Say what you will about Tom Cruise, but the guy can deliver one hell of a performance. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation proves this fact with its fast pace action and its intriguing storyline which grabs you from second one and never lets go. Director Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher) and Cruise have created a nice rapport over the years as the two seem very comfortable working together and it shows with the finished films. The Mission Impossible franchise was rejuvenated with 2011’s Ghost Protocol, and Rogue Nation continues to show that with great storytelling and exciting set pieces, this franchise has a lot left in the tank.
The Impossible Mission Force is on assignment saving the world once again. We find the team in Belarus where Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is attempting to stop delivery of chemical weapons to hostile forces. Accompanied on the mission by Benji (Simon Pegg), Ethan finds himself on the outside of a plane rushing down the runway to take off. An expected thrilling start to a franchise which has hung its hat on exciting action set pieces. The thrill rides are just beginning as the team find themselves in the sight lines of a new villainous foe in the form of the mysterious syndicate. Ethan comes face to face with the head of the group, Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) when he is captured and sent for interrogation. Ethan’s capture is Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), a rogue MI:6 agent who now works for the syndicate, but her alliances are, as we say, complicated, as she helps free Ethan.
But this isn’t the only threat to the IMF. The group is denounced by the CIA chief Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) who wants to disband the force for its reckless behavior, blaming the IMF for the attack on the Kremlin one year earlier. Despite William Brandt’s (Jeremy Renner) protests, all IMF operations are shut down, leaving Ethan Hunt the CIA’s most wanted. Ethan must rely on Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames), Brandt and Benji to help him prove that the syndicate is real and reinstate the IMF. Stuck between two powerful foes, Ethan travels the globe and fights side by side with friend and foe. His mission, to stop the syndicate before time runs out. This message will self destruct in 5,4,3,2,1.
In a summer filled with so many hits and misses, it’s nice to see a film like Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation come out and prove that character driven action films can entertain while not being dumbed down for the sake of the summer movie going audience. Christopher McQuarrie does a wonderful job directing this veteran cast who have, for the most part, been working together on this franchise for close to a decade. McQuarrie, who also is responsible for writing the film, balances the need for dialogue driven scenes with action set pieces nicely, allowing for development of each character nicely. Tom Cruise has coveted this franchise for 20 years and it truly is his baby. Cruise is fearless in his passion for this role and it shows with his delivery and how committed he is to making each scene as believable as possible. Simon Pegg benefits from an increase in screen time this time around and makes the most of it. Pegg’s wonderful blend of quirky and dramatic make his performance one to watch.
Jeremy Renner isn’t given much to do action wise in this film, and sadly, his character suffers for it, but it is his dry comedic exchanges with Alec Baldwin that make for some entertaining scenes. Sean Harris’ villainous role is menacing as much in his silence as he is in his characters execution. A cold, callous demeanor make his Solomon Lane the best villain of the franchise so far. Rebecca Ferguson’s heroine is the real scene stealer of the film. Ferguson’s beauty and grace make her presence on screen so must see.
Overall, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation is the best sequel this summer not named Mad Max: Fury Road. Your mission, if you chose to accept it, run to the theater and see this one in the biggest format you can.
4 out of 5
After Credit Scene?