Posts Tagged ‘espionage movie’

Short takes: ‘Mission: Impossible — Fallout,’ ‘Conan the Barbarian’ (2011) and ‘Stargate’

August 8, 2020
Combination image: ‘Mission: Impossible — Fallout,’ ‘Conan the Barbarian’ (2011) and ‘Stargate’

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Aug. 8, 2020

I was never much of a fan of the original Mission: Impossible movie, which came out in 1996 and was based on a TV series that aired from 1966 through 1973. The 2000 follow-up, Mission: Impossible II, struck me as so-so. But the third entry in the franchise, M:I III, directed by J.J. Abrams, was really terrific, as all three further sequels have been.

The most recent outing was 2018’s Mission: Impossible — Fallout, which opens with hero secret agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) opting to save the life of colleague Luther Stickell (series regular Ving Rhames) at the cost of letting a terrorist organization get its hands on weapons-grade plutonium. Impossible Mission Force director Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) dispatches Hunt to recover the material, naturally, but hard-as-nails CIA head Erika Sloane (Angela Bassett) insists that Hunt be accompanied by one of her agents, August Walker (Henry Cavill, once again playing an American).

‘Mission: Impossible — Fallout’

The pair plan to intercept and impersonate a ne’er-do-well named John Lark who has made tentative arrangements to purchase the missing radioactive material. Unfortunately for Hunt, the broker, known as the White Widow (Vanessa Kirby), will only sell “Lark” the plutonium if he helps her free Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), the bad guy from the previous installment, Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation. Hunt and Walker work up a plan with Stickell and another IMF regular, Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), but they find themselves having various run-ins with former British spy Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), another Rogue Nation character, who isn’t willing to see Lane freed.

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Robert Zemeckis’s thrilling ‘Allied’ tells the story of two married World War II spies who may not have managed to come in from the cold

February 27, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Feb. 27, 2018

Robert Zemeckis’s 2016 World War II movie, Allied, is a terrific thriller starring Brad Pitt as a Royal Air Force spy who learns that his wife may be a Nazi mole.

The film begins in 1942 in an isolated stretch of desert outside Casablanca as Max Vatan (Pitt) parachutes in to rendezvous with Marianne Beauséjour (Marion Cotillard), a Frenchwoman who’s laid the groundwork for a plot to assassinate Germany’s ambassador to Morocco. (Why would doing so offer the Allies any advantage whatsoever in the war? Unclear, I confess.)

When the pair both manage to survive the dangerous mission, Max’s bosses in the British intelligence bureaucracy give him permission to bring Marianne to England and marry her. Within months, if not weeks, of Marianne’s arrival, the duo are joined in matrimony, and she is pregnant with their daughter.

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