Summer is all but gone, but the summer blockbusters keep rolling in – here are a couple in review.

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

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Synopsis: with the IMF (Impossible Missions Force) disbanded by the CIA, Ethan Hunt and his team of agents must find a way to stop the Syndicate from perpetrating its terrorist goals.

Rogue Nation is based on a predictable formula – an impossible mission (it’s in the title), a sly opponent, a team of resourceful heroes, an array of exotic locales, and of course, an arsenal of high-tech gadgets. What is surprising is how well this formula continues to work. Tom Cruise leads the IMF team, along with a dry-witted Simon Pegg and a stern Jeremy Renner. Despite a somewhat rushed ending, the good dialog, well-paced action scenes, and dramatic plot twists are the adhesives that hold this film together and make it the fun action movie it is.

Antman

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Synopsis: ex-convict Scott Lang, after struggling to find work because of his criminal record, is recruited by researcher Hank Pym to steal a critical piece of technology from a crazed weapons researcher.

More a comedy with a dose of action than a superhero movie, Antman has a lighter tone than many other superhero films of late. The movie doesn’t have the large set pieces typical of Marvel movies–there are no flying aircraft carriers, floating cities, or world-flattening Tesseracts. This is appropriate; the movie is about Ant-man, after all. The filmmakers have fun with the idea of shrinking a person down to ant-sized proportions and uses it to full comedic effect.

Overall, this movie was one of the biggest surprises of the summer for me–I went to the theater expecting a dumb, boring wannabe superhero movie, but instead I found a film that, despite its small proportions, was highly entertaining.

While neither of these pictures will be remembered for being either profound or thought-provoking, they do quite well for a bit of summer entertainment!

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