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Almost 20 years after the first Mission Impossible, three franchises occupy very different corners of the spy game, with James Bond and Ethan Hunt being joined by the Bourne franchise back in 2002. So how does one separate a franchise like Mission: Impossible from the rest of the pack? Jeremy Renner has an idea.
With Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation opening this week, I got to sit down with Jeremy Renner as part of the film’s media campaign. This gave me the opportunity to really get into just what he feels is the crux of the Mission: Impossible franchise’s longevity. It seems like a hard question on the outside, but Renner seemed to have the answer ready pretty quickly. The key to the success of all four films thus far, according to Renner, is the following:
It's a big summer popcorn movie. I think it doesn't take itself too seriously. It's global, like [Bond and Bourne] are, but I think there's a lot more fun with the base characters in the IMF...I think that's kind of the hub of it which kind of separates it. There's a lot of humor, and the action set pieces are just fantastic."
Even going back to the earlier, relatively more serious entries in the Mission: Impossible series, you’ll find quotable lines that get a laugh - while at the same time maintaining the air of gravitas and reality that the franchise has kept throughout its escalating scale of stunt work and spectacle. Considering the James Bond franchise ruled the roost when the first Mission broke in 1996, Paramount Pictures needed something big up their sleeves to challenge the then revived Bond series as Goldeneye had its own cache of humor - albeit through a lot of classic innuendo.
Whats made the Mission: Impossible franchise’s jokes particularly effective is how most of the jokes lobbed at the audience are in response to the impossible missions Ethan Hunt and his team are setting out to embark on. Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation definitely continues this tradition, as the briefing scene before Tom Cruise’s insane underwater action sequence is peppered with some gags courtesy of Simon Pegg’s Benji Dunn. While the Bourne films play with extreme action, it seems like they’re cautious about injecting humor into any of their set pieces. One could assume this because they’re more intent to let the stunts speak for themselves, and the presence of jokes might get in the way for some audience members.
Make no mistake, this is not the case with Mission: Impossible, as the jokes set up the stunts to a tee, while maintaining that the action is still extremely insane and captivating once it kicks off. In fact, the stunts in the latest installment are so pulse pounding that Jeremy Renner has made the following claim:
You're gonna come out of this movie [humming the theme]."
Oh, just listen to Jeremy Renner humming it, himself, in the clip below:
Whether you’re humming the theme, or trying to pick up your jaw off of the floor, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation hits theaters as early as Thursday night, should you choose to accept it. Keep it tuned to us here at Cinema Blend, as our Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation coverage will continue throughout the week.