-Two (2) scenes where (uh, spoilers? Does anyone really give a rat's ass about the plot of these movies?) the movie makes us think a nuke has actually gone off. The first is hilarious, actually had me for a minute, and is probably my favorite scene in the movie, even with all the zillion-dollar action. The second is totally lame as hell.
-One (1) skydiving sequence, which involved Cruise actually jumping out of a plane, which is...I...guess better and more suspenseful than the one we already had in the 2014 Godzilla? (Most reviews will no doubt remind us that Cruise, age 55 at the time of filming, and looking only about 41--wow, that's the reverse of Sean Connery in Diamonds Are Forever!--actually is doing most of these death defying stunts, which is honestly pretty remarkable.) It's so annoyingly close visually, albeit without the clouds of smoke from the 'zilla movie.
-One (1) extended motorcycle/truck chase through the narrow streets of Paris, which is...I...guess better than the one we had at the beginning of Skyfall, which is still my pick for the best of the Actually Acclaimed Action Movies since 2010? Again, very visually similar, though more effort seems to have gone into the M:I flick. It's also very very long, like 25 minutes, and ends with a great bit with a French she-cop.
-Three (3)--maybe more, I kinda lost count--scenes of Cruise and/or Rebecca Ferguson crashing their vehicles in ways that would have absolutely and without question killed any other person, real or fictional, and they get up and walk away with barely a scratch. Groan.
-One (1) huge climactic action sequence involving duelling helicopters, a countdown timer (groan, but oh well), Ving Rhames and Michelle Monaghan trying to defuse a nuke by clipping wires (groan) and Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson and Sean Harris (the villain from the previous M:I movie, whom I'd forgotten they hadn't killed) in a log cabin throwing each other face first through wooden walls, hanging and strangling each other, and generally doing things that would have killed the average person after three seconds of it. All three are unbelievably alive at the end of the sequence. This thing kinda lost me, at least for a couple of reasons: the countdown timer is 15 minutes, and the scene clearly lasts longer than that; Simon Pegg stands no chance in a fist fight against anyone; and it ends with Cruise scaling a vertical cliff face, which we already saw in the second M:I film, which I've since found out no one likes anymore at all.
-One (1) missing cast member, Jeremy Renner, whose character in the previous two films was honestly pretty boring and I had to stop and realize he was even gone.
-One (1) new cast member, Henry Cavill, who you can probably guess is the new bad guy (again, you really shouldn't care about spoilers here) after maybe a minute of screen time, and sporting a dumb mustache, actually does really well though--blows his Superman performance all to hell, which is forgivable anyway since nobody has interestingly played Superman. He uses a low pitched American accent that made him sound faintly like a nighttime talk-show announcer. He's the best new thing about the movie which is interesting considering that, as TonyV has pointed out, no one cares about the bad guys in the M:I films. (SPOILER: the bad guys' motivations, even more meaningless, involve not just a bland nuke but the same dumbass motive as the bad guys from Batman Begins which is that a greater peace will result from greater suffering. Big shock anyone?)
-One (1) scene of Cruise, shot from the side, sprinting along the top of a building at approximately 800 miles per hour, while the camera slowly pulls back and the bombastic orchestral score pumps LOUDER and LOUDER and LOUDER into such an obnoxious frenzy that I found myself wishing Hans Zimmer and Christopher Nolan had never met, even though neither of them had anything to do with this movie.
-One (1) scene between Cruise and his quasi-love-interest, Michelle Monaghan, which is the only thing the M:I films care less about than their bad guys, which is...probably the best possible scene they COULD have done to add some human warmth to the movie and make Cruise's character SLIGHTLY less than a total cipher? See it for yourself. I only mention it because I was debating in my head whether or not these movies even need ANY such scenes.
-One (1) callback to the original 1996 M:I film: a character called the White Widow, played by Lady Gaga lookalike (bleah?) Vanessa Kirby, is supposed to be related to the Vanessa Redgrave character somehow. The only thing this made me do is reflect on what a strange choice Brian De Palma was for that original 1996 film and whether or not he's actually watched any of the sequels. I bet he hasn't.
-One (1) consideration: have they ever thought of getting James Cameron to try doing one of these? Wouldn't he be an ideal fit? Are people actually getting psyched for the Avatar sequels?
-One (1) movie ticket for $9.79 and one (1) regular size drink for...$6.20. Holy crap. Fortunately they gave me free refills so I could try ALL THREE (3) of the new Minute Maid Mixes which are Dreamy Orange Lemonade, Tropical Oasis, and Mixed Berry or something like that. They're good! I also tried Hi-C for the first time since I was 7, Orange Vanilla flavor, and it tasted like pure f***ing sugar, yuck city.
The other 2018 films I care about and will bother to see:
Leave No Trace
A Quiet Place
Not much...I don't think I actually want to sit through Avengers: Infinity War because I don't want to sit through the 72,643 other movies in that series right now, maybe in a few years, huhn?
NP: Michael Jackson - "The Girl Is Mine"--1982? This sounds like a f***ing Steely Dan ballad from at least a half-decade earlier, musically. Subtract the vocals and...
(NOTE, I'm listening to Thriller. I'm just now realizing I've never once heard the title track by itself--i.e., outside of the context of the video. I've never actually listened through the album all the way through in one sitting.)