"Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation" Review
One of the biggest action stars of the past 25 years is back in his most successful franchise, and it's exactly what should be expected. Tom Cruise reprises his role as the impossibly cool Ethan Hunt in this 5th entry of the Mission: Impossible series. The film picks up right where Ghost Protocol left off, with Ethan trying to track down a shadowy organization known as The Syndicate. This terrorist group has apparently been behind dozens of seemingly random attacks and Ethan is the only one with the abilities to stop them.
Now, that premise sounds like it could be a little corny, but then again, all of the M:I films have their fair share of cheesy moments. This latest entry is no different. Rogue Nation is filled with high-octane action sequences that will either leave you with your adrenaline pumping or just shaking your head as to what just happened. With that in mind, there is no denying that Rogue Nation, much like all the M:I movies before it, features some of the coolest and sometimes even innovative action scenes in recent film memory. However, these scenes also can come off as so over-the-top that they destroy the audience's suspension of disbelief, which can take the viewer right out of the film. There are a lot of convenient occurrences for the good guys, and some scenes could use more explanation on how they happened, but it's not like these flawed elements are new to the action film genre. They are embarking on an impossible mission after all, so there are obviously going to be involved in impossible events.
The original M:I still stands as one of the great action movies of the past couple decades, and each film in the series since has been trying to recapture that magic. They all attempt to be wildly original in some way, but sometimes it doesn't quite pan out that way; Mission: Impossible II comes to mind here. Rogue Nation succeeds in some ways while failing in others. The end result is better than the 2nd and 3rd M:I films, but slightly worse than the original and Ghost Protocol. Something unique that I enjoy about the M:I series is that in comparison to other major action franchises, for example James Bond or The Transporter films, is that they are more family friendly. Of course there is still a lot of PG violence, but they rarely cross over into themes of sex and I do not recall hearing a single swear word. This is a refreshing take on a genre that tends to be formulaic in its portrayal of action intertwining with sexual themes.
In regards to the cast, Simon Pegg is always fantastic and the other supporting cast of good guys Ving Rhames, Jeremy Renner, and Alec Baldwin do just fine. On the other side, the villain played by Sean Harris seems to come off as less intimidating than intended. His voice and overall demeanour doesn't exactly scream terrifying force of evil. Trust me, Simon Pegg even has a stronger voice than Harris. He is more creepy than scary, but he is supposed to be an intellectual challenge for Ethan, so maybe the intimidation factor was never really built up on purpose. The final major cast member was also the biggest surprise for me; Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust is just plain awesome. She comes off as essentially the female version of Ethan, and there are a few scenes that will surely leave the audience impressed with her moves. Ferguson brings all the elements a proper femme fatale should have, and she does not give up much spotlight to the leading man, himself.
Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation is a ridiculously entertaining ride with Tom Cruise performing insane stunts, even if the action can get a little carried away. The film features an intriguing storyline, but it is not as if it is an overly original one. Not to say there isn't any originality in the film though, as there are a few sequences that are extremely cool to see unfold on the big screen. There are still silly gadgets and the occasional funny scene, so this is definitely a M:I film, but it feels kind of like a missed opportunity to build on the momentum caused by Ghost Protocol reigniting the franchise. In the end, Rogue Nation features Tom Cruise being awesome, Rebecca Ferguson being even more awesome, and the whole 2-hour ride is a very entertaining film. It has its flaws in the form of cheesiness and absurd, but still ultimately cool, action sequences. If you are just looking for a fun flick to get your heart pumping, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation is a solid choice.