Pegged As The Comic Relief

I saw Mission Impossible: Fallout, this weekend. I really don’t want to review it because I feel like, as an nth sequel of an action film, you know whether you want to see it or not already and it has nothing to do with whether the film is good or not.

I will say, I enjoyed this one more than I did the last one, largely due to the re-inclusion of two female characters from the past of the franchise, both of whom were given significant and plot-pushing roles. And one who was a cast-aside past love of Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise’s hero spy in the films) had a new husband and was moving on with her life and was happy without him.

Also I love Henry Cavill as antagonist. Though I’m on the fence about whether he is actually pulling off the facial hair he’s wearing in the film.

I came back to this film series largely because of Simon Pegg, my relatively un-problematic nerd hero. It’s a little sad to me that he is so much comic relief and isn’t given more scope in the films. Though he’s excellent comic relief, he can also tear me up inside, and has done so in his indie films. World’s End in particular came into my life at a time I was dealing with my own depression and bitter about how it was playing out (still am, some days), and Pegg’s character’s journey in the film really punched me in the stomach.

It was one of those things that can lay you out and lift you up at the same time. And while I’m delighted to see Pegg living some kind of nerd-vana dream being in a bunch of big (many geeky) franchises, I do hope we get more of his independent work as time goes forward as well.

Little as he’s given in MI:F, he still manages to draw you into his character and show you a window into a complex emotional life.

Or maybe I was just paying the most attention to him because of my brain-crush.

Anyhow, I have actually been watching the old Mission Impossible TV show of late, on which the movie series is (loosely) based. Considering the series debuted in 1966, I’ve been finding it surprisingly engaging and relatively un-cringey (relative, here, to The Man From Uncle, which I watched a bunch of in the wake of adoring the fuck out of Guy Ritchie’s film version).

It was the sort of thing I occasionally caught in deep re-runs growing up. I think most of us of my era had. Everyone knew the theme song and the broad tropes of the series.

The first film came out the year I graduated high school. And while it’s old-fashioned by action movie standards, I think it’s still a pretty awesome film.

And all of these films have absolutely ludicrous plots. So did the old show. The ludicrousity is clearly baked into the schtick. One of the episodes of the show I watched involved someone being placed in a time-lock safe in a hotel in a piece of luggage to recover some nukes that were being kept there. You can’t say that the scene in the alleged Langley server room from the first film is more ridiculous than that.

Certainly, I love any excuse for a motorcycle stunt-scene and Fallout really came through on that score.

Anyhow. The upshots of this are: the old MI tv show is well worth watching, MI:Fallout is fun if you liked any of the other MI movies (particularly Ghost Protocol and after) and I love Simon Pegg’s and wish I could take a writing class with him (and yes-it’d be total bonus if it were with him *and* Edgar Wright).