Our reviewer in…Maysa Moncao reflects on Mission Impossible. Tom Cruise refused to get the help of a stunt double for this scene. What does it tell about Hollywood?
I confess: I have prejudices against blockblusters.
What is wrong with Tom Cruise?
I confess: I have prejudices against blockblusters. So I chose the end of a miserable and hard-working day to allow myself to watch Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. I entered the dark room with a pop corn bucket (which I never do) and said to myself: time for fun; won’t think of anything. I am the most ordinary spectator.
It worked – for the time the film was on. Now it has been a week and I woke up with this annoying dilemma: what is really wrong with Tom Cruise and, by extension, Hollywood blockbusters? The first and true answer is: Tom Cruise doesn’t want to get old. Hollywood doesn’t forgive ageing.
So he still looks the cool, bombastic muscle male, being tortured hung on a chain with no shirt on. But he is now 53. In Mission Impossible he is still the heartthrob – he allows no stunt double on set; he runs as fast as Usain Bolt and he is fucking (in the film at least) the new cat woman, played by Rebecca Ferguson. There is no other pin-up male around him; no Garrett Hedlund, instead there is Simon Pegg. Poor him! He steals the scenes because he is a pathetic comedy guy, not because he is gorgeous (all respect to Pegg though – I like him!) So what? Die young or hide your age?!
That seems to be a law in showbiz. James Dean is still a sex symbol because he died young. Meryl Streep is still nominated for Oscars because she has long hair and plays the guitar as hippies would. Do not misunderstand me: she is talented as hell, but many talented women have been forgotten because they got old. And cool blokes that unfortunately have gained weight, like ‘The Dude’ Jeff Bridges, seem to be given an extended license under the spotlight because they are Peter Pans in a world you are forbidden to sustain your youngest dreams. New loosers, Big Lebowski’s syndrome.
This is cinema. This is the mirror of our society. Pretty sad, isn’t it? Where does dignity lie?
Dignity is not a value anymore. Old people are invisible. A young guy with an open zipper is sexy; an old guy with an open zipper is immoral, pathetic, ridiculous. No tweet for wisdom. No room for experience. If you had your 15 minutes when you were in your 20s, you were lucky; if you became famous at 70, that is a matter of quick curiosity, soon to be swept under the rug.
Could any Variety journalist please pay a visit to Jack Nicholson and tell me how he is dealing with ageing issues? He is not just lonely because he “treated women as dirt”, as it was once published, he is reclusive because he cannot work anymore.
I sense that sooner or later Tom Cruise’s mask will fall. He might never admit how much of a struggle it is to be at the top as a pretty unwrinkled face, but every Dorian Gray one day has his portrait destroyed. It shouldn’t necessarily be a horrible vision. Often it is because we have been blind for so many years. Should we deal with ageing in a more natural way, then the final days would be less disturbing. Or is it an impossible mission?
Watch the official trailer.
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
USA, ACTION/ADVENTURE, 2015, 131 MIN
DIRECTOR: CHRISTOPHER McQUARRIE
WITH TOM CRUISE, REBECCA FERGUSON, SIMON PEGGS, VING RHAIMES
ABOUT THE FILMMAKER: Christopher McQuarrie was born in 1968 in Princeton, New Jersey, USA. He is a writer and producer, known for “The Usual Suspects” (1995) and “Edge of Tomorrow” (2014).
With the IMF now disbanded and Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) out in the cold, a new threat — called the Syndicate — soon emerges. The Syndicate is a network of highly skilled operatives who are dedicated to establishing a new world order via an escalating series of terrorist attacks. Faced with what may be the most impossible mission yet, Ethan gathers his team and joins forces with Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), a disavowed British agent who may or may not be a member of this deadly rogue nation.