The fifth Mission: Impossible film gives its audience everything we have come to expect from the series. It’s an exciting romp that jumps from one action set piece to the next. In some ways, Rogue Nation is a disappointment. It doesn’t raise the bar as the previous two instalments had managed too. The third film managed to make everyone forget about the sub par Mission: Impossible 2, while number four raised the bar again by being one of the better action movies made in the past decade. The fifth film doesn’t jump over the bar left by number four, but merely creeps underneath it as if it’s playing a game of limbo. It’s by no means a bad film, and has several exciting action sequences just as the others had, but there’s no scaling up the tallest building in the Middle East or a bad guy like Philip Seymour Hoffman to set this movie apart from its predecessors.
Rogue Nation picks up soon after the events of the fourth film. Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is still accepting impossible missions, along with his buddies Benji (Simon Pegg) and minder Brandt (Jeremy Renner). Ethan uncovers an underground group of rogue spies who are out to take down IMF. Ethan must go rogue himself if he hopes to uncover who is behind this deadly group known only as ‘the Syndicate’. Meanwhile, Brandt has a fight on his hands to keep the IMF open for business as the powers that be in the USA feel they’ve caused one explosion too many and should be shut down.
As always, Cruise gives his all in these films. He regularly throws himself into danger as the heroic IMF agent. From hanging onto the side of a plane taking off to hacking a computer while holding his breath under water, Cruise clearly still loves the franchise he is arguably best known for now. He is ably supported by Simon Pegg and Jeremy Renner, and lady newcomer Rebecca Ferguson. It’s obvious that Tom Cruise loves making these films, it comes across very clearly in these films and having such a dedicated leading man definitely adds to the final product.
Rogue Nation is a solid entry to the Mission: Impossible franchise. The fact it never reaches the heights achieved by the terrific fourth outing, Ghost Protocol, shouldn’t be held against it. It’s a fun action film that is still better than many of the action films going around.
Somehow this franchise keeps upping the ante with ever increasingly death defying stunts that tap into my phobias. Last time Ethan Hunt was climbing the tallest building in the world. This time he’s literally hanging off a plane while it’s in flight. Fear of heights addressed, check. But Rogue Nation doesn’t stop there. Hunt must also hold his breath for three minutes in an underwater computer cooling system– no scuba equipment allowed, natch. Not so great for someone who is very uncomfortable being underwater.
And yet, as with Ghost Protocol, these sequences in Rogue Nation are some of the best. They’re certainly the most memorable.
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is more of the same, but damn is it fun to watch. Again, Tom Cruise is at the top of his game. Simon Pegg adds much needed levity. Ving Rhames is funny as usual, though I feel he’s underused in most of these movies. Jeremy Renner is mostly out of the action this time around, but his character pops in for some well placed one liners. I also enjoyed the this film’s villain, the very creepy Sean Harris.
My only real complaint about this series is that the female members of the Impossible Missions team are never brought back for a second film. I was particularly annoyed at this, since Paula Patton was great in Ghost Protocol. This time around the token lady is played by Rebecca Ferguson. She’s an undercover MI6 agent sent to infiltrate an international terrorism organization known as the Syndicate. Yeah, she’s good and I enjoyed her character’s angle, I just wish Patton had been brought back.
Rogue Nation is Tom Cruise action fun. It’s not quite up there with Ghost Protocol, in my opinion, but it’s a close second overall. It’s amazing how this franchise manages to weave action, drama, and comedy so well. I have to say, I’m actually looking forward to the next installment.