Tom Cruise is one of my all time favorite actors. He’s one of the last proper movie stars that consistently delivers quality films, and even if they’re not so great sometimes, he always does solid work in them. Plus he straps himself to airplanes that are taking off for real, just because he knows it’ll make the scene better. Certifiably insane or not (and anyone who’s into Scientology has got to be exactly that), you gotta respect an actor willing to go this far to improve your movie-going experience.
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION is the fifth entry in the franchise, which back in the day would’ve meant it was a guaranteed piece of shit. That’s no longer the case though, not since FAST FIVE rewrote the rules back in 2011. Parts 5 can be awesome now, and both Cruise and director Christopher McQuarrie have taken full advantage of that fact by making a film packed with more stunts than three episodes of Full House combined. Obviously Cruise, despite turning 53 this year, does all of them himself, shirtless if necessary (and also when it isn’t). That’s just how he rolls. For this movie alone he did the aforementioned airplane thing, rode a motorbike at crazy speeds without a helmet and, in order to more convincingly portray a character that can hold his breath for six minutes, trained his ass off until he could actually, in real life, hold his breath for six goddamn minutes.
Here it is: my long-awaited return. From here on out you can expect a lot more dedication to this blog than I’ve been able to manage so far. The future is bright, so put on your comfiest pair of pajamas, pour yourself a glass of semi-decent scotch and dig into my review of Marvel’s latest entry in the MCU.
So, the Edgar Wright thing. You probably heard this before but this guy directed HOT FUZZ and SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD, and he was gonna direct ANT-MAN as well. People were pretty excited about it. Wright developed the project on and off for about 8 years, put together a script and cast, then walked away six weeks before the cameras finally started rolling. The reason? Creative differences, which frankly didn’t surprise me. It’s a miracle that his partnership with Marvel lasted as long as it did. The idea of Wright making the movie he wanted to make while still fitting in perfectly with the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe always did sound unlikely. Marvel runs a tight ship, either you fit in or you fuck off, and Wright was never the type of director who’d roll with that kind of philosophy. Maybe if he’d been part of Phase One, when things were still being set up, he would’ve had more freedom. Marvel might have asked him to add a post-credits reference to one of the other films, but that would’ve been it. Now though, it’s Phase Three, there’s a thousand movies out there already that need their dick sucked and their asshole cleaned before you can even start thinking about doing the story you thought you were hired to do. I don’t know why it took Wright so long to understand this, but eventually he got the picture and he left the project, abandoning his cast, who, unlike him, couldn’t get out of their contracts.
Poor Paul Rudd. For all he knew, he would now be forced to star in a movie directed by Brett Ratner, or some other last minute replacement hack that Marvel managed to lure to the studio with the promise of free cocaine and cheeseburgers. For a while there, ANT-MAN was looking like a guaranteed failure. No way Marvel would be able to fix this shit in time for release. And yet… that is exactly what they ended up doing.