Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Mission Implausible?

The hero of the latest installment of Mission Impossible--Fallout, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is saddled with the task of saving the world. His tragic flaw if he can be said to have one resides in the fact that he’s obviously a student of Philippa Foot’s famed "trolley problem." You may recall from your course in ethics, it’s the idea of whether you should or shouldn't sacrifice one person for the sake of the many. The villain of the movie, written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, is a millenarian anarchist named Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) who ascribes to the dictum: “the greater the suffering, the greater the peace.” Mission Impossible could be called Mission Implausible since the action sequences ie 99% of the plot all derive from classic montage where the girl is tied to the tracks and the train is coming. Armageddon is waiting at the end of the film and in the last 15 minutes there are girls tied to tracks everywhere. Like the James Bond movies Mission Impossible is a travelogue in which beautiful people chase each other around equally exotic or iconic places. The current installment in the franchise starts in Berlin and ends in the snowy mountains of Kashmir with the Indian army amassed to protect a wounded hero. But the enjoyment is the tongue in cheek way in which the film treats biting sociopolitical issues (like terrorism) while also thoughtfully tipping its hat to musings on subjects like the humanity of the Ubermensch--and yes, the theme of the one versus the many which motivates both the forces of good and evil.

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