Synopsis – Ethan and team take on their most impossible mission yet, eradicating the Syndicate – an International rogue organization as highly skilled as they are, committed to destroying the IMF.
My Take – I have always been a huge Tom Cruise fans, in the sense I have also enjoyed his poorly received films (the ones he has starred in) such Lions for Lambs, Knight and Day & Vanilla Sky. Even in his moderately successful films such as Valkyrie, Jack Reacher & Oblivion are definitely in my top 100 films & of course who can forget the unfairly received Edge of Tomorrow. As a fan in his ups & down (Yea well of course I am not talking about his couch jumping fiasco on the Oprah Winfrey Show), I have always stood by him! You can imagine how disappointing it was when Paramount had planned to kill off in Mission Impossible IV : Ghost Protocol in order for Jeremy Renner‘s character to take over! Well, I am happy that dint happen. The Mission: Impossible film series which began in 1996 is a perfect example of star driven action franchise, while I love the 1st & 4th entries in the series, its the J. J. Abrams directed 3rd one which will always remain by favorite one. While it’s been nearly 20 years since the first time Tom Cruise played IMF agent Ethan Hunt, and after this fifth installment of the franchise there is no sign of him stopping any time soon. Like good wine, these movies seem to get better the older Cruise gets. The weakest link in the series is by far the first sequel directed by John Woo, but J.J. Abrams managed to reinvigorate the franchise in the third Mission Impossible film with Philip Seymour Hoffman‘s memorable performance as the main villain and the introduction of Simon Pegg‘s character who brought the much needed comic relief. Brad Bird continued what Abrams started with Ghost Protocol and introduced Jeremy Renner to this world, and now it was up to Christopher McQuarrie to continue the hot streak. McQuarrie had previously worked with Cruise in Jack Reacher, a film I seem to have enjoyed more than everybody else. Here he followed what the previous directors brought to the series and continued to build on it with a similar tone during the action sequences that once again took us around the globe. So is it as good as the reviews say it is? Of course yes! So it the best MI installment yet? Well it sure is the 2nd best! Yup, I am sticking with MI:3!
The way this movie is presented to us, the audience, we aren’t just viewing it; it’s made to feel just as much of an experience. That’s how the whole film is and I am in awe of the ingenuity. Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out – how the scene and then the movie are gonna play out, it twists & turns and throws you off. And then, in the back of your mind, whilst taking in all of this unexpected awesomeness, you’re off again trying to figure out where that shot and the entire film is headed. It just takes you on an exhilarating ride. For the most part, the movie feels so perfectly realistic even with all the crazy awesomeness going on. And I love how unpredictable it was. The story follows IMF agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise), who discovers that IMF has been compromised by a rogue organization that he refers to as the Syndicate. He is captured by its leader, Solomon Lane (Sean Harris). While held captive, right before being tortured a mysterious woman known as Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) helps him escape. Ilsa claims to be a British Intelligence officer who has gone deep undercover to infiltrate Lane’s Syndicate and win his trust. Meanwhile, William Brandt (Jeremy Renner), is forced to testify in front of the US Chairmen committee in response to the agency’s latest dealings which haven’t been accounted for. CIA director, Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin), wants IMF disbanded because he believes Hunt is a liability. The committee decides in Hunley’s favor convinced that the Syndicate doesn’t exist and that Hunt is behind it all. IMF is disbanded so Brandt and Benji (Simon Pegg) are forced to work for the CIA and bring Hunt in. So Ethan is left on his own to try to stop this dangerous organization, but he always finds a way to get his crew back together and accomplish the impossible. Ving Rhames is also back for a fifth time as Luther Stickell as he and Cruise are the only characters who’ve been here from the start. The film possible contains the biggest, and possibly best, story out if all the other installments. It is fascinatingly complex and dynamic – moving from country to country, dealing with characters who have questionable allegiances – all on top of Ethan Hunt trying to outrun the CIA while trying to get to the bottom of what the Syndicate really wants.
It may seem like a lot, but the script is really well structured and paced. Even though the film does take a few liberties with how some of its characters will ultimately act in the end, the plot isn’t nearly as predictable as one would make it out to be. Writer/director Christopher McQuarrie also manages to squeeze in some surprisingly silly moments at the most random of moments. The screenplay for the film which was written by McQuarrie himself hits pretty much the same beats as the previous two films in the franchise. It has a similar tone and it’s surprising how similar these films are to each other considering they’ve been directed by different directors. You know what direction these spy stories are heading, but the ride is what you are here for. The film opens with a spectacular first half and ends on small yet excellent note. McQuarrie also manages to do two things right: first of all making Sean Harris‘s Solomon Lane a threatening villain and second giving Rebecca Ferguson a strong female character with some great choreographed fighting scenes. These two additions provide the franchise with the freshness it needed to go along with the familiarity of what the rest of the cast always brings. Besides the three action sequences that stood out for me in this film, there is a cool moment where Ethan receives instructions for his latest assignment that is perhaps the best in the franchise. Similarly to what many action films are doing now appealing to the past and our sense of nostalgia, Ethan receives his instructions in a vintage record store in what was one of the most memorable scenes in the film and a great way to introduce the villain of the story. The early escape scene is also quite thrilling, but it was spoiled by the trailers. People who weren’t fans of the cheese factor (forced romances, convenient gadgets, and the overuse of face masks) of the previous films would be glad to know that it’s been done away with in this film. And for people fearing that this is a film that takes itself too seriously, let me be one of the first to say: it doesn’t. One may draw parallels between the events that have happened in this film to some of the recent events in our world, but I see it as a clever way for the franchise to keep up with our times. Much of the movie’s strength emanates from its seemingly unstoppable delivery of edge-of-your-seat action, but you can’t ignore the grandeur of its camera shots and the palatable efforts of its lead characters and supports.
There’s much to say about how inconsistent and illogical some of the narrative choices that the screenwriters took are, but they get overshadowed by the more relevant, and on this case, more effectively utilized, high-tension action extravaganza. Well a few negatives: The movie itself isn’t flawless as these some scenes in the movie that the pacing dragged a little bit and when the characters have conversations about the gadgets and stuff it wasn’t that interesting as Ghost Protocol did it better, because Ghost Protocol was a straight up action movie filled with humor and entertaining characters and when they have conversations about gadgets it was interesting and creative. One can inevitably notice how Tom Cruise has aged through the franchise’s almost two-decade history. He’s more tired-looking here, but you can’t question his commitment to the franchise. He 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 super bike through the desert (in what was, in my opinion, the greatest, most exhilarating car chase ever!). Many people and myself had no idea who Rebecca Ferguson was before Rogue Nation. She was in last years Hercules with Dwayne Johnson that nobody remembered and I already forgotten that movie already. Rebecca Ferguson was so good in this movie that she is going places after this because of how good she was. Rebecca and Cruise worked together perfectly and she nailed the role of a strong female character. Simon Pegg was great in this movie playing Benji. It’s surprising that not a lot of people give him credit in this movie as his known best at comedy but he’s also a great action actor star as well, he proved that in Ghost protocol and Hot Fuzz. 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). It’s in the second half that Brandt gets in on the action, along with fan favorite, Luther. At least Ving Rhames gets to do more here than the last film. The one thing that the Mission Impossible movies doesn’t do very well is it’s villain. Philip Seymour Hoffman was the only good villain in Mission Impossible series but the rest of villains have been weak and pretty forgettable. But the villain in Rogue Nation has a lot of motivation and he’s the kind of villain that you understand where is coming from. Sean Harris dose a great performance as this chilling character but it wasn’t an incredible villain but still better than the one we got in the other movies. On the whole, ‘Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation’, is without a doubt one of the most exciting films I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing this year. It isn’t only just a good action movie it’s a good movie on it’s own. The movie took elements from the first movie and Ghost Protocol and puts it together in this movie which made it a very entertaining movie. It’s exciting, slick, cool and fun, most of all in this film, has got an amazingly inexhaustible energy to it that makes it so brilliant. Must Watch!!
Director – Christopher McQuarrie
Rated – PG13
Run Time – 131 minutes