Tag Archives: Mission: Impossible

306 – Fast and Furious 9

Listen on the players above, Apple Podcasts, Audible, Google Podcasts, or Spotify.

What began twenty years ago as a series of car chases and races has since spiralled out of control into an action behemoth encompassing ten films, a TV series, videogames, and theme park attractions. But for the spinoff film Hobbs & Shaw, Fast and Furious 9 is Mike’s introduction to the Fast & Furious series, with José having seen some of the previous instalments, but not all.

We discuss the soap opera storytelling, the way it expresses humour – what it thinks are jokes are really just aggressive, macho posturing – and what it thinks of intelligence, José contending that it represents the worst of American culture in privileging stupidity and making it victorious, with Mike offering a complementary drop of nuance, arguing that it does at least believe that its heroes are smart… but it’s a stupid person’s idea of what being smart is. Core to the film’s failings is its almost complete lack of irony, only the car-turned-space shuttle indicating that the film has any understanding of comedy and how absurd it all is.

There’s no recommending Fast and Furious 9, its shortcomings exposed by the competence of almost every other action blockbuster (even Hobbs & Shaw, which had its own problems, but was a pleasant surprise). On the basis of this, Mike’s curiosity has been sated, and he’s happy to continue avoiding this godforsaken series for the rest of his life.

With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.

221 – Un flic

Listen on the players above, on Apple Podcasts, or on Spotify.

Jean-Pierre Melville’s final film, Un flic (A Cop), has a bleak feel, its characters isolated amongst harsh architecture and the neverending business of cops and robbers. Alain Delon’s cop follows the trail of Richard Crenna’s thief, whilst handling informants, other cases, and an occasional relationship with Catherine Deneuve.

It’s a film in which feeling shows through small actions, glances, and behaviour. The cop has seen the worst of humanity and carries a weariness with him, but that just makes his capability for generous gestures more meaningful. Mike remarks upon the similarity between cop and thief, both going about their work with a sense of lifeless inertia. We also note the central heist sequence’s clear influence on the climactic set-piece in Brian De Palma’s Mission: Impossible, comparing the ways in which the scenes work and what their intended effects may be, and José comments on the film’s blue-tinged look, something that contributes greatly to its sense of melancholy.

With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.

77 – Mission: Impossible – Fallout

A mega bumper double podcast today, as we see Mission: Impossible – Fallout twice and incorporate both discussions into one episode. Long story short, we had tons of fun both times and you should see it.

We both adore the visual storytelling and the elegance of the action. We fawn over gripping sequences that evoke silent cinema. We discuss in depth the idea of Ethan Hunt as a moral character, something that the film places front and centre throughout, giving him choices to make and emphasising the protection of innocents and self-sacrifice. José doesn’t quite buy it but Mike does his best to talk him round.

Neither of us is quite sold on the concept of the villain – he’s not enough of an idealist – but Cavill’s performance unquestionably elevates him and he’s a constant delight to watch. To José, he’s the new Errol Flynn. Mike focuses on two implausible scenes to compare and contrast, exploring why he believed in one but not the other. José describes how the action scenes develop like good jokes, with ideas building on top of each other in logical ways. And we go off on a tangent about Idris Elba for some reason.

The podcast can be listened to in the player above or on iTunes.

With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.