REVIEW: THE MUMMY (2017)

CAST

Tom Cruise (Oblivion)
Annabelle Wallis (Annabelle)
Sofia Boutella (Star Trek Beyond)
Jake Johnson (New Girl)
Courtney B. Vance (Flashforward)
Russell Crowe (Man of Steel)
Marwan Kenzari (Ben-Hur)
Javier Botet (Mama)
Selva Rasalingam (Skyfall)

In 1127 A.D., a group of English crusader knights capture a large ruby from ancient Egypt and bury it within the tomb of one of their number. In present-day London, a Crossrail construction crew discover the knights’ tomb and a mysterious man is authorized to investigate the uncovered findings inside the site. In a flashback, the hieroglyphics on a circular mural in the tomb, which date back to the New Kingdom era, tell the story of the ruthless Princess Ahmanet.She was first in line to succeed her father Pharaoh Menehptre only to be stripped of her birthright when his second wife gave birth to a son. Determined to claim the throne for herself, Ahmanet sold her soul to the Egyptian god Set, who gave her a special dagger to transfer his spirit into a corporeal form. After murdering her family, Ahmanet attempted to sacrifice her lover to give Set physical form, but her father’s priests slew him and mummified Ahmanet, sentencing her to be buried alive for eternity inside a sarcophagus surrounded by mercury so that her monstrous form will not escape the tomb. In present-day Iraq, soldier-of-fortune Nick Morton and his partner Chris Vail accidentally discover the tomb of Ahmanet after staging an airstrike on an insurgent stronghold. Jenny Halsey, an archaeologist who had a one-night stand with Nick, arrives and investigates the tomb, correctly concluding that it is a prison. After extracting Ahmanet’s sarcophagus from a pool of mercury, Nick’s superior, Colonel Greenway, places the sarcophagus on a transport plane, headed to England.During the flight, Vail becomes possessed by Ahmanet’s power after being bitten by a camel spider while inside the tomb. After attempting to open the sarcophagus, he stabs Greenway and attacks the group before Nick is forced to shoot him dead. A huge murder of crows then assault the plane, causing it to crash and kill everyone on board except for Jenny, who is parachuted off the plane by Nick. Nick awakens a day later in a morgue in Oxford, and learns from Vail’s ghost that he has been cursed by Ahmanet, who seeks to use him as a replacement vessel for Set. Ahmanet’s mummy escapes from the sarcophagus and begins feeding on rescue workers to regenerate her decomposed body. Turning the workers into zombie minions, she lures Nick and Jenny into a trap, forcing the two to fight off the minions as they unsuccessfully try to escape. Ahmanet also recovers the blade of the Dagger of Set from a reliquary in a nearby church.At the last second, unknown soldiers appear and subdue Ahmanet. Their leader, Dr. Henry Jekyll, explains that Jenny is an agent of Prodigium, a secret society dedicated to hunting supernatural threats whose base is under the Natural History Museum of London and contains such objects as a webbed hand and a human skull with fangs. He confirms that Nick was cursed when he unlocked Ahmanet’s tomb and reveals his intention to complete her ritual and allow Set to possess Nick in order to destroy Set and end his evil forever. Meanwhile, Ahmanet summons another spider to possess a Prodigium technician and frees herself from captivity, wreaking havoc, death, and destruction in the process. Jekyll succumbs to his own dark impulses and transforms into Edward Hyde, his murderous and psychotic alternate personality; when Nick rebuffs Hyde’s offer of an alliance between them, Hyde attacks and nearly kills Nick before Nick manages to stop him with the serum Jekyll uses to suppress his evil side. Nick and Jenny then escape from Prodigium while Ahmanet steals back the dagger, summons an army of deceased English crusaders to serve her, and creates a massive sandstorm that ravages London. The undead knights slaughter the Prodigium soldiers in the tomb, allowing Ahmanet to recover the ruby and set it in the dagger’s pommel, granting her all she needs to free Set.Guided by Vail, Nick and Jenny flee into the London Underground tunnels under London, but are attacked by Ahmanet’s minions. Ahmanet captures Jenny and drowns her, hoping to break her hold over Nick. Nick puts up a fight, but gives up and lets himself embrace Ahmanet, using it as a ruse to steal the dagger and stab himself. His body is possessed by Set, who proceeds to join Ahmanet to uphold his end of the bargain until he sees Jenny’s dead body, at which point Nick regains control and uses Set’s powers to overpower and suck the life out of Ahmanet, turning her back into a shriveled mummy. Nick harnesses Set’s powers to resurrect Jenny, saying goodbye before becoming overwhelmed by Set’s power and disappearing. Soon, Jenny regroups with Dr. Jekyll and they discuss if Nick, now fused with Set, will succumb to Set’s influence. Ahmanet’s corpse is lowered into a locked pool of mercury within the Prodigium base for safekeeping. Later on in the desert, Nick resurrects Vail, and the two set out on an adventure.I was very happy with the Mummy. I didn’t expect a lot, so I was pleasantly surprised with what I got. Not everyone is going to like it, though, The original Mummy movies were classics and some might say a reboot was unnecessary. A movie like this is one that’s best to make your own mind up on.

 

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REVIEW: MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION

CAST
Tom Cruise (Vanilla Sky)
Jeremy Renner (The Bourne Legacy)
Simon Pegg (Shaun of The Dead)
Rebecca Ferguson (Hercules)
Ving Rhames (Entrapment)
Sean Harris (Prometheus)
Simon McBurney (Robin Hood)
Tom Hollander (Hanna)
Alec Baldwin (The Shadow)
America Olivo (Bitch Slap)
After intercepting nerve gas being sold to terrorists, Impossible Missions Force (IMF) agent Ethan Hunt is convinced he can prove the existence of the Syndicate, an international criminal consortium that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) does not believe exists. Hunt is captured by the Syndicate, but escapes a torture chamber led by Syndicate member Janik “Bone Doctor” Vinter with the help of disavowed MI6 agent and Syndicate operative Ilsa Faust.
CIA Director Alan Hunley and IMF Field Operations Director William Brandt testify before a Senate committee. The IMF, currently without a secretary in charge, is controversial because of its destructive methods and several misconducts. Hunley, who dislikes Hunt, succeeds in having the IMF disbanded and absorbed into the CIA; Brandt, knowing that Hunley will try to capture Hunt, warns him to stay undercover. Cut off from the IMF, Hunt follows his only lead: A blond man in glasses, later identified as former MI6 agent Solomon Lane.
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Six months later, Hunt remains a fugitive. Unable to find the Syndicate without help, he recruits former colleague Benji Dunn to attend the opera Turandot in Vienna to search for Lane, who he suspects is the Syndicate’s leader. Despite stopping three snipers including Faust, Hunt is blamed for the death of the Austrian Chancellor, who was killed after a bomb planted on his car explodes.
Brandt recruits former agent Luther Stickell to find Hunt before the CIA’s Special Activities Division kills him. Using a likeness of Faust left by Hunt, Brandt and Stickell track Hunt, Dunn, and Faust to Morocco, where the latter group infiltrates a secure server beneath a power station by changing access control data stored in an underwater turbine tank. After having stolen what they believe to be a ledger containing the names of all Syndicate agents, Faust betrays the others and flees with the data on a USB flash drive; Hunt, his group, and Syndicate members chase Faust. Faust escapes, but Dunn revealed that he has already made a copy of the data.
Faust returns to London and attempts to use the file to end her mission to infiltrate the Syndicate, but her MI6 handler, Attlee, compels her to continue. She and Lane learn that Attlee wiped the drive, which contained an encrypted, British-government red box that requires the Prime Minister’s biometrics to unlock. The former IMF agents confront Faust, but when Lane’s men abduct Dunn, they are told they must deliver a decrypted copy of the drive to Lane by the night. Despite the others’ objections, Hunt realizes Lane will always have a plan to acquire the files; believing the only way to stop him is to confront him, Hunt agrees to the ultimatum.
As part of Hunt’s plan, Brandt reveals their location to Hunley. At a London charity auction, Hunley, Brandt, and Attlee take the Prime Minister to a secure room to protect him from Hunt. Attlee reveals himself as a disguised Hunt and has the Prime Minister confirm the existence of the Syndicate, a classified proposed project to perform missions without oversight, making the Prime Minister as executioner with zero accountability. When the real Attlee arrives Hunt forces him to admit that he began the Syndicate without permission, and has been covering up its existence since Lane hijacked the project and went rogue, turning the Syndicate against him and MI6.
Stickell discovers the file actually contains access to billions in currency. Hunt destroys the file and tells Lane he memorized the data, to force Lane to release Dunn and Faust in exchange for what he knows. Dunn escapes to Stickell and Brandt while Ethan and Faust are separated as Vinter and his men chase them through the streets of London. Faust kills Vinter in a knife fight, while Ethan lures Lane into a bulletproof cell where he is gassed, just as he had gassed Hunt to capture him initially, and taken into custody.
Hunley and Brandt return to the committee meeting to convince them on restoring IMF, as the previous disbanding was a plan to protect Hunt’s cover. Though they are hesitant, they finally accept it. Outside the meeting, Brandt congratulates Hunley, who is IMF Secretary now.
The Mission: Impossible franchise continues to prove that it’s one of the best in existence with Rogue Nation, a blast of suspense and intrigue,the ride is well worth it.

REVIEW: MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL

 

CAST

Tom Cruise (Legend)
Paula Patton (Deja Vu)
Simon Pegg (Star Trek)
Jeremy Renner (The Bourne Legacy)
Léa Seydoux (Spectre)
Ving Rhames (Julia X)
Tom Wilkinson (Batman Begins)
Michelle Monaghan (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)
Michael Nyqvist (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)
Ilia Volok (Power Rangers Wild Force)
Josh Holloway (Lost)

IMF agent Trevor Hanaway is killed in Budapest by assassin Sabine Moreau, who takes the file containing Russian nuclear launch codes he had stolen so she can give them to a man known only as “Cobalt”. Meanwhile, IMF agent Ethan Hunt has purposely become incarcerated into a Moscow prison to acquire Bogdan, a source of information on Cobalt. With help of Jane Carter, Hanaway’s handler, and newly promoted field agent Benji Dunn, Hunt and Bogdan make their escape. IMF tasks Hunt to infiltrate the Kremlin to gain more information on Cobalt. During the mission, an unknown entity broadcasts on the IMF frequency ordering the detonation of a bomb. Hunt’s team aborts the mission just as a bomb destroys much of the Kremlin. Carter and Dunn escape, but Hunt is captured by SVR agent Anatoly Sidorov and charged with the destruction of the Kremlin.Hunt is able to escape and regroups with the IMF Secretary who is in Moscow on other business. The Secretary tells Hunt they have had to initiate “Ghost Protocol”, disavowing IMF, but secretly orders Hunt to continue to pursue Cobalt. Sidorov’s forces catch up to Hunt, and the Secretary is killed; Hunt escapes along with the Secretary’s aide and intelligence analyst William Brandt. Regrouping with Carter and Dunn, Brandt is able to identify Cobalt as Kurt Hendricks, a genius but crazed Swedish-born Russian nuclear strategist, who believes the destruction of the world’s population would lead to a new era of peace and progress on Earth and seeks to start a global nuclear war that would begin with the U.S. and Russia. Hendricks used the Kremlin bombing to cover up his theft of a Russian nuclear launch-control device, and now is planning a trade with Moreau at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai to gain the required launch codes.The team travel to Dubai and create deceptions using their various gadgetry and disguises to make Moreau believe she is meeting with Hendricks, and vice versa, when in fact they are interacting with the IMF team. Moreau discovers the deception, and in the ensuing chaos, Hendricks manages to escape with the launch codes, losing Hunt’s pursuit in the midst of a dust storm. Carter knocks Moreau out of a window when she tries to escape. Brandt accuses her of letting her love for Hanaway compromise the mission, but Hunt recognizes that Brandt has also been keeping secrets from them, having shown combat skills atypical of a mere analyst. Hunt leaves to meet with Bogdan to get more information on Hendricks, while Brandt tells the others that he had been assigned to protect Ethan and his wife Julia in Croatia. Julia had been killed by a hit squad and Brandt feels responsible for Ethan’s loss, which is why he stopped being a field agent.Bogdan directs Ethan towards Mumbai, where Hendricks is set to negotiate with Indian telecommunications entrepreneur Brij Nath to gain control of an obsolete Soviet military satellite. The IMF team splits up to stop Hendricks; Carter seduces Nath to get the satellite override code, while Hunt, Brandt and Dunn try to stop Hendricks from using Nath’s broadcast station. They are too late as Hendricks has sent the launch codes to a Russian Delta III-class nuclear submarine patrolling in the Pacific Ocean to fire a single missile at San Francisco and disabled the station’s computer systems. Brandt and Dunn race to get the systems back online to send the override code, while Hunt pursues Hendricks, eventually fighting him face to face in an automated car park. Hendricks, with the launch device, jumps to his death moments before the missile is to land. Hunt takes a dangerous fall to use the device to disable the missile before it strikes. Sidorov, who has followed IMF from Dubai to Mumbai, arrives and realizes that the IMF is innocent of the Kremlin bombing.The team meets in Seattle after Ethan accepts a new mission from Luther Stickell. Brandt confesses to Ethan about his failure to protect Julia. Ethan, however, reveals that her “death” and the murder of the Serbians were part of a plot to give her a new identity and enable Ethan to infiltrate the prison. A relieved Brandt accepts his mission. Ethan and Julia gaze at each other from afar before Ethan departs for his next mission.Brad bird delivered in this thrilling breathtaking and heart pounding instalment of the Mission Impossible franchise.

REVIEW: MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III

CAST

Tom Cruise (Vanilla Sky)
Philip Seymour Hoffman (Red Dragon)
Ving Rhames (Dark Blue)
Billy Crudup (Watchmen)
Michelle Monaghan (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)
Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Dracula)
Keri Russell (Dawn of The Planet of the Apes)
Maggie Q (Divergent)
Simon Pegg (Shaun of The Dead)
Eddie Marsan (Hancock)
Laurence Fishburne (Hannibal)
Carla Gallo (Bones)
Tracy Middendorf (Scream: The Series)
Greg Grunberg (Alias)

Ethan Hunt has retired from field work for the IMF. He instead trains new recruits while settling down with his fiancée, Julia Meade, a nurse who is unaware of Ethan’s true job. He is approached by fellow IMF agent John Musgrave about a mission to rescue one of Ethan’s protégés, Lindsey Farris. Lindsey was captured while investigating arms dealer Owen Davian. Musgrave has already prepared a team for Ethan: Declan Gormley, Zhen Lei, and his old partner Luther Stickell.The team rescues Lindsey and collects two damaged laptop computers. As they flee, Ethan discovers an explosive pellet implanted in Lindsey’s head. Before he can disable it, it goes off and kills her. Back in the U.S., Ethan and Musgrave are reprimanded by IMF Director Theodore Brassel. Ethan learns that Lindsey mailed him a postcard before her capture and discovers a magnetic microdot under the stamp.IMF technician Benji Dunn recovers enough data from the laptops to determine Davian will be in Vatican City to obtain a mysterious object called the “Rabbit’s Foot”. Ethan plans a mission to capture Davian without seeking official approval. Before leaving, he and Julia have an impromptu wedding at the hospital’s chapel. The team successfully infiltrates Vatican City and captures Davian. On the flight back to the U.S., Ethan threatens to drop Davian from the plane as he interrogates him about Rabbit’s foot, but Davian remains tightlipped. After landing, Ethan learns that the microdot contains a video of Lindsey warning that Brassel is working with Davian. The convoy taking Davian across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge–Tunnel is attacked, and Davian escapes. Ethan races to Julia’s workplace, only to find she has already been kidnapped. Davian gives Ethan 48 hours to recover the Rabbit’s Foot in exchange for Julia’s life, but Ethan is soon captured by the IMF.Musgrave takes part in Ethan’s interrogation but discreetly mouths that the Rabbit’s Foot is located in Shanghai, China, and provides Ethan with the means to escape. Ethan escapes IMF headquarters, travels to Shanghai, and acquires Rabbit’s Foot along with his team. As he delivers Rabbit’s Foot to the meeting point, Ethan is tranquilized. When he comes to, he realizes a micro-explosive is implanted in his head. The restrained Ethan sees Davian holding Julia at gunpoint. Despite Ethan asserting that he brought the real Rabbit’s Foot, Davian shoots Julia and leaves. Musgrave arrives and explains that the woman killed was not Julia, but Davian’s head of security, executed for failing to protect him in Vatican City. The ruse was to confirm the authenticity of Rabbit’s Foot. Julia is alive and held as hostage. Musgrave reveals himself as the mole. He arranged for Davian to acquire the Rabbit’s Foot and sell to a terrorist group, so that IMF would have reasons to launch a preemptive strike.When Musgrave lets his guard down, Ethan knocks him unconscious. He frees himself and uses Musgrave’s phone to track the last call’s location to find Julia. He arrives and finds the place, but encounters Davian. Davian triggers the micro-explosive in Ethan’s head, but Ethan kills him and then jury-rigs an impromptu defibrillator to deactivate the explosive. Before electrocuting himself, he kisses Julia and teaches her how to use his Beretta 92 to defend herself. While Ethan is unconscious, Musgrave and a henchman arrive and Julia shoots them dead. She successfully revives Ethan and he explains his true IMF career to her. Back in the U.S., Ethan is congratulated by Brassel as he leaves for his honeymoon with Julia.Tom Cruise on top form, great stunts, edge of seat movie well paced and kept my interest throughout can recommend highly.

REVIEW: MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2

CAST

Tom Cruise (Rain Man)
Dougray Scott (Enigma)
Thandie Newton (Crash)
Ving Rhames (Entrapment)
Richard Roxburgh (Van Helsing)
Brendan Gleeson (Troy)
Rade Serbedzija (Stigmata)
William Mapother (Swordfish)
Dominic Purcell (Legends of Tomorrow)
Anthony Hopkins (Westworld)

 

Ethan Hunt is alerted by the IMF that someone has used his identity to assist bio-chemical expert Dr. Vladimir Nekhorvich to enter the United States, only to kill him in a subsequent plane crash. Nekhorvich, an old friend of Ethan, had forewarned the IMF of his arrival, planning to deliver to them a new bioweapon, Chimera, and its cure, Bellerophon. He was forced to develop these by Biocyte Pharmaceuticals. IMF determines that rogue IMF agent Sean Ambrose is responsible. IMF assigns Ethan to recover the virus and its cure. It also insists that he recruits Nyah Nordoff-Hall, a professional thief presently operating in Seville, Spain. Later, Ethan finds out that she is Ambrose’s ex-girlfriend.After recruiting Nyah, Ethan assembles his team, computer expert Luther Stickell and pilot Billy Baird, in Sydney, Australia, where Biocyte laboratories are located and Ambrose is staying. As Ethan stakes out Biocyte, Nyah gets close to Ambrose and begins to learn about the Chimera virus. At a horse racing event, Ambrose meets with Biocyte’s CEO, John C. McCloy. He shows McCloy a video of Chimera affecting one of Nekhorvich’s colleagues. He then blackmails McCloy into cooperating with him. Nyah steals video footage and transfers it to Ethan. Ethan’s team learn that Chimera has a 20-hour dormant period before it causes death by mass destruction of the victim’s red blood cells. Bellerophon can only save the victim if used within that 20-hour window.The IMF team kidnaps McCloy to force him to give up Bellerophon. However, they learn that the only samples of Bellerophon were taken by Nekhorvich, and are now in Ambrose’s hands. Ambrose has the cure, but does not have the virus (which Nekhorvich injected himself with). As a result, Ambrose forced McCloy to exchange a sample of the virus for a sample of Bellerophon. The team break into Biocyte to destroy the virus. Ambrose, posing as Ethan, tricks Nyah into revealing his plan. Ambrose captures Nyah and raids Biocyte to secure the virus. Ethan is able to destroy all but one sample of the virus before Ambrose intervenes, and a firefight ensues. Ambrose orders Nyah to retrieve the last sample of Chimera. She injects herself with it, preventing Ambrose from simply killing her to get it. Ambrose takes Nyah away, and Ethan escapes from the laboratory.Ambrose lets Nyah wander the streets of Sydney in a daze, intending to start a pandemic. He offers to sell Bellerophon to McCloy in exchange for stock options, to make him the majority shareholder. He predicts that the price of Biocyte’s stock will skyrocket due to demand for Bellerophon after the Chimera outbreak. Ethan infiltrates the meeting and steals the remaining samples of Bellerophon. While Ethan is pursued by Ambrose, Luther and Billy locate Nyah, who has wandered to a cliff side, intent on killing herself to prevent Chimera from spreading. Ethan eventually gains the upper hand over Ambrose and kills him. With little time left on the 20-hour countdown, Luther reaches Ethan, takes Bellerophon and injects Nyah with it. IMF clears Nyah’s criminal record and Ethan starts his vacation with her in Sydney.If you like Mission Impossible then you’ll not be disappointed with this action packed film and if you have the others in this series then you’ll appreciate the efforts put in to improve plots, characters and special effects but each one for their time and budget stand on their own.

REVIEW: MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE

CAST

Tom Cruise (Vanilla Sky)
Jon Voight (Pearl Harbor)
Emmanuelle Beart (8 Women)
Henry Czerny (The Exorcism of Emily Rose)
Jean Reno (Leon)
Ving Rhames (Julia X)
Kristin Scott Thomas (The Golden Compass)
Vanessa Redgrave (Atonement)
Emilio Estevez (Rated X)

Years after the events of the series, Jim Phelps and his team, the Impossible Missions Force (IMF), attempt to retrieve the CIA non-official cover list from the American embassy in Prague. Their mission fails: Phelps is shot, his wife Claire dies in a car bombing, and the rest of the team except Ethan Hunt are eliminated by unknown assassins. Meeting with IMF director Eugene Kittridge, Hunt reveals his awareness of a second IMF team sent to monitor them, and learns the job was a setup to lure out a mole within IMF, who is believed to be working with an arms dealer known as “Max” as part of “Job 314.” As Hunt is the only member left, Kittridge suspects him of being the mole, and Hunt flees.Returning to the Prague safe house, Hunt realizes “Job 314” refers to Bible verse Job 3:14, “Job” being the mole’s code name. Claire arrives at the safe house, explaining she escaped the bomb after Phelps aborted the mission. Hunt arranges a meeting with Max, and warns her that the list she possesses has a tracking device. He promises to deliver the real list in return for $10 million and Job’s identity. Hunt, Max, and her agents escape just as a CIA team arrives.Hunt recruits two disavowed IMF agents: computer expert Luther Stickell and pilot Franz Krieger. They infiltrate CIA headquarters in Langley, steal the real list, and flee to London. Kittridge, detecting the theft, has Hunt’s mother and uncle falsely arrested for drug trafficking. He provides media coverage of the arrest, forcing Hunt to contact him from Liverpool Street Station. Hunt allows the CIA to trace him to London before hanging up, but is surprised to find Phelps nearby. Phelps recounts surviving the shooting, naming Kittridge as the mole. Hunt realizes Phelps is the mole, having discovered that Phelps stole a Gideons Bible from a Chicago hotel. He also suspects Krieger as the one who killed the other IMF members on the Prague job, but is unsure whether Claire was involved. Hunt arranges with Max to exchange the list aboard the TGV train to Paris the next day.On the train, Hunt remotely directs Max to the list. Max verifies it and gives Hunt the code to a briefcase containing the payment along with Job in the baggage car. Ethan calls Claire and tells her to meet him there. Meanwhile, Stickell uses a jamming device to prevent Max from uploading the data to her servers. Claire reaches the baggage car, finds Phelps and tells him Ethan will arrive shortly. She questions the idea of killing Ethan, since they will need a fall guy for the money, when Phelps reveals himself to be Ethan in disguise, exposing her as a co-conspirator. When the real Phelps arrives and takes the money at gunpoint, Hunt dons a pair of video glasses that relays Phelps to Kittridge, blowing Phelps’ cover as the mole.Phelps threatens to kill Ethan, but shoots Claire instead when she intervenes. He climbs to the roof of the train, where Krieger is waiting with a helicopter and a tether. Hunt connects the tether to the train itself, forcing the helicopter into the Channel Tunnel after the train. Hunt places an explosive chewing gum on the helicopter windshield, killing Krieger and Phelps. Kittridge arrests Max and recovers the list, then reinstates Hunt and Stickell as IMF agents, but Hunt is unsure if he’ll accept. As he flies home, a flight attendant approaches him and asks, through a coded phrase, if he is ready to take on a new mission, just as she asked Phelps at the beginning.Fabulous cast, especailly strong support from Henry Czerny, Jean Reno and Jon Voight, and a great plot which alas was too complex for some but which weaves a web of deceit and intrigue as it unravels.

REVIEW: DAYS OF THUNDER

CAST

Tom Cruise (The Mummy0)
Nicole Kidman (Australia)
Robert Duvall (The 6th Day)
Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead)
Cary Elwes (Saw)
Randy Quaid (Kingpin)
John C. Reilly (We Need To Talk About Kevin)
J. C. Quinn (The Abyss)
Caroline Williams (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III)
Leilani Sarelle (Shag)
Chris Ellis (Armageddon)
Margo Martindale (August: Osage County)

daysofthunder_leadCole Trickle is a young racer from Eagle Rock, California, with years of experience in open-wheel racing, winning championships in the United States Auto Club (USAC). His goal was to win the Indianapolis 500, but realizes that “You can’t win at Indy without a great car and my name isn’t Andretti or Unser”. He is recruited by Chevrolet dealership tycoon Tim Daland to race for his team in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Daland also convinces former crew chief and car builder Harry Hogge to come out of retirement and lead Cole’s pit crew. After Trickle sets a fast time in a private test at Charlotte, Hogge builds him a new Chevrolet Lumina to drive in the Winston Cup, though the season has already started.Szybki-Jak-BlyskawicaDuring his first few races, Cole has difficulty adjusting to the larger NASCAR stock cars and communicating with his crew while being intimidated on the track by Winston Cup Champion Rowdy Burns; this results in Cole not finishing the races, mostly due to crashes and blown engines. After discovering that Cole does not understand the common terminology used by NASCAR teams, Harry puts him through rigorous training. This pays off at the Darlington race, when Cole uses a slingshot maneuver from the outside line to overtake Rowdy and win his first race.Tom-CruiseThe rivalry between Cole and Rowdy intensifies throughout the season until tragedy strikes. At the Firecracker 400 in Daytona, both drivers are seriously injured after their cars are destroyed in a multi-car wreck. While recovering from his injuries in Daytona Beach, Cole develops a romantic relationship with Dr. Claire Lewicki, a neurosurgeon at Halifax Hospital who was senior doctor on duty when he was brought in after his crash and who was attending to his health. At the same time, NASCAR president Big John, brings Rowdy and Cole together in a meeting and warns them that he and his sport will no longer tolerate any hanky-panky from the two rivals. Afterwards, Cole and Rowdy go out to lunch together by Big John’s persuasion, and settle their differences by banging rental cars on the beach. Cole and Rowdy change from bitter rivals to close friends.Days of Thunder
Tom Cruise
©Paramount Pictures for Sky Cinema publicity onlyAs Cole is still undergoing therapy, Daland hires hot-shot rookie Russ Wheeler as a substitute to fill the seat. Weeks later, Cole returns to active duty, with Daland now fielding two teams – the second car driven by Wheeler which Harry disapproves of. Though Cole shows signs of his old self, he now finds himself in a rivalry with his new teammate with no help from his inexperienced owner. At North Wilkesboro, Russ gets dirty on the pit path and pulls his car into his pit box (directly in front of Cole’s pit box) diagonally so as to block Cole from exiting his box until Russ’s pit stop was complete. Russ also forces Cole into the outside wall in a move on the last lap causing Cole to spin and finish down in the standings. Russ goes on to win the race. In retaliation, Cole crashes his car into Russ’s car following the race, resulting in Cole and Harry being fired by Daland.fullwidth.e6ae7694When Rowdy discovers that he has to undergo brain surgery to fix a broken blood vessel, he asks Cole to drive his car at the Daytona 500, so his sponsors will pay for the year. Cole reluctantly agrees and convinces Harry to return as crew chief again. Hours prior to the race, Harry discovers metal in the oil pan, a sign of engine failure, so he manages to have Daland provide him a new engine. During the race, Cole’s car suffers a malfunctioning transmission after being spun out by Russ, but the combined efforts of his pit crew, as well as those working for Daland, manage to fix the problem and get him back on the lead lap. This sets the tone for a final showdown between Cole and Russ. On the final lap, Russ predicts that Cole will attempt his signature slingshot maneuver from outside, but Cole tricks him with a crossover, overtaking him from the inside to win his first Daytona 500.xxx_20150611_xxx_f01_days_of_thunder_30_aps_148_73709268-e1434036913505Cole drives into victory lane, where he and Claire kiss passionately while they celebrate with his pit-crew. As he looks around to see where Harry is, he spots him sitting alone on a concrete barrier near the teams pit stall. Cole walks up to Harry to ask for him to say something, but Harry is lost for words. Cole asks Harry to walk with him and Harry agrees. As he begins to walk, Harry turns to Cole smiling and challenges him to a foot race to victory lane, and they both begin to race.days-of-thunder-in-charlotteBy conventional standards, it’s a terrible movie. But, somehow, it’s still a fun movie! Action on the race track is similar to the action in the sky in Top Gun. If you’re up for a little escapism and wish fulfillment, then Days of Thunder lives up to the billing. But, if you’re a critical viewer, you won’t be impressed by this film.