Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

With the IMF disbanded, Ethan and his team join forces with a disavowed British agent, who may or may not be a member of this rogue nation, as they must face off against a new network of highly skilled special agents, the Syndicate.

Starring: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner
Runtime: 2 hours, 11 minutes

When I saw the first trailer for this film, I was excited. It featured explosions, exotic locales, a beautiful woman, and Tom Cruise running toward the screen all-out (what more do you want out of an action film?). Then I heard that it was directed by the same man who gave us Jack Reacher… and I was worried.

While the last Mission Impossible was cartoonish and rightly so, as it’s director had directed animated features like The Incredibles, I primarily remembered Jack Reacher being over-violent and kind of dull, despite Tom Cruise being lovably crazy (apparently his natural state of mind). So was this film another Ghost Protocol? Or another Jack Reacher? Actually…

Everything that a Mission Impossible Film Should Be

I remember when the first Mission Impossible film came out when I was a kid and I saw it in the theater. It was exciting, and kind of awesome, but it was also a bit on the sad and dreary side (as listening to the soundtrack by itself reminded me) losing a lot of the fun and thoughtful nature of the old TV show. While it was made when Tom Cruise was in his prime, I noticed after buying it that I never wanted to watch it.

It just wasn’t a very fun or joyful film (regardless of what that says to you of it’s quality). Despite that though, the infiltration of CIA Headquarters was absolutely iconic and definitely one of Tom Cruise’s finest moments (shared perhaps with the bullet train fight at the film’s climax).

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

One of the most celebrated movie series of all time comes to its epic end. Jennifer Lawrence stars as Katniss Everdeen, who began her journey fighting to survive the brutal Hunger Games, and rose to lead the rebellion against Panem’s President Snow. Now, Katniss and a team of rebels from District 13 prepare for the final epic battle that will decide Panem’s future.

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson
Runtime: 2 hours, 16 minutes

Movies that are based on books often fall short of capturing what was special about the book. The four Hunger Games films are an exception to this rule. They followed the books closely, changed very little, and were visually similar to how I imagined they should look. Mockingjay Part 2 is the best of the four.

I did notice a few changes from the book, but these were relatively minor and will probably not disappoint fans of the book. It is also the darkest and most violent of the four, but this is consistent with the book.

Actually, the book was even more violent and the filmmakers seemed at times to hold back on the violence in order to stay within the boundaries of a PG-13 rating. For those who didn’t read the books but watched all the previous movies, you will likely be surprised by where the story goes and shocked by how it all comes to an end.

Characters you love will die, and people you thought you could trust will betray. The emotional impact is surprisingly intense. Mockingjay Part 2 will also force you to think about the true cost of war. Unlike other action films, warfare isn’t glorified but is shown to be the horrible and tragic thing that it is. Overall, Mockingjay Part 2 provides a satisfying conclusion to the series.

Ultimately, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2” brings this dystopian film franchise to a brilliant conclusion. While 2013’s “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” still holds the crown for being the best film in the series in terms of the adaptation and the pacing, “Mockingjay Part 2” is the most satisfying of the four films and it sends the franchise off with a proper farewell.

Happy Hunger Games, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

Independence Day: Resurgence

Twenty years after mysterious aliens nearly wiped out humankind, they’re back with a vengeance in the explosive sequel, Independence Day: Resurgence! Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth developed a vast defense program to protect the planet.

Starring: Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman
Runtime: 1 hour, 59 minutes

Very good sequel to the first movie by Roland Emmerich. I am glad he decided to take control for the followup. I would have liked to see Will Smith for the screen presence alone, and I think that hurt the movie a little bit, however, Bill Pullman, Liam Hemsworth, and Jeff Goldblum do a great job carrying the film.

It’s a good movie loaded with action and special effects like the first movie, so you are going to get your money’s worth at the theater. It’s also filled with a familiar story with the typical conflicts and battle of egos that one would expect in this scenario. Lianoforgede . They added some nice surprises in the end as well involving the Queen which made things pretty interesting at the end. Overall, just a very entertaining movie.