Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of July 10, 2023

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of July 10, 2023

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning, Part One
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, action, some language and suggestive material
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%
In Theaters

This seventh outing for Tom Cruise and gang finds Cruise’s Ethan Hunt on a new deadly mission to track down a set of keys capable of shutting down a weapon that could ultimately destroy mankind. Sounds like the plot of all the other films also, I know. But while the stories of all the films sound roughly the same, one after another, they keep pumping out big fresh action films, and this one is a really fun firecracker. Returning after his MI debut film with Fallout, is action-adventure director extraordinaire Christopher McQuarrie who just does a bang up job with both the writing and directing. Keeping you on your toes when you feel like you know most of the tricks is a hard task, and he is so good at it. What he is also good at is adding a big dose of humor, making the film that much more enjoyable. While I still don’t care much for the person Tom Cruise, there is no doubt that the movie star Tom Cruise has one heck of a screen presence and he truly puts his all into the picture. I can at least admire that. He’s always been known to do his own stunt work and the stunts keep getting bigger and bigger, culminating in a sequence like here that looks truly death-defying. But when studios make such a big deal about stuff like that, I always worry that the stunt is there to serve itself and not the story. But here the flying motorcycle scene works perfectly, and its context is not in the least misappropriated. Very clearly laying out that this is a part one, the film doesn’t leave you hanging too terribly bad. You know there is business left to finish, but you don’t feel cheated. Instead you leave the theater worn out from having a great summer movie take you for one hell of a ride. A

Sound of Freedom
Rated PG-13 for thematic content, sexual references, violence, sex trafficking, language, smoking throughout and some drug references
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78%
In Theaters

This crowdfunded indie project from Angel Studios (The Chosen) is based on the true story of Tim Ballard (played here by Jim Caviezel), a cop who quit his job to rescue children from a sex trafficking ring in Columbia. While it plays out as a narrative, the film has one goal – generate attention to a major international problem that is not often focused on. In that, it does an admirable job. While it plays like a Christian film, it does so in a gritty fashion, giving the film more authenticity than many others in the genre. Caviezel, who is best know for portraying Jesus in The Passion of the Christ, turns in a decent enough performance to convincingly drive such a disturbing story. His character is a little one-note, but anything else might have distracted from the movie’s solemn goal. For some reason, Oscar-winner Mira Sorvino is literally thrown into a phone-in part as his wife, who merely encourages him to risk his life and family finances for a worthy, although dangerous charitable cause. It’s nice to have a big actress in a part, but she is unnecessary here and probably not nearly worth the money they had to shell out for her to be on the poster. Well-respected character actor Bill Camp, though, is fantastic as the Columbian contact driven to help him free as many kids as possible. He gives the film a fresh boost, just when the film needs a stiff wind in its sail. While the film isn’t great, it is truly memorable and does a really good job of getting its point across. I knew relatively little about child sex trafficking before this, and it truly served as an eye-opener. In that regard, I highly recommend. B+