Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation
Directed by Christopher McQuarrie
Starring Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris, and Alec Baldwin
Mission: Impossible is a franchise I’ve always wanted to like, but I always expect more from it. I remember being very disappointed at missing the first one in the theatre back in the day. I freakin’ loved the second one when I saw it in the theatre, but 15 years later, I’ll be damned if I can remember anything about it. By the time the third one rolled around, I’d lost interest, and I only saw the fourth one because I love the director, Brad Bird. But, the August Long Weekend is upon us, I felt like going out and doing something, and since Rogue Nation was getting phenomenally good reviews, I figured I’d give the franchise another shot.
Ethan Hunt, our superstar agent of the IMF, has finally uncovered that a secret shadow organization called the Syndicate is very much real, and very much stirring up trouble all over the world. The problem: because of the IMF’s increasingly reckless actions (i.e. the first four films), the organization is being disbanded and its remnants absorbed into the CIA. Rather than come back home, Ethan goes rogue to continue hunting down the Syndicate. But of course, he gets in over his head, and soon calls in his fellow former IMF agents Benji Dunn, Luther Stickell, and William Brandt to help out. They’re joined by Ilsa Faust, a former MI6 agent who may or may not be working for the Syndicate. Will they uncover the secrets of the Syndicate and be able to take it down? And can they do it before the CIA finds them and shuts them down?
What I Liked
As always, the action scenes are the highlights of the franchise. We’ve all seen the trailers of Tom Cruise hanging off the side of the airplane. What I’m please to report is that’s our James Bond-style pre-title sequence, so things only get bigger from there. There’s great car chases, and computer hacking in an underground vault, it’s all very creative and quite thrilling. Great performances as well. Simon Pegg, as Benji, provides the perfect comic relief. Between this and Hawkeye in The Avengers, Jeremy Renner really is owning the role of “world weary, sarcastic hero.” And the score is good. In all these films, I’m always curious to see how the composers re-interpret and re-work that legendary theme song.
What I Didn’t Like
Well, they’ve got a formula thoroughly worked out for these films. Ethan Hunt goes rogue…one of the stunts has to involve a high drop. And even though Mission: Impossible was always a team effort, it focuses a little too much on Cruise’s Ethan Hunt
I liked it about as much as I liked Ghost Protocol. It’s a fun afternoon at the movies, with the right blend of thrills and laughs. But at the end, as much as I want this franchise to be great, it always comes out as pretty good.