Thursday, September 3, 2015

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation (Rhoades)

Front Row at the Movies

Tom Cruise Measures Up In “Mission Impossible 5”
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Would you pay ten bucks to see Tom Cruise hanging from an airplane? You bet. Because the A-List actor does his own stunts in “Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation.”

You won’t take your eyes off the screen.

Who would have thought cute, smiley, dimpled Thomas Cruise Mapother IV, standing only 5 feet 7 tall, would become the best action star in movies today?

5 feet 7 -- that’s even shorter than Sylvester Stallone (“Rambo,” “Rocky”) who claims a lofty height of 5-10. Note: Screenwriter William Goldman swears that Stallone is really “67 inches (5-feet-7), dripping wet.”

Not that height is required for Hollywood success.

Al Pacino is only 5-6 tall. So is tough-guy Danny Trejo. As was Alan Ladd, requiring the villain to stand in a hole while filming the face-off in “Shane.”

Kung Fu star Jet Li measures a diminutive 5-5 tall. So did James Cagney. Michael J. Fox is 5-4. Kevin Hart is 5-2 if we stretch it. Of course Danny DeVito is 4-11. And Peter Dinklage is 4-4, but he is technically a dwarf.

Without the magic of movies Daniel Radcliff is a mere 5-5. So is Dustin Hoffman. Richard Dreyfuss is only 5-4. And Scarlett Johansson stands 5 foot 3 in her stocking feet.

Ralph Keyes, author of a book titled “The Height of Your Life” calls Hollywood the Land of the Lilliput, noting that many actors are vertically challenged. “Here’s the deal as I finally figured it out,” Keyes says. “Entertainment in general is a haven for smaller guys. I think you have to be able to present yourself and be expressive to be an actor, but if you grow up average size or taller, then you don’t grow up with such a need to be forceful or expressive.”

A BBC documentary about 5-foot-5 Mel Brooks is titled “I Thought I Was Taller."

As for Tom Cruise, he seems taller on the screen.

And his new film “Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation” is looking large at the box office. It’s now playing at Tropic Cinema.

In this fifth installment of the movie franchise that’s based on an old 1966 TV show, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his trusty sidekicks (Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, and Ving Rhames) must thwart an international group of assassins known as The Syndicate. The IMF (Impossible Missions Force) has been disbanded (by Alex Baldwin) and so it’s up to Hunt to save the day by riding motorcycles like a deranged daredevil, racing BMWs like a death-wish demolition derby driver, busting through 12 feet of concrete and plunging into 70,000 gallons of pressurized water without an oxygen tank, fighting big guys hand-to-hand like a black-belt martial art champion, and … yes, hanging onto the side of an Airbus A400M while in flight. 5,000 feet in the air. Without a stunt double.

You’ll love it.

Action enough to leave your heart pounding for thirty minutes after you leave the theater. Or so it seemed.

Take my advice: Forget about that loony Tom Cruise who hopped up-and-down on Oprah’s couch. Forget about that fanatical Scientologist Tom Cruise. Forget about Randy Newman’s song about “Short People.” Just give 131 minutes to IMF agent Ethan Hawk and you won’t be disappointed.

Trust me, you’ll get ten bucks worth of thrills.

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