Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation Movie Review
The Mission: Impossible movie franchise is one of the guaranteed great series in cinema. The one constant? Tom Cruise. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION is more of the same – another thrilling spy adventure with an intriguing story line that sees Cruise as IMF agent Ethan Hunt doing spectacular stunts through wildly amazing action sequences – and that is a very good thing.
The fifth Mission: Impossible film is written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie who won a Best Screenplay Oscar for THE USUAL SUSPECTS. McQuarrie has also worked with Cruise a few times before, writing the screenplays for EDGE OF TOMORROW, VALKYRIE and JACK REACHER, directing the latter. After the IMF (Impossible Mission Force) is disbanded due to the destruction they cause rather than be recognized for the lives/world they save, Hunt and team must track down and stop the Syndicate – a multinational group of skilled operatives who are establishing a new world order through destroying the IMF, assassinating prominent figures and executing major terrorist attacks. There are several major action set pieces that take place in a handful of exotic locations where Hunt will have to either covertly infiltrate, recklessly chase, or cleverly escape some sort of impossible mission, which keeps MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION moving as a high energy thrill ride.
As many of you might know from the trailer and endless adds promoting the fact, Tom Cruise, who is known for doing his own stunts, really did hang from the outside of a plane that’s taking off. This is one case where the over exposure actually works to its benefit as the film opens with that scene, which has far more terrific nuances that we don’t see on the preview. This relieves the viewer from looking for that specific scene as we now have the rest of the film to immerse ourselves into the numerous creative and relentless action scenes to come.
As I mentioned before, the one constant to these films is Tom Cruise. He commands the screen, elevating all the situations with not only his action star awareness, but also his subtle physical humor through body movement and facials reactions. Putting his whole body and soul into the performance, Cruise owns this franchise. Helping him along the way are some familiar team members, Jeremy Renner as William Brandt, Ving Rhames as Luther Stickell and Simon Pegg as Benji Dunn who is increasingly becoming a major player and funny man in the series. They also get a little help from newcomer Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust, a rouge double agent. Sean Harris plays the Bond-type villain role perfectly with a rodent like appearance nicely paired with a low slithering voice.
Inevitably the question arises where ROGUE NATION might rank among the others. As a fan of the series (yes, I even have a soft spot for the admitted weakest link, John Woo’s directed M:I-2), I think it stands side by side among the best three. While I’m not sure McQuarrie is quite as proficient as directors Brian DePalma (MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE), J.J Abrams (MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III) and Brad Bird (MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL), who all seemed to understand how to power punch the final ticking clock tension, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION slides rightly into place as both an exhilarating and clever piece to the exciting world of Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt.