Mission: Impossible, Rogue Nation (2015)

Friday, January 8, 2016


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.)


  1. Nice review, Rissi! I'm glad you liked it! Have you seen the earlier M:I movies? I'd say that they all follow the same very basic plot line. Ethan goes rogue in every single one! But, it's part of the charm -- there are no movie that can do what M:I does, so I'm glad that they keep doing it. :) Ilsa really impressed me too. Rebecca Ferguson has an incredible screen presence. And I love that Benji slowly rose through the ranks and is now so important to the franchise. In the car chase when they run into Luther and Brandt, and they just look at each other... that was hilarious! And then of course Tom Cruise is actually doing the driving stunts, and that gives it a whole new level of awesome. :D How does this one rank for you?

    1. Thanks, Sarah - I really appreciate you reading and taking time to share some of your thoughts. :)

      I've only seen 'Ghost Protocol.' Which earlier films do you recommend? I spotted them at a used book store the other day and was tempted to buy one or two, but I didn't then. ;) I've enjoyed this and M:I 4 very much! They have an epic sense of humor that isn't replicated.

      Rebecca was amazing. Here's hoping rumors of her return for M:I 6 are true. As for Benji, that scene when he tells Ethan he's staying? That was brilliant.

      The car chase was one of my favorite scenes ever - and how cool to know Cruise was doing his own stunts!

      As for a ranking, I'd have to watch M:I 4 again, but I think this may have been my favorite of the two. How about you?

    2. Oooh, I definitely recommend all of them! The first one is more like a spy movie than the rest, two is the worst and very cheesy but still worth watching, and three is definitely as good as four and five! It's the one that finally established the M:I style they've been using since. There's a Tom Cruise running scene in three that still amazes me every time I see it. You absolutely much watch it! I'm sure you'd like it. :D

      I'd like to see her return too, but at the same time I also like the tradition of the cast changing up every movie. Whatever they do, I'll be happy.

      This one is my favorite as well. then 4, 3, 1, and 2. They're basically just getting better and better!

    3. Seeing the rest sounds like musts then! I'm excited about that. (And will have to look them up next trip to the store's movie section.) I love the idea that the first film is most like a spy flick as that genre is a favorite of mine.

      As for Elsa, since I know it's a tradition to change up the cast, I'd be glad for something new too yet at the same time that's kind of Bond's game (in terms of a new female lead every film) so it might be nice if M:I broke that mold. Just because. ;) Either way, as you say, I'll be a happy fan and return for more Ethan and Co. fangirling. (I hear the 6th might film/release before the normal length of time in comparison to the other films. That'd be an interesting, and perhaps telling switch.)

      Thanks for ranking your favorites; getting better and better is the only way for a series to go!

  2. I really enjoyed this one. The stunts were crazy amazing. And yes, entertaining and fun would definitely be what this was with some great humor. I loved the characters as well. I've seen all the MI films and have liked all of them except #2 which was really poor. I'm up for more.

    1. The second being blah is what I hear, Tressa - Sarah (above) was just sharing with me her favorites and which she didn't care for as well. It's a bummer when a favorite franchise goes downhill, but I'm glad they recovered with the third installments and am glad to know the second isn't as good so I'll be prepped this way for some silliness. :)

  3. Thanks for sharing your great review! I'm going to pick this one up to watch over the weekend.

    1. How fun! I hope you enjoy it, Heidi - and if you think of it, let me know what you thought. Happy watching. :)

  4. My DH and I went to see this... pretty good! :)

    1. It was good! Lots of fun and great acting. :)


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