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Summer Movie Review: ‘Barbie,’ ‘Indiana Jones,’ and ‘Mission: Impossible’

Barbie movie poster produced by Greta Gerwig, featuring Margot Robbie, and Ryan Gosling. This poster was developed by Mattel and Warner Bros™.

Over the summer, a collection of potential blockbuster movies were released. Counted among these are ‘Barbie,’ ‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’ and ‘Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One.’

‘Barbie’ was released late last July and was directed by Greta Gerwig. It starred Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, who were cast as Barbie and Ken. The movie follows as they are forced to venture from their dreamlike home to the real world, namely Los Angeles. From there, it explores the effects that the world we live in has on people and their experiences in it. 

If I had to choose one thing that really stood out about this movie, it would have to be the way it shows the two sides of the story, as well as that there is no personified antagonist, though some may argue that it’s Ken. It balances the movie extremely well, giving us a clear view of the story as a whole, instead of a skewed point of view. 

There is a significant contrast between the real world and Barbie’s world. Barbie’s world is filled to the brim with bright colors and generally radiates joy as a whole. LA, of course, looks extremely gray and bland when compared to the dream they had just left. Later in the movie, when the line between worlds seems to blur a bit, we see more muted colors in Barbie’s world, like brown, grey, black, et cetera. The film is, of course, a commentary on the world as well as gender roles/feminism, and the movie shows that perfectly in everything it does. 

Overall, Barbie shows some of the deepest ingrained flaws in our world as a whole through a relatively clear lens. I personally recommend this film wholeheartedly, as the themes and messages are beneficial to any person who takes the time to really experience the movie. 

Like ‘Barbie,’ ‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’ was released in late July. It was directed by James Mangold. The main star of the movie is Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones and Phoebe Waller-Bridge as his goddaughter. It follows them on their quest to find Archimedes’ Dial, which is believed to have supernatural powers. 

Something that stood out to me while watching this movie was the use of familiar sounds and effects throughout the movie. Some examples of that are the Wilhelm Scream, Indiana Jones’ theme, and some retro effects whenever a gun fires, which added a nostalgic feel to some of the action scenes. 

The movie does a great job of making you feel like you’re in the situation that the characters are in. This is especially evident whenever one of the antagonists appears and you can feel a sinking feeling in your chest since we know the crew is gonna go through an ordeal as soon as they’re on screen. As is common in Indiana Jones movies, Nazis are the antagonists once again. They are trying to steal Archimedes’ Dial to give to Hitler, and of course, Indiana doesn’t really like that. The movie follows him and his goddaughter trying to find the Dial and keep it away from the Nazis.

Oftentimes, the film utilizes all of its narrative tools and techniques really well, such as lighting, sound design, and environment. The only real thing that I think the movie was weak on at all was pacing. It felt like there were countless chase scenes that went on endlessly, and I couldn’t help but be bored at those moments. In contrast, there wasn’t too much valuable dialogue that fleshes out the characters more than their key traits and slight underlying traits. On the other hand, the fight scenes were done really well. The choreography was really satisfying to watch. Though, you have to wonder at some point why Indiana doesn’t just always carry a firearm in these scenarios, especially after the repeated Nazi attacks where he was left at a massive disadvantage due to his lack of a firearm. Other than that, it was a great movie that I thoroughly enjoyed. 

All in all, even counting in the minor pacing issues, ‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’ was a really good movie. I can’t help but recommend it to both those who follow the series and those who have never seen a single other movie, such as myself. 

‘Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One’ (a huge mouthful, I know) was directed by Christopher Macquarie, who is most known for directing the ‘Mission: Impossible’ movies four through seven. The starring actor is Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, as per usual. 

While watching, I couldn’t help but notice the very seamless CGI. All of the augmented reality was really well implemented. The fight scenes and choreography also stood out a lot to me, for nothing but good reasons. 

In urgent situations, the movie makes you feel anxious for the characters, such as with the nuclear instance in the airport. You can really feel the time crunch as the device ticks down second by second. The actors also really made me feel what the characters feel during other scenes with their amazing control of body language and expressions. 

The movie follows Ethan Hunt attempting to find a key to destroy what seems to be a rogue artificial intelligence. Of course, every government on the planet wants the key so that they can attempt to control it, but Ethan sees that it is wiser to just destroy it. 

All of the narrative techniques are really well utilized in this movie. The pacing felt smooth if a little fast sometimes. Characters and their motivations were clearly laid out and helped first-time watchers (such as myself) understand why he does what he does and what he might have done in the past. As I mentioned earlier, the CGI flows into the movie really nicely and every fight was compelling. The characters as a whole were very well written, too. The sound design was on point for the entire movie, and I liked them using the classic ‘Mission: Impossible’ music whenever they did. 

Overall, it was a really enjoyable movie and I’m hyped for part 2. I’m definitely gonna have to recommend this movie. It serves as a decent enough introduction, too, if you don’t want to start with the first movie for some reason.

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About the Contributor
Aiden Alexander
Aiden Alexander, Staff Writer
Aiden is a sophomore and is a staff member of the Eagle Eye, as well as a trombonist in the Pride of Lindale Band. He enjoys playing video games, reading, and watching One Piece.

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