Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation Review 4/5 stars
Written by Christian James Haight
Writer and director Christopher McQuarrie and actor Tom Cruise once again teamed up to take on the fifth installment of “Mission Impossible” titled “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation.” By this point in any typical franchise, the movies tend to become hard to watch. With ideas that are never nearly as good as the last, the entire franchise begins to crumble. “Rogue Nation” proves that the “Mission Impossible” movies are not anywhere near their peak.
The franchise grabs a new director every movie, which allows for each individual installment to come off as fresh with a new story that keeps the characters in tune throughout the series. Unsurprisingly the action in this movie did not disappoint. With McQuarrie and Cruise’ steady action film history together, including movies such as “Valkyrie,” “Jack Reacher” and ‘Edge of Tomorrow,” it only makes sense that based on their history, “Rogue Nation” would be another great film to add to the duos list. The movie created a mix between the first “Mission Impossible” with action that includes a high level of anticipation and “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” with some impressive stunts, “Rogue Nation” was able to bring together the best parts of the franchise and place them into one movie.
Ethan Hunt, played by Cruise, is on an impossible mission to prove that a secret operative team that’s gone rogue, known as the Syndicate, is behind multiple tragedies that have resulted in thousands of innocent lives being lost. As CIA director Alan Hunley, played by Alec Baldwin, attempts to take down the IMF, Ethan is forced to go into hiding, allowing him to track down the man behind the Syndicate and attempt to eradicate the organization once and for all. While Alan tries to track Ethan down, with the belief that the Syndicate doesn’t even exist, Ethan’s old spy team join forces with him to hide from the CIA and do whatever is necessary to protect the world from such a dangerous group of anti-IMFs.
By now it’s not surprising to say that Cruise does an excellent job in this movie. As an action star he’s constantly performing his own stunts and having a good focus on his role. That doesn’t mean that audiences should look past the actor in anyway, at the age of 53 Cruise proceeds to show that he can still kick some bad guy ass. While Cruise may have been great, “Rogue Nation” didn’t stop with him. A new member to join Ethan’s team, Ilsa Faust, played by Rebecca Ferguson, was incredible during the action sequences. With the exception of the “Kick-Ass” movies, action films have the tendency to keep the girl characters from really shining, but McQuarrie made sure to give Ferguson her moments. Which really led to some incredible scenes throughout the movie between Ethan and Ilse. Not to mention McQuarrie gave a nice touch by having Ilse remove her high heels before giving a beating, something that Colin Trevorrow, director of “Jurassic World,” could learn from.
“Rogue Nation” gave the perfect mixture of action, espionage and comedy. With actors that can play both comedy and dramatic roles extremely well, audiences are able to enjoy a serious movie that can still make them laugh at points. Especially Ethan’s team member, Benji Dunn, played by Simon Pegg who is excellent with sly comedy, but can also play a large part in a dramatic scene. Jeremy Renner returns as William Brandt, as the team member who goes along with Ethan’s crazy plans, but also acts like the parent of the group, doing everything he can to talk them out of doing something irrational.
While “Rogue Nation” is an excellent addition to the “Mission Impossible” franchise and probably one of the best fifth installments to any franchise, it did have its kinks that hopefully will become better as the franchise keeps developing. The pacing within the movie can make it hard to pay attention at points throughout the two hours and eleven minutes run-time. Unlike the third movie, “Rogue Nation” is not full of non-stop action, and in many cases this is a good thing. Giving audiences a breather from the suspense and creating a plot-line that allows development. Although in some moments this tends to make the movie feel as if it’s dragging on and could potentially make members of the audience wonder when the ending will come.
“Rogue Nation” is a spy movie, and like most spy movies that includes crazy awesome gadgets that we could only wish of somehow owning. This may be typical in the genre, but it still feels like “Rogue Nation” over does the use of gadgets. Giving McQuarrie the opportunity to explain how Ethan and his team can accomplish an impossible task with the use of a gadget, ultimately taking away from the creativity that could be otherwise put into the movie and create an altogether better movie going experience.
The movie may have its downfalls, keeping it from rising to the same level as a Bond film, but McQuarrie was able to create one of the best villains that the “Mission Impossible” franchise has seen thus far. Played by Sean Harris, Soloman Lane led the Syndicate and turned out to be an incredible match for Ethan. Not in fighting skills, but Soloman was able to outsmart not only Ethan, but the entire world. Creating a villain that was impossible to defeat. Harris was able to portray a villain that can really give an audience the chills because of how creepy of a guy his character is.
It’s hard to imagine how far the “Mission Impossible” franchise could go, but if movies such as “Rogue Nation” keep getting released then Ethan Hunt isn’t going away anytime soon. Any spy movie is only as good as the villain, and with a creative villain like Soloman, “Rogue Nation” was able to keep itself in the high rankings of the action movie genre.
- Director: Christopher McQuarrie
- Writers: Drew Pearce, Will Staples
- Actors: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson, Alec Baldwin, Sean Harris
- Genre: Action and Adventure
- Run Time: 2 hours 11 minute
Pros: A chilling villain; the best motorcycle chase to ever hit the big screen; a great fifth installment to the “Mission Impossible” franchise.
Cons: All of the gadgets take away from the film’s creativity; there were issues with pacing.