Today the sixth Mission Impossible, “Mission: Impossible — Fallout,” hits theaters. This is not impressive. Many a series has exceeded this mark. What may seem a little surprising is its reception. I say “seem,” because, well, I’ll get to that point later.
Usually by this point reviewers have lost interest, and grown tired of the same premise. However, the film’s 98 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes (as of this posting) suggests otherwise.
So, what’s the problem? After all, it’s one of many, many sequels this summer, a lot of which were reviewed well.
The good news is “Mission: Impossible,” is not the problem (sort of); however, its critical reception is a reminder of the lack of diversity that still exists in film criticism. This lack of diversity leads to a select genre of films tending to receive better coverage and higher praise. This in turn leads to better box office numbers, which then leads to six-film (and counting) series being made.
It’s a vicious cycle that leads to a lack of diversity in what films are produced and widely distributed.
Yes there are exceptions. There are films that succeed despite being panned or ignored, but they are few and far between. Just look at last week’s release of “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again,” which I would argue is a very mainstream film, with a wide appeal especially among female film viewers. Its score of 80 on Rotten Tomatoes (as of this posting) is noticeably lower than “Mission: Impossible,” by nearly 20 points.
Will it still succeed? Of course! Will it get another sequel? We can only pray. Is it 20 points less entertaining and unworthy of your hard-earned movie money? That’s a big NO.
My point. We deserve better from our media outlets. We deserve better from entertainment ratings. And we need a better understanding of the impact that a homogenous pool of critics has on an industry that has the power to shape so many people’s understanding of the world and their place and importance in it.
…but to be clear, I’m sure that “Mission: Impossible — Fallout” is a blast, just like its predecessors…even if its current rating is the product of a rigged system…
…just for fun: