Starring: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg
Written by: Christopher McQuarrie, Drew Pearce
Directed by: Christopher McQuarrie
Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) goes on the lam to stop a rogue organization known as ‘The Syndicate’.
Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation is a rip-roaring action/adventure film, the fifth in a series that just keeps getting better as it ages. This time directed by Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher, also with Cruise), the film is another in the sting of Cruise action films that have a brain. The only problem with the Mission: Impossible films, though, is that you know Ethan Hunt is going to come away unscathed to fight another day. Much like the James Bond films, there really is very little threat to our hero, so there is no sense of dread. Which is why they film some of the most amazing action set pieces in cinematic history. This film will have you on the edge of your seat.
The IMF is under attack. Not from rogue agents or a terrorist threat, oh no. This time, the attack is from the CIA, notably CIA director Hunley (Alec Baldwin) who believes that the IMF is a dinosaur and causes too much collateral damage in it’s missions. To that effect, the IMF is shut down and IMF Agent Brandt (Jeremy Renner) is reassigned to the CIA to help track down Ethan Hunt and bring him in. Of course, Hunt is having none of that, having finally found a face to The Syndicate, a hidden, shadowy IMF of evil. Hunt goes on the run, and begins a solo investigation of The Syndicate.
While the plots of any of the Mission: Impossible films can be interchangeable, the one thing they have in common is extreme action set pieces, and on this front, Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation does not disappoint. From the opening scene where Hunt is hanging off the side of an airplane to the scene where he has to hold his breath for three minutes while swimming against the current in a liquid cooled computer chamber, the film is filled to the brim with amazing set pieces. Despite the fact that I know Hunt is going to make it out fine, I found myself gripping the arm rests of my seat, white knuckling as these super human feats are accomplished on screen in front of me. It’s a pretty damned impressive feat for a film series known for it’s over the top but realistic action.
While the character of Hunt is never explored in any more depth, nor any of the other characters, for that matter, the film doesn’t need it. They are secret agents. They are stopping terrorists and saving the world. They are the good guys. The bad guys in these films are basically mustache twirling villains. This film is again no exception. You know who the villain is and he is never given any more depth, either. The IMF just needs to stop him. And as an audience, we go along for the ride.
Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation doesn’t reinvent the Mission: Impossible wheel. What it does is give us more smart action with Tom Cruise, which is exactly what we want from this franchise. Cruise continues to make the movies he wants to make, and you know what? Those just happen to be the movie I want to see.
*** out of ****
BIZZAM!! Fun Facts!
- The antagonists of this film, The Syndicate, were regular villains on the TV series this film series is based.
- From IMDB: Rebecca Ferguson bears a striking resemblance to fellow Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman. Ferguson’s character in this film is named Ilsa Faust, this is a reference to Bergman’s character, Ilsa Lund from Casablanca (1942), a European star-crossed lover who falls for an American, and the German legend Faust, where the title character makes an ill-fated deal with the devil. Both characters foreshadow Ilsa Faust’s role in the film. “Rogue Nation” also has a sequence set in Casablanca with Ferguson in it. Tom Cruise’s first celebrity crush was Ingrid Bergman in Notorious (1946).