Saturday, 13 August 2022

Tom’s cruising to a ‘scorching’ success

Tom’s cruising to a ‘scorching’ success

TEN years ago, a very funny Ben Stiller film came out.

Perhaps the best thing in Tropic Thunder was Tom Cruise’s performance as Les Grossman — the sweary and seemingly all-powerful studio executive.

The second funniest thing was the series of spoof Hollywood trailers that opened proceedings.

One of these was for the sadly fictional Scorcher VI: Global Meltdown, starring Stiller’s character Tugg Speedman, the voiceover for which went as follows.

“When the Earth’s rotation came to a halt, the world called on the one man who could make a difference. When it happened again, the world called on him once more. And no one saw it coming three more times! Now the one man who made a difference five times before, is about to make a difference again... Only this time, it’s different.”

None of which should in any way be taken as a comment on Tom Cruise’s latest outing as super-spy Ethan Hunt in the insanely popular Mission: Impossible series — even if it is the sixth film in the franchise that started life in 1996.

With their ready humour and spectacular stunt and chase sequences, the Mission: Impossible films have been beating James Bond at his own game for some time now.

Fallout is written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, who helmed 2015’s Rogue Nation and first worked with Cruise on 2008’s Valkyrie.

Films the two have made together in the intervening decade include Jack Reacher (2012), Edge of Tomorrow (2014), Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016), and The Mummy (2017).

Not a bad track record however you measure it, with Rogue Nation only just missing out on becoming the highest-grossing Mission: Impossible after 2011’s Ghost Protocol.

Picking up where the last film left off, when an IMF mission ends badly the world is faced with dire consequences. As Ethan Hunt takes it upon himself to fulfil his original briefing, the CIA begins to question his loyalty and his motives.

Hunt finds himself in a race against time, hunted by assassins and former allies while trying to prevent a global catastrophe.

Joining him are his trusty IMF team: Alec Baldwin, Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames. Rebecca Ferguson and Michelle Monaghan also return to the fray, while newcomers Henry Cavill, Angela Bassett and Vanessa Kirby round out the cast.

With Cruise back to his death-defying ways, cinema audiences can bank on the jaw-dropping set-pieces, high speed chases and crazy stunts being delivered to edge-of-your-seat effect.

The film is now showing at Henley’s Regal Picturehouse cinema.

Matthew Wilson

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