Tom Cruise is back in the franchise that cannot be killed. John Woo tried with M:I2, but even he couldn’t eliminate Ethan Hunt.
At this point in the series, why would you want it to end? M:I3 and Ghost Protocol injected some fresh blood into the series and proved that Tom Cruise is still one of the best action stars of all time.
In Rogue Nation, Ethan Hunt (Cruise) is still risking life and limb to save the world. Though, it seems like most of his near-misses are based more off luck than strategy. This is noticed by CIA head Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) who is attempting to get the IMF shut down and capture Hunt at any cost. Which means that Hunt is a rogue agent once again. Only this time, he is personally sought out by the mysterious Syndicate. They choose not to kill him, but merely to test him in a game of cat and mouse. Along the way, he works alongside/against a Syndicate agent, Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson). Throughout a half dozen betrayals and close escapes, Hunt still has the backup of Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) and William Brandt (Jeremy Renner).
If you enjoyed the thrilling action in Ghost Protocol, this is the perfect follow-up. The building climb in the 4th movie is hard to top, but Rogue Nation does that in three scenes. After all the unbelievable stunts in the franchise, you’d think it would be hard to keep the audience engaged or fear for any of the staple characters. Yet, I found myself literally holding my breath.
The action is so great, that you tend to breeze over the fact that the story is extremely convoluted. The dialogue isn’t bad, the character defining moments aren’t strenuous, it’s just that every character seems to be playing a game of chess and ends up thinking four moves ahead of their opponent in every situation.
The Mission: Impossible series has never been known for its bulletproof plots. Nor does it claim to be brilliant. The goal for these movies is to achieve perfect pacing. With Rogue Nation, they almost reached it, but I couldn’t help wanting more action scenes every time the group sat down to talk and strategize. This movie turned me into an adrenaline junkie.
Ethan Hunt has far less character growth than the previous movies. He has settled more into the Bond caricature, which leans more towards villain-of-the-week format. We know who he is and what he has gone through to get to this point. I typically argue against pointless sequels, but I hope he plays this character at least three more times.
Rebecca Ferguson was the star of the show for me. I hadn’t seen her in any previous project and she makes a fantastic blockbuster entrance with this movie. In terms of feminine action heroes of 2015, she stands second only to Imperator Furiosa from Mad Max: Fury Road.
While I’m making comparisons to Fury Road (which won the Summer movie season, in my opinion) Rogue Nation is a strong contender for best movie of the summer. Sorry, it’s been a weak year.
Even though I was underwhelmed with the story immediately after walking out of the theater, I had the urge to see the movie again. I typically hate the word “fun” when combined with popcorn flicks, so I can honestly say Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation was thrilling. A-