“Snatch,” “Mission Impossible II,” and “Sunshine”

Because of my previous snow experiences, detailed in my last post, I was unable to update my cinematic adventuring log–and, “yes” it is of the yuletide variety.  So here are the last three films I watched and my little blurbs about them:

Snatch” with Jason Statham, Brad Pitt, Benicio Del Toro, and Vinnie Jones (2000) 


“Snatch” is one of my favorite films of all time.  Guy Ritchie manages to weave several subplots into one grandiose plot that often ends in a particularly clever manner.  The casting is always top notch, and with the exception of “Swept Away,” I have never left a theater feeling disappointed after viewing a Ritchie film.  Jason Statham’s storyline is essentially the main narrative in which several seemingly unrelated storylines swirl about all ultimately tying into one another.  Brad Pitt’s role of Mickey the Gypsy, especially stands out in “Snatch”—Mickey drives the plot of the film by creating the initial predicament.  More often than not, Mickey is almost all but indiscernible and Statham’s character, Turkish, along with his best friend Tommy remark on this quite often creating quite a few chuckles along the way.  But, what Mickey lacks in communication he more than makes up with his bare-knuckle boxing talents.  Overall, if you enjoy a great British gangster flick, set in modern-day London, with a wide, all-star cast then this is the movie for you.

At the time my girlfriend hadn’t watched “Snatch,” so yesterday evening I decided to pop it in and revisit and old friend to make introductions.  I could watch it a hundred times over and still want more; I highly recommend it.


Mission Impossible 2” with Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, and Thandie Newton (2000)


My girlfriend and I had the pleasure of attending a showing of “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” before Christmas and we absolutely loved it!  It is astounding.  The plot is tight, the visuals are phenomenal, and the cast is astounding.  In light of such a great action film we decided to roll it on back and watch “Ghost Protocol’s” predecessors to see if they hold even a lick of a flame to its newest iteration.  The verdict—they do.  We watched the ‘original’ “Mission Impossible” before I rolled out my “Cinematic Adventuring” page, but I was pleasantly surprised to say the least.  Enough time had elapsed that I hardly remembered the plot, so it was as if I was watching it for the first time. 

The other week we finally purchased “Mission Impossible II” to fill in the missing gap of our collection and within the evening we were already accepting a new mission to undertake.  The plot of is fairly cliché (it may not have been at the time—after all its been twelve years!) and revolves around a terrorist cell headed by a rogue IMF agent stealing a genetically altered strain of Influenza and its cure in order to blackmail the company it was stolen from.  Tom Cruise reprises his role of Ethan Hunt and plays off the suave super spy to the ‘T.’ However, I found his love interest, played by Thandie Newton, an all right choice for the part, but the chemistry between the two was sorely lacking.  There is a scene in which Newton is stealing a priceless necklace and Cruise interjects mid-operation.  It is the first time they meet and the chemistry bubbles briefly as they jockey back and forth in a bathtub as she cracks the safe where the necklace is stored.  However, afterwards their relationship seems to lack the same chemistry and subsequently their relationship doesn’t translate well throughout the rest of the film.  Overall, the finale is probably the best part of the film.  Director John Woo does an excellent job choreographing a stellar motorcycle scene and hand-to-hand combat finish that holds up surprisingly well after twelve years of innovations.  If you love action films (which I do) then take another gander at this one—it’ll surprise you.


“Sunshine” with Cillian Murphy and Chris Evans (2007)


“Sunshine” is one of the films that might have slipped under the radar for most.  It didn’t have a huge opening considering its cast and art direction, but even without the marketing giant behind it—it is an amazing film.  Essentially the plot is as follows—in the near future our sun is dying.  The Earth has plunged into a solar winter creating snowfall over the entirety of the globe.  The Sydney Opera House is buried by it.  Humanity has decided to pull all of its resources together and build a ship and a bomb that’ll essentially create a new sun in the place of our dying one.  The ship’s name is the Icarus I (I love a good Greek mythology reference, especially one so apropos).  The ship and its crew didn’t make it, and the sun was never restarted.  “Sunshine” follows the Icarus II; the second attempt to save humanity.  This is the last ditch effort for humanity.  If the Icarus II fails, then so does humanity.

Cillian Murphy plays the physicist who invented the experimental bomb and Chris Evans plays the hot headed, but objective, pilot.  The two of them do not get along and numerous squabbles arise out of this conflict.  The Icarus II comes across the Icarus as it nears the surface of the sun.  After seven years the Icarus I is almost inoperable, but the crew decides to detour in an effort to increase their chances of success by obtaining the first Icarus’ bomb.  Obvious complications become of this detour and the film briefly dives into the heart of the Survival Horror genre.

However, at its core, this film is not really Science Fiction or Survival Horror movie.  ”Sunshine” is about the human race, about sacrifice, and about the meaning life and death.  A superb under tone of religion, or lack thereof depending on perspective, is wonderfully woven throughout the film.  Cillian Murphy’s performance is outstanding and Chris Evans really steps outside of his comfort zone and the risk pays off.

All-in-all “Sunshine” can be a depressing experience, but watching the film through and through is well worth it.  Thinking of life and death is necessary at times.  A rate this a “must watch.”

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