Mission: Impossible, Rogue Nation (2015)
It’s well documented around here that I’m something of a big actioner blockbuster junkie. Between films like the “Jason Bourne” trilogy or Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean, I do enjoy the “summer blockbusters.” One such film from this past summer was touted as being “better than Bourne or Bond.” I’m not entirely sure of the accuracy of that statement, however the latest Mission: Impossible film is darn entertaining if nothing else.
In the aftermath of his latest mission (one that had a few messy pieces, but ultimately got done), Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is ready to follow up and accept a new mission. As he follows protocol and arrives at his drop point, he learns that his mission protocols have been hijacked. By this time it’s too late and Ethan is captured. While in captivity, he’s aided by a mysterious woman, and escapes. The trouble is, back in the state’s the IMF has been shut down by the CIA.
Ethan’s unit is a thing of the past.
Six months later, Ethan is still free (despite the CIA's promise he wouldn't be), and hunting down the mysterious shadow organization of rogue agents known as the Syndicate. Closing in on his prey, Ethan teams up with the woman who saved his life, a disgraced British agent, Elsa (Rebecca Ferguson) and under direct contrast of their orders, the rest of his team, including computer genius Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg); loyal and protective, Luther (Ving Rhames); and the newest member of their quartet, William Brandt (Jeremy Renner).
FILM REVIEW: Mission: Impossible, Ghost Protocol (2011)
Entertaining is the key word for this film. The stunts are crazy insane (read: impossible), the cast has a great easy-going chemistry and of course, there is the glitz and glamour of the globe-trotting spy game everyone is embroiled in. Initially, this plot felt too identical to the proceeding film, ‘Ghost Protocol’ when speaking in broader terms. The previous film also involved IMF taking a bad rap (perhaps all of the MI films do?), and because of this, I was less-then-impressed with that aspect of the story’s originality. The more I've thought about it (I didn't watch the fourth movie in correlation with this one), the more contrast I do see. Regardless, I’m going to brush off any minor irritant and say this: ‘Rogue Nation’ is 100% fun.
This was meant to be something I saw in the latter part of 2015 with its DVD release, but instead I saw it in the first days of 2016 and it was worth any delay. Most surprising of a film of this caliber, the characterization is really quite good (though if we’re on the comparison page, it’s nothing to the Bourne movies). Perhaps this is improved by the fact that Ethan and Luther are original characters, and this is the fifth film or maybe the writer’s simply do their job, and write excellent character traits. It was great to see Jeremy Renner return and see the friction between he and Ethan over what the best result would be, but best of all, I was impressed with Elsa. As a new character, her persona was what the script spent the most time molding (in a deeper sense) and it was done to perfection. She becomes one of those shifting characters the viewer is constantly questioning: What are her motives? Is she on the up and up? Is she evil?
If you’re a fan of the franchise or simply someone looking for an entertaining action flick, this is an ideal way to spend a Saturday night in. The film runs overlong by ten minutes or perhaps a bit more however the humor helps alleviate this (and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the car chase sequence is actually one of the funnier bits – especially in the early part while Ethan is in the driver’s seat). Also to its credit, this doesn’t seem to rely on the previous films. Like I mentioned earlier on, the only other film I’ve seen is the fourth, which to my memory did rely some on the premise that the audience had a minimal knowledge of the earlier films.
As my thoughts draw to a close, I do also have to mention the one glamourous sequence that works itself into the story. Action films aren’t all about the big stunt scene – or they shouldn’t be, so seeing the characters take a breather in a high fashion wardrobe no less, while at a glamorous opera house helps sell this as a high-class actioner. The ending leaves some threads dangling, teasing us with the unanswered questions of things left unaddressed. Though, history suggests this won’t be the last mission we see Ethan Hunt and Co. accept, and I for one am more than ready for another of their impossible missions.
(Content: the film is rated PG13 for a handful of “intense” action scenes. These include car chases that involve motorcycles being hit and their drivers flying through the air. Numerous other scenes involve casualties or at the least, severe injuries. A man is briefly tortured. There is some minor profanity of the standard variety – sh*t, da*m, etc.)