What a nice weekend: beautiful warm late winter sunshine; out to Mulgowie farmer's market for lots of fresh vegetables, fruit juice and caramel popcorn (I did have a 12 year old in tow); a couple of craft beers at the Hoo Ha Bar near Southbank; grilled kipper for dinner (why don't Australians eat more of them?). Sunday I found myself looking in at what seemed to be a very Anglo Catholic Anglican mass in an old church in Fortitude Valley (the amount of incense they used created a cloud that never fully dissipated the rest of the service); a fresh sandwich for lunch with steak slices and hot mustard; and a very successful coq au vin cooked by me for dinner.
Amongst all of that, the family went to see Mission Impossible 5.
It is very good. While the Bond style opening was thrilling, I think the motorcycle/car chase was perhaps the best of its kind that I have seen. (The editing is fast, but not Bourne fast with shaky cam, and it genuinely looks dangerous for Cruise and the stunt team.) The night at the opera segment is, as others have noted, a bit Hitchcockian, but it's enjoyable and (what's the word?) sumptuously staged.
I have to admit that the other set piece is, fundamentally, silly (water and electronics are not known for their friendly intermingling); almost up there with the need for a secret gigantic radio telescope to communicate with a satellite in Goldeneye. But there is still tension in how it is handled, and it is a spectacular setting, that entry point. (What looked like some silly sci fi physics in the trailer wasn't after all.) Yeah, it's true: what I can't forgive in Bond I can forgive in Hunt.
It does have a bit of a feel that it has been written as a series-summarising send off, but as all reviews have been saying, Cruise looks extremely fit and engaged, and it does have a hint of further story in there with the femme fatale, and Alec Baldwin, so that yet another outing still wouldn't seem self indulgent.
In fact, maybe it will go in a new direction, where the IMF being dysfunctional is not the key plot point, like it has been for most of the other movies. (OK, maybe it wasn't in MI2, but I prefer not to think of that embarrassing entry.)
Update: I missed that Cruise has already said that they are planning a sixth, and without as long a gap as with the other installments. The movie seems to have already made more than $100 million worldwide in its first weekend. Good.