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My Top Twenty Action Films: #20, #19, #18
20. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
Normally as a series gets older (Die Hard, Robocop, pre-Nolan Batman) it gets worse as it goes, especially if the sequel film was so very poor, as I found Mission Impossible 2 to be.
It could have been that MI2 gave the platform and also signaled, to me at least, the footing for the dawn of "Nu-metal" and all its lovely deep thoughtful tones and lyrics and this is what tainted the MI2 for me, but I don't think so.
At present I can only recall two things about Mission Impossible 3, all I know is that J.J. Abrams was involved who, for me, has the kiss of death with everything he touches; when it comes to endings at least; and storyline buoyancy. And the second thing, there is an explosion that makes Ethan Hunt's body hit a car, while on a bridge and it looks very real.
So I had given up hope really on the Mission Impossible film series (trying to avoid the word franchise here) being any good again. However, I found Ghost Protocol to be the best of the lot! I think I was expecting it to be awful and then when it wasn't I was pleasantly surprised.
Ethan Hunt and his gang of spooks (a UK term for secret service people) battle on throughout the film in an effort to locate some stolen Russian nuclear launch codes. These codes that have been stolen will be used to launch a nuclear attack on the United States unless someone stops the launch code thief.
The launch code thief is of course a single terrorist who goes by the name Hendricks. Ethan and his gang attempted to stop Hendricks's plot and plan to do just that at the Kremlin,. This plan all goes horribly wrong and after severe damage to the Kremlin, Ethan and his team are blamed and hunted. To make things worse, due to being blamed or linked to the explosion, the US president enacts 'ghost protocol', which basically means, IMF which Ethan and co are part of, are left out in the cold without any help what so ever.
Ethan, being the sort of man he is doesn't back down or back off and travels the world, from Dubai to Mumbai he seeks to clear the name of the IMF, stop Hendricks and of course, stop the nuclear attack.
19. James Bond: Moonraker
I know, I know.. A Roger Moore James Bond film AND an older James Bond film!?!? What am I thinking!?!??
I am thinking that this is my all time favorite James Bond film.
This is of course an adaptation of Ian Fleming's 1955 novel. James Bond must put a stop to Hugo Drax's plan to kill off all of mankind and replace it with an Übermensch population that he is in the process of creating up on his space station.
Drax's plan constitutes of sending large poison loaded capsules down to Earth from his space station as a means of doing away with all the people that remain on the planet. If this plan had of worked then there would have been one hell of a stink.
The film features the towering Jaws (Richard Kiel) again, after he gave us his first shiny grin in The Spy Who Loved Me. Jaws battles Bond again in Moonraker most notably, after chomping thorough a cable, on the top of a cable car which is obviously, at great height. This is clearly the inspiration for the Simpson episode set in Brazil, but anyway.. This cable car confrontation sets in motion a sort of fate which saves the world in the end as Jaws becomes a martyr at the end of Moonraker and we bid him and his bespectacled girlfriend farewell.
I think the appeal of this James Bond is that there is a lot of millage and a lot of high tech equipment and with the constant change in environment and setting, the film remains exciting and fresh.
A lot of people attack Roger Moore for his portrayal of Bond but I think he does bring some quintessentially English to the role that none of the others have, before him or after. My favorite Bond is still Timothy Dalton, though.. An American!!
One of the few films out there where the directors cut is not as good as the original release.
Leon is a man who only does one thing, and he does it alone. No, not that..
Leon is highly skilled and very dedicated to his profession. Leon is a professional hitman who works for the mob, but more specifically, Fat Tony.
Matilda is a young girl of just twelve years old. She has a fairly hard life as we see at the start of the film but after the first 20 minutes of the film, her life gets a lot worse. However, a chance encounter on the stairs saves her life momentarily but her life still hangs in the balance as to whether she will survive her new found Samaritan, Leon.
Leon and Matilda become quite attached to each other, thought not straight away. They both find a missing part of their lives in each other. They do not complete the missing part of each other but rather shine light on what is missing.
Leon lives a very routine and empty life and Fat Tony is somewhat taking advantage of his lack of basic reading and writing skills. Fat Tony also, "looks after" Leon's money.
Matilda never knew kindness or safety so therefore could never be comfortable as a child yet that was all she could be. She could not see a future due to her abusive family life but now she can.
How can it last and how will it last as Leon's profession puts himself and Matilda into danger and on to a path driven by revenge and protective platonic love.
It has to be said that Leon is a film where top bad guy and corrupt DEA agent played by the undeniable versatile legend, Gary Oldman nearly steals the show. Like the Joker/Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight, he shows one off his best performances ever.