We love an action film in our house, one of the constant questions I’m asked is “can I watch x yet?” by our 8 year old. We’re pretty strict on film certifications though, so sometimes I sneak off to the cinema on my own for a big bout of action. I’ll even occasionally watch a 12 cert to see if it’s suitable, and then we’ll watch it again with the kids if it’s okay.
Action films have had their issues over the last few years though. From an adults perspective, the ever lowering of the age rating (the first Terminator was an 18, the second a 15, the latest one is a 12A for example), sometimes has a detrimental effect on the end result but the biggest issue we all find in our house is the lack of perceived peril that endless CGI can bring. The kids both preferred Ant-Man to Age of Ultron because, in the words of the 8 year old, endless massive CGI explosions get boring after a while.
The majority of my favourite action films contain a lot of practical effects. The original Matrix is probably the exception rather than the rule but by and large things seem much better when people seem in definite peril.
The latest Mission Impossible film, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, definitely falls into this category, as well as being a great film. Tom Cruise is known for a couple of things in movies, doing a lot of his own practical stunts and trying to shoehorn a motorcycle scene into everything he’s in. The bike scene in Oblivion was silly but I’m pleased to say it fits in well in Rogue Nation. But in terms of the practical stunts, the infographic that Into the Blue put together to the right shows that Cruise did the stuck on the outside of a transporter aircraft stunt himself, and is in pretty good company.
I’ve a soft spot for the MI films, especially since our own Simon Pegg somehow managed to infiltrate them. He makes the IT nonsense more bearable as he looks like a plonker, which is much more IT like than Ving Rhames could ever manage.
The basic premise of the film is the team effectively discover an Anti-IMF (not the International Monetary Fund!) called the Syndicate, who are hellbent on establishing a new world order through terrorist attacks. This gives the opportunity for some exceptionally cool set pieces- the car chase is as hilarious as it is exhilarating, and overall a film that is as good as we all hoped it could be.
If you want to read a bit more about the stunts that stars do, either click on the infographic for a larger version or read about it on the Hollywood News website