Paris, more famously known as the City of Love has a lot more to offer than just the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Élysées, and the Louvre – all wonderful places of interest; but the deeper you delve into the story of France, popular historic tourist attractions are just the tip of the iceberg.
It doesn’t hurt that the food is great too, as well as their coffee; also the weather in summer is spectacular and the people, besides their sometimes slightly unfriendly ways, are impeccably dressed and smell like fragrance stores as they saunter past.
After hearing about LallaLand’s next assignment, which was to take place in this remarkable city for the new release of Mission: impossible – Fallout, I was giddy with excitement. The film had been shot in a few locations around the world, with Paris being one of the primary cities.
The Mission: Impossible series is one of the most loved action franchises of our generation and I have been a fan since I can remember.
It’s been three years since the last instalment and I was excited to hear that Christopher McQuarrie was back as director. The first time any director has made a return to the franchise.
Just how much further would he be able to visually push Ethan Hunt’s escapades; how much more of the Mission: Impossible world will he explore, and what will make this one stand out? Just some of the many questions that jumped to mind, as soon as I heard we had a few minutes with him.
Flying into Paris was a beautiful experience: the outer lying areas of the city are filled with farmland and the colours are magnificent; a truly picturesque sight. Touching down was just as enjoyable. A warm welcoming 27 degrees Celsius; coming from a cold winter in Jo’burg, I couldn’t have been happier.
Universal Pictures knows how to take care of their reporters and international press was put up in a beautiful part of town. After checking in and grabbing a much-needed shower, the press met downstairs for a quick briefing.
I spotted many recognisable faces from previous assignments and after exchanging pleasantries we were ushered onto a bus and taken to the cinema to be one of the first groups of people to see the film.
We entered the cinema, one of the largest I have ever seen, with popcorn and drinks in hand; we all got comfortable. There was a lot of excitement in the room and chatter about the film grew louder and louder.
Eventually, before dimming the lights, a casual Christopher McQuarrie stood before the screen and addressed us all. Speaking about the adventure he and his team had experienced to make this project come to life, the tiring hours that crew and cast had sacrificed, and that only a week prior to this moment they had still been in post-production.
The lights went down soon after he finished and there was a scurry of people going in and out the cinema. A hoard of security personnel as well as people with clipboards and earpieces. No one was paying much attention as the movie was starting, but as I continued to see what the fuss was about: Simon Pegg took his seat just a few rows behind me. OMG! Apparently it was his first time watching the film too. WE WERE WATCHING THE MOVIE WITH SIMON PEGG? I don’t know why I thought that was amazing, but I couldn’t help but feel more excited, and I marinated in that thought throughout the film.
Fast forward 2 hours and 27 minutes later, and my forehead was moist, my butt hurt from clenching, and I had moved so much in my seat that my outfit and hair was a total mess. I can only imagine how dishevelled I looked.
Whoa! But what a ride! We all love a good action film and that was levels above what we’ve seen before! ‘This is set to be 2018’s biggest action film’ I thought.
As we walked slowly back to the bus, allowing for what we had just seen to sink in, the common consensus was, “WOW!” The following day was junket day and each of us had some prep work to do before we could sit down with the cast and Chris. Some of us felt a little bushed after seeing the film; it’s a rollercoaster, but the best kind!
The next day we were all up bright and early. After breakfast and a quick taxi ride to the beautiful hotel hosting the interviews, we were ready for some face time with the awesome cast of Mission: Impossible – Fallout.
The day flew by. Even though we were given five minutes per person, there’s a lot of waiting time in-between. Every reporter seemed to love each interview and no one had a negative word to say about anyone: not always the case with some stars. I had a great time chatting to them too, and I fell in love with the movie even more!
After the interview session we explored the city, and of course, visited the locations that were used in the film. Experiencing the same spaces used for the film was an epic journey.
Stories such as Ethan Hunt’s in his Mission: Impossible world not only blow our minds with incredible alibies, surviving insane chase scenes, intelligently outsmarting his opponents, or handling heartache like a boss, he possesses an aspiring quality that makes his character even more appealing: his never-say-die attitude.
The film’s ability to keep hearts racing but also inspire the fighter in each of us is an astounding feat. I must also mention that at 56, Tom Cruise has never looked better. When many stars are slowing down, Cruise gives an incredible performance and regardless of breaking his ankle (the take they actually use in the film) during the filming process, gives his absolute all. This might just be my favourite instalment of M:I!
Saying au revoir to Paris was difficult. I had a wonderful time in the City of Lights: I re-ignited the fighter within, sat down with the stellar cast of my new favourite action film, and had the best cup of coffee in my life. What an assignment! I hope you enjoy watching these episodes of LallaLand as much as much as I did making them.
Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to watch the film and let us know what you think.
Love from your Ninja
Watch the first episode of LallaLand: Mission: Impossible – Fallout here.
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