monaghan, Ving Rhames

Tagline: The
Mission Begins 05/05/06

How many times has a girl connected with Tom Cruise been asked for a rather large favour? More to the point, has it ever been put as eloquently as this:

‘I need to ask you for something… incredible’

A few crafty meetings between this film and the bizarre life of its star have made it a lot more of a curiosity than its predecessors. As Ethan Hunt struggles with people who believe his marriage is a poor idea, a girlfriend/fiancée/wife who needs to accept that she will never truly understand his life and the increasingly plausible rumour that he has gone insane, he has to genuinely appear to be contemplating his escape route at all times. It works: Cruise may be the centre of this title, but he doesn’t look like a colon. His action sequences are brilliantly simple, even if seven or eight voices are going back and forth over the top of most of them and a lot of fat has been trimmed from the plot too. The majority of the excitement surrounding this film comes from the presence of Philip Seymour Hoffman. He is great, able both to sell his supervillainous dialogue (“Who are you? What's you're name? Do you have a wife? A girlfriend? Whoever she is, I'm gonna find her. I'm gonna hurt her. I'm gonna make her bleed. And then I'm gonna find you, and kill you right in front of her.”) and to make the scenes between him and Cruise feel like a dialogue, something almost no-one else can manage (the disconnect between Tom and other actors is exploited to great advantage throughout, most notably with the appearance of Simon Pegg, in a part written for Ricky Gervais, creating the illusion that he was edited into the film for laughs), but it turns out that Ethan Hunt is the only one given much attention, a successful gamble. Elsewhere certain attempts at jokes fall flat and, women pretty much exist to suffer and there is the odd unbelievable switcharoo, but fun will be had. He might even be in on it.


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