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What the Fuck Is the IMF? – an Expat Austrian Perspective on Tom Cruise’s Habit of Helmetless Motorbiking

Kids, I really hate the Mission Impossible franchise. If it wasn’t for the iconic musical jingle I’d never see another one. 

They can’t fool me. I KNOW the mission isn’t impossible, and I have felt intellectually insulted by this constant assumption of impossibility. Stop lying to the audience. 

As an Austrian, however, there is no excuse for not seeing its fifth and freshest installment Rogue Nation, featuring Vienna’s state opera house. Yes, Austria gets relatively little cinematic exposure these days (I presume due to horrific location fees and general snobbism), so whenever little Alpine nation gets on celluloid we screech like 5-year-olds at the dentist.

For those of you who read my Dinoworld Mimosa piece: being my civilized self, I did not scream out “Da, schau! Wien!” as Vienna appeared in stock footage helicopter establishing. After all, I did not want to get beaten up by the other solo mid-day theatre patrons.

No, I gave it a slow clap instead, and readied myself to marvel at entertaining violence in peaceful surroundings I know so well. That is Hollywood’s Arclight, and Austria.

Let’s get an idea about the story. 

There’s the IMF.

The IMF is not as we would expect the International Monetary Fund (too soon?), but the Impossible Mission Force, an arm of an arm of an arm of some sort of secret intelligence in the US other than the CIA.
The IMF has beef with somebody called the Syndicate, and nobody believes the Syndicate is even real. It’s a funny notion to doubt a syndicate, when your organization is called Impossible Mission Force

According to script, the Syndicate is something like the British version of the Legion Etrangere/French Foreign Legion. As opposed to the smooth operators of La Grande Nation, the Brits fuck up royally creating Frankenstein’s monster instead of a useful branch of the secret service MI 6 (which does not stand for Mission Impossible 6). The syndicated kids who all look oddly Germanic go rogue, forcing their violence on innocent heads of state.

Such as the chancellor of Austria.

Let’s pause there for a second and let it simmer.

The chancellor of Austria.

I mean, as much as I would like to think there was anything cool and edgy and dangerous and powerful attached to the chancellor of Austria, there isn’t.

To every crazy person out there who gets ideas from Hollywood flicks I’d like to say: killing ANY Austrian state official is not going to do shit. Don’t even try, it’s not worth it.

Let’s move on.

Puccini is always good to orchestrate high-end glamorous violence, so Turandot is staged at the opera while the players take their places.

We see a lot of the backstage area of the opera house, where a lot of Germans seem to be occupying Austrian jobs, which is probably true. They have a better work ethic, I guess.

While all too many snipers are pointing their red dots at the oblivious chancellor in his private booth, nessun was dorma-ing during Nessun Dorma

Let’s talk girl.

The lady game is on in this impossible mission. Swedish hottie Rebecca Ferguson wraps her toned thighs around numerous male throats and squeezes to the point of death. Aw. The only thing I cannot forgive her is her tardy arrival to Turandot, which – I mean we’re talking opera, folks – is just inexcusable. But she wears nice shoes, as pointed out by dude Tom Cruise, and is not afraid to discard them in breakneck situations. Atta girl.

Simon Pegg laudably arrives at the opera house on time, and you know why? Because he took Viennese public transport. Everybody, please meet the Wiener Linien, one of the cleanest and most efficient public transport systems in the world. Here's something L.A. will probably never have, and it's a real shame, for the cool kids ride public.

Some impossible story bits are a little wishy-washy, but the writing is pretty damn solid throughout. Perhaps executives are starting to realize they cannot fool audiences with dumb and dumber plots forever. It’s also been apparent since JJ Abram’s Star Treks and Paul Rudd’s adorable Ant-Man that action films have to up their fun factor.

And I hate to admit it, but Rogue Nation is great fun. Simon Pegg and Jeremy Renner especially lighten up the screen with witty lines and their witty delivery. And if you think high-speed races and people entering and exiting buildings through windows aren’t fun (like I thought), I’d encourage you to reconsider. They can be entertaining as hell if staged well.


But hey, film.

There’s a lot of chasing going on in Casablanca, but it might as well be anywhere else.

But dude, Tom Cruise, irresponsibly jumps on a BMW racer bike… without helmet, and drags knee… in jeans. 

So I started wondering, and researching, and then it became evidently clear: 

Movie Tom Cruise never wears a helmet when riding a motorbike. 

It’s true. The only times we saw him in a helmet was Top Gun in the air, and Days of Thunder behind the wheel.

So I made a wee collage of Helmetless Tom Cruise in chronological order:

Top Gun
Days of Thunder
Mission Impossible 2
Knight and Day
Edge of Tomorrow

Read the bloody caption, you eejits

It seems as though the true Mission Impossible in Movie Tom Cruise's life is wearing goddamn head protection.

But let’s give the Scientologist some credit in numbers: 

The man is 53 (years), 5’7”/1,70m (height), 3x (married and divorced), 41x (actor in motion pictures), 3x (working with Tony and Ridley Scott), 3x (nominated for Academy Awards), and his birth name is Thomas Cruise Mapother IV.

His CV will leave you in awe.

Still kids, this man is NOT a role model.

Wear a helmet when you motorbike.

And go see Rogue Nation and give beautiful Vienna the slow clap it deserves.


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