Mr Tom Cruise – yes, he may very well be a nut job in real life, but damn he knows how to make an action-packed spy thriller, adding a bit of comedy (courtesy of Simon Pegg) to the mix, and borrowing from all previous instalments, it’s one show-stopping set piece after another.
The franchise is still alive. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation meets its objective, to deliver a little more than two hours of action, risk, intrigue, technical gizmos and chasing cars and motorcycles. This time Ethan Hunt and his team are taking on the Syndicate, an International rogue organisation committed to destroy the IMF.
The stakes are high, the action sequences are thrilling, and the actors are nothing short of brilliant. Tom Cruise proves once again that he’s a blockbuster star like no other, giving his all in the action here, whether it’s attaching himself to a plane, jumping in a chasm of water or riding a superbike through the desert (in what was, in my opinion, the greatest, most exhilarating chase ever). On that note, actually, the incredible bike chase is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the great action, but credit has to go to director Christopher McQuarrie (who is not getting enough credit) for excellently turning this into a good-looking and intense action thriller, using great camera work (avoiding shaky cam) to make it so brilliantly entertaining. For his third directing job, this was pretty damn impressive.
Strong and masterful breakout role is of Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson steals the picture as British agent Ilsa Faust, proving Hunt’s equal in cunning and combat and remaining an enigma up to the end. She holds her own action wise in fight scenes and subterfuge. She has an intelligent look that recalls Ingrid Bergman, imo.
While I felt Simon Pegg’s Benji character was a bit overused in the last film, and relied too heavily upon for laughs, I think this movie – while still heavily featuring him – dialed things back a notch and allowed the character to have some strong character beats amongst all the funny lines/moments. One could say that the ‘bromance’ between Hunt and Benji is the emotional core of this film. Both actors are believable with the friendship they convey, and it’s nice to see Pegg given some genuinely dramatic moments to play.
For Jeremy Renner fans, his character doesn’t do much in the first half of this film besides trying to remain loyal to both Hunt and the agency he works for, although he has some humorous moments with Alec Baldwin’s Hunley, who was equally great like anyone else. It’s in the second half that Brandt gets in on the action, along with fan favourite, Luther, who has much more to do in this movie.
The villain, portrayed by Sean Harris is both creepy, and extremely intimidating. This time around the villain has a background…you know what he has done, what he is capable of, and what happens if you refuse to comply with him. This is part of the reason why Ghost Protocol failed a little bit (in my books), because that villain was not properly explained and had very little screen time, therefor, it just made me not care.
There’s a reason the stunts look so outrageously real – because they are. Little to no CGI is used in the film, giving it an incredibly authentic and realistic look – making its sequences and gravity-defying aerobatics all the more thrilling. Part of why Mad Max (another great summer blockbuster) worked so well.
It all works together very well. It runs at a tense, thrilling and suspenseful pace – in an enjoyable way. Not a single moment is wasted; every scene on the screen is essential and every shot is impeccably acted, directed and delivered. I could go on & on about how every little aspect of the film was awesome, but to conclude, I loved it all.
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation gets a 9.0/10.