While there's this Kevin Costner resurgence, I'm going to take advantage of it! I went and caught a matinee of this one this last weekend and found a different movie from what I was expecting, and I liked that a lot. This is not a serious action movie, more of a black comedy with some action. The world's future is not at stake (thank goodness, that's getting oh so very very very old), in fact the mission is quite small in the scheme of things. The movie is more about Ethan, Costner's character, reconnecting with his daughter and estranged wife.
There will be minor spoilers below...
When I walked out, I was thinking of all the things critics could tear apart about this film, but I think they're exactly all the things I liked. Let's get the one thing I didn't like out of the way: Amber Heard's character. I like the actress, but her character here and her character's actions made little sense. At the beginning of the film, we have a whole team to take down the Albino (one of the bad guys). After that, *poof,* no team, sketchy intel, no backup, no nothing. just Heard's character ordering Ethan around while driving fast cars. (Although I liked the last shot of her in the film.) Fortunately, she's a small part of it, and I just shrugged it off and went with it.
The rest I liked a lot. There's several specific things that really appealed to me.
1. Credits in the beginning of the movie. Seriously, wonderful, glorious beginning credits. I almost applauded. I can't even name the last movie I saw that had opening credits, but I really really have missed them.
2. Straight-forward plot. This might sound weird, but I've gotten quite sick of scripts that over-use plot twists, deception, characters who aren't who them seem, etc. in order to keep the audience guessing. This happens more in television, but everything seems to have been trying to one-up themselves, so there's been more and more of this, at the expense of the actual story. This movie was such a relief to watch. The bad guys were bad guys, the good guys were good guys, no one was not who they claimed to be. No lies, no deception, just a story moving from point A to point B.
3. It was a non-stressful movie. That doesn't mean it wasn't exciting, because it was, and had some great action sequences. But it wasn't stressful, which is a different thing entirely. I'm not sure whether this is because the movie did have that comedic edge so the tension was diffused, if it was because I just trusted Kevin Costner, or if it was because the stakes were lower, but whatever it was, I was relaxed the whole film and never once got stressed out or worried. Since my primary goal when I go to the movies is to escape reality and be entertained, movies that stress me out are NOT escape. (This is one of many reasons why horror will never be a genre I seek out.)
4. This movie kind of felt like it was made back in the late 80's/early 90's. It had a different, more relaxed feel to it, sort of a throwback. Hard to explain and this probably sounds really weird, but it was, well, rather comforting. The pacing of this film was also not frenetic as current action films tend to be. It took its time with the characters and Paris scenery.
5. Kevin Costner. Loved him in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, loved him even more here. I just really enjoyed watching his character the whole movie. Likeable, competent, and still handsome. I just dig him to pieces.
I have not gone looking for reviews of this, but it's the type of film that usually gets bashed by critics for being predictable, or cliche, or whatever is the movie flaw of the month. It's not going to appeal to everyone, but it gave me a genuine good two hours of escape, and despite its flaws, I love it for that.