It’s been a heavy-hitting summer in the cinema, at the top end at least.
Pixar had another hit with Inside Out, Amy Poehler got her deserved with a self-penned, starring role in Trainwreck, and Chris Pratt took over a classic vehicle in Jurassic World, which opened to $208 million.
The summer started, as it sorta does, with baseball in April: Furious 7 erupted and totalled over $350 million, Avengers put out a sequel and added $450 million to the Marvel kingdom, and then Mad Max arrived with the critically acclaimed Fury Road on May 15.
It’s been a mix of revived franchises and original plots, with a ton of cash and scribbled criticisms shot back and forth. And now, into the August Long Weekend, we’ve got two more entries giving electroshock to brands that go back decades.
Tom Cruise returns as Ethan Hunt this weekend, starring for the fifth time in a Mission: Impossible film, this one called Rogue Nation. And Ed Helms takes over for Chevy Chase as the man of the mobile home and the head of his own Griswold clan, with Vacation.
Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation
The franchise, as well as Ethan Hunt… er, Tom Cruise, shows its age in the latest M:I installment. Plenty of tech drama surrounds Hunt and the gang as they hunt down baddies around the globe. There is a lot of action here and some fun, but it’s hard to ignore the wear-and-tear on Cruise, and the franchise, after all these missions.
Now Rusty Griswold, the grown son of Chase’s Clark Griswold, wants to follow in his father’s footsteps and drag his own family on a cross-country misadventure. Such is the power of nostalgia: Just as the 1983 Vacation is a bad movie that’s remembered fondly, Rusty longs to recreate an experience that he forgets was a complete disaster.
But the center does not hold: The Griswolds are a miserable bunch, and their dysfunction smothers the comedy as much as it fuels it. This Vacation wants us to wince and laugh at the same time.
The End of the Tour
Jason Segel stars as cult-favourite author David Foster Wallace, in the much-anticipated biopic of five days in the scribe’s life. Jesse Eisenberg co-stars as Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky.
Wallace committed suicide in 2008, 12 years after the movie’s setting.
The End of the Tour is a road movie… It’s a profoundly moving story about a towering talent who seemed to feel too much and judge himself too harshly to stick around for long. What a shame.
Trailer: The End of the Tour starring Jason Segel, Jesse Eisenberg