It’s impossible! Cue: trademark Tom Cruise/Henry Cavill sly smile
Relevance. This is the challenge faced by spy sagas. How can they still keep their appeal in manner and content, in a meaningful way for the savvy or action-overloaded audience? Any wrong step and the million/billion dollar machine can be stopped to a great halt. I decided to bring together these two movies – firstly because I enjoyed them greatly – but beyond my personal preferences -, the pressures were high on both of the releases. Ethan Hunt has been brought to life by Tom Cruise with death-defying stunts for the pure entertainment of the people in the cinema theatres as he himself declares. Nevertheless, sagas such as Mission Impossible tend to become formulaic and while style coherence is encouraged, we’re not living very loyal times, therefore innovation and reinvention are key. Guy Ritchie is a witty director, inventive and nonconformist. The street fighter who learned to wear a suit and he looks damn good in it. As he proved before, he can transfer his indie creativity to big studio projects (see Sherlock Holmes as reference), therefore it’s most likely the studio put their faith in him again to create a film that can at least be sequeled.
What’s are the Movies About
Ethan Hunt goes against the Syndicate, a rogue organization trained to do the same thing as IMF does, only in their own monetary and political interests. In the background, the IMF is dissolved as independent unit and put under the surveillance of a bigger brother, the CIA. This results in Ethan being hunted to be brought in, while he tries to unravel the hidden web that leads to the brains of this rogue agency. Old friends come together to help, while a wild card in the form of a very elegant, flexible and deceiving female British agent interferes with their plans.
In Man from U.N.C.L.E, we turn back in time to the era of the Cold War, when Russia and the United States team up in order to save the world from the diabolical concoctions of a Fascist Italian family. The two secret agents forced to work together – the American played by the British Henry Cavill and the Russian played by the American Armie Hammer – are as different as day and night. Their incompatibility is the main source of humor, but it ultimately becomes the main reason why their team is so efficient.
What Can Be Learnt
When the fate of the world is in your hands, precision is highly demanded. Achieving it is the task at hand, on an ongoing background of uncertainty. TRUST is the key issue in both movies. It’s a recurrent theme in the spy world, however, in these two, it is a card nicely played: written and acted. In both films, the female characters raise the highest doubts and the highest level of dependency. In MI: Rogue Nation, Rebecca Ferguson is the ultimate cat woman, with unpredictable and precise movements. Will she follow the Syndicate’s orders, help Hunt or serve the one person who matters most: herself? Are her actions really treachery or support that cannot be explained in order to offer protection? Gaby played by Alicia Vikander in Man from U.N.C.L.E. is offered unconditional TRUST, as she is the key to dismantling the potentially disastrous situation. Nothing should be taken for granted in the spy world, and Gaby’s bold beauty might be hiding dangerous secrets. Victoria, played by Elizabeth Debicki, is a pretty straightforward character: vain and steely, she is TRUSTed to be evil and follow her plan through. Why so much focus on the female characters? Far from feminists reasons. It’s just that the boys do what they usually do: run, fight, shot guns, smile charmingly, look gooooooorgeous in suits and attach themselves to planes – ok, that’s just Tom Cruise. Usually, the female characters are reduced to simple beauties as part of the décor and they are either the fling, or the nemesis. Style and texture are added as layers to the characters in the two movies. Ilsa from MI:Rogue Nation remains emotionally uninvolved with Ethan, and that makes her human. Gaby is not a mere pawn or a damsel in distress, she does things her way. Victoria cannot leave things at the hands of her playboy husband, she must follow through on their evil legacy and does so with diligence. What these characters exhibit, more so than others, is femininity. It’s a great balance, because most of the times, we either see too much focus on strength, or on physical beauty, or on fragility. A woman is a mix of all of them, and that’s why these characters stand out. Beyond the relationships with others, these women TRUST themselves, a rare quality that it’s spoken much about, but advice on how to achieve is always found at the extremes. They do achieve it in a casual manner. If they can do it in the midst of the world bound on its collision course with destruction, then it’s safe to say they serve as strong role models.
What’s the Key Take-Away
Stylish entertaining adventures, MI:Rogue Nation and Man from U.N.C.L.E. succeed in keeping true to their creative origins, while exploring innovations to satisfy the current tastes of contemporary movie goers. Plot twist and turns are amusing, believable and they will keep you at the edge of their seats. These are TRUSTworthy sagas, they follow through on the expectations created.