Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Mission: Possible - Mistaken: Identity

When I was on IMDB a couple days ago, I thought, "What, have the guys at Asylum finally gotten a film to the front page of IMDB?" Asylum being that company that makes cheap knockoffs of popular movies, like Transmorphers and Snakes on a Train.

Nope, MI-5 is just a regular movie. In fact, it's based on a British TV show of the same name. And it's not even called MI-5 in all the countries where it's being released.

But the timing of the release of this movie certainly seems to be curious, in a year that already featured (just a few months ago) the release of the fifth movie in the Mission: Impossible series, which could be referred to as M:I 5 if you want to get cutesy with the nicknames and drop that whole part about rogue nations.

Do I actually think the producers of this film are trying to piggyback on the success of Tom Cruise et al and their long-running franchise? Not really, and not only because the movie is being released as Spooks: The Greater Good in some parts of the world. However, that's also an unfortunate title, given what the word "spook" has meant in the history of racial relationships, especially in the U.S. It appears it's being released as MI-5 in the U.S., in fact, specifically to distance itself from the problematic word "spooks," and not to create a conscious comparison in the viewer's mind between this movie and Mission: Impossible. And besides, the TV show it's based on is actually called MI-5, so one can hardly accuse them of conjuring some neutral title that was chosen specifically for its tendency to make people think of that long-running series based on another TV show.

Still, you can't deny that an unconscious comparison certainly benefits the film, as does the similarity of the subject matter, both movies being about spies (and featuring explosions at famous world landmarks, even if the one in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol was at the Kremlin, rather than Westminster Palace in London).

In either case, I probably won't be someone who seeks this movie out. The spy movie is already one of my least favorite genres, and I have yet to be convinced that Kit Harrington can be an effective leading man at the movies. Then again, as I am judging him only on Pompeii, which I actually didn't mind, I suppose the jury is still out.

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