A mega bumper double podcast today, as we see Mission: Impossible – Fallout twice and incorporate both discussions into one episode. Long story short, we had tons of fun both times and you should see it.
We both adore the visual storytelling and the elegance of the action. We fawn over gripping sequences which evoke silent cinema. We discuss in depth the idea of Ethan Hunt as a moral character, something that the film places front and centre throughout, giving him choices to make and emphasising the protection of innocents and self-sacrifice. José doesn’t quite buy it but Mike does his best to talk him round.
Neither of us is quite sold on the concept of the villain – he’s not enough of an idealist – but Cavill’s performance unquestionably elevates him and he’s a constant delight to watch. To José, he’s the new Errol Flynn. Mike focuses on two implausible scenes to compare and contrast, exploring why he believed in one but not the other. José describes how the action scenes develop like good jokes, with ideas building on top of each other in logical ways. And we go off on a tangent about Idris Elba for some reason.
Recorded on 29th and 31st July 2018.
Unlike with most of our podcasts — in which Mike and I usually go blind to a movie, rush home, make a cup of coffee, and then just chat about our responses to the film and try to get each other to better articulate what we think and feel about it — Mike and I had already seen Black Panther before, separately, and we’d also read quite a bit about the film before hand. It was unavoidable, as so many of our friends had already begun discussing it, passionately and vociferously. I found Jelani Cobb’s piece in The New Yorker; Christopher Lebron’s article for the Boston Review; Kenan Malik’s op-ed for The Guardian; and Adam Serwer’s analysis of the character of Killmonger in The Atlantic to be particularly thought provoking.
Thus this is, unusually, a first discussion after our second screening. My first took place in Stockholm and it was fascinating to see it with a young, Swedish, mainly but not exclusively male audience, that responded avidly to all the jokes. The audience in Birmingham was worse behaved and rowdier, with many people confrontationally turning on their phones, texting, taking pictures — like they’d never been in a cinema before. A fight broke out at the back in the middle of all of it, though it seemed to be mainly verbal. It’s a film that seems to be bringing in a lot of people who don’t usually go to the cinema, probably because most of it doesn’t have much to offer them. In spite of the irritations, it felt great to be a part of it.
So this podcasts finds us in the midst of an already feverish conversation taking place online and amongst friends. So much to discuss! How does the film build compelling conflict between the characters, what are the nuances of its commentary on racism, colonialism and masculinity, what were our shared experiences with the audiences, what did we draw out of its costume and character design – and is really really really obviously the best Marvel film?
The podcast can be listened to in the player above or on iTunes.
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