Thursday, July 30, 2015

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation – Review

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation – Review

Tom Cruise sets out again to save the world as super-agent Ethan Hunt in the fifth installment of the “Mission Impossible” franchise, with the latest title being “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation”. And with his usually cadre of supporting IMF agents in tow to help the ever versatile Hunt bring order to the world, we once again go on a whirlwind adventure of shadowy bad guys and bad girls who want to rain down terror on the world.

In this installment, because of a mishap that occurred in the field the CIA Director played by Alec Baldwin has decided to inform a Senate over sight committee that it’s time for IMF covert operations to be permanently disbanded, essentially leaving Agent Ethan out in the cold. But before Ethan can come in he is apprehended by a dark network of highly skilled special agents, referred to as the Syndicate. These highly trained operatives are singularly focused on their mission of creating a new world order through being a kind of “anti IMF force” as the global catalyst of escalating terrorist attacks anywhere and anytime. Ethan gathers his team together along with the help of a skillful intelligent British agent named Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), who may or may not be a member of the same rogue nation Syndicate to face off this challenge and thusly giving the IMF team a truly impossible mission; solve the mystery of who and what the Syndicate is and being hunted by both the CIA and Syndicate at the same time.

PROS: As far as plot structure goes, this MI5 film is basically like the other MI films with Cruise again being both the smartest and most versatile person in the room, which is not a bad thing; it works well. Cruise wears his Hunts character like an old pair of comfortable shoes that are well broken in. He seems to know just what this character needs to do to be entertaining without being too over the top. And with the help of Director Christopher McQuarrie whose previous work was “Jack Reacher” we find a healthy infusion of a little more levity and light hearted banter between cast in this effort especially in the first hour. McQuarrie also manages to fill the screen with some excellent choreographed scenes that teetered on being both stimulating and thrilling and a bit of what I would describe as “cinematic action ballet”.  All of the action scenes are super hard charging, super clever, super smart and super executed at every turn.

CONS: Minor details, with the first being the story itself. It’s a little light on the dramatic intrigue and intensity Richter scale. Don’t get me wrong the plot is easy to understand and makes basic sense, it just felt like it was the least strong thing in a film that otherwise was so very imaginative in weaving so much dramatic action together. Typically, a good plot makes the action more credible, in this effort it’s the action that holds up the plot somewhat.  

The last thing is Jeremy Renner who plays IMF agent William Brandt. Renner is generally a fine actor, but for me he is a bit of drag on the charisma factor and with that I am not sure what if anything he specifically adds to this film franchise that could not be a done by another actor who delivers the same lines with a bit more “life”.

CONCLUSION: Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, in the first hour is a compilation of many things fast and furious fun, filled with lots of action while borrowing a bit from other well know entertainment characters to make it all work. You see some Jason Bourne, James Bond, Claude Van Damme, and John McClane. It also borrows on some entertainment pairings as well in the forms of Crocket and Tubbs and Ivan Drago and Rocky (trust me you will see the comparison rather easily). In the second hour the film starts to settle down a bit to take its plot more seriously by returning to a more dramatic pace and for me an unanticipated smart conclusion.

Ultimately, “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation” feels both like watching artist Jackson Pollock during the creative process and a well-designed amusement ride. We get a good splatter of action here and a good dripping of intrigue there, all the while being taken up, down and all around in a fun filled dizzying cornucopia break neck action ride that includes Hunt on the side of a flying plane, Hunt investigating at an Opera, Hunt diving deep under water, Hunt in a car chase on a narrow street and Hunt on a hot motorcycle pursuit. You then add these attributes with some smartly conceived hand to hand fight scenes and a “sexy” knife fight, you will discover as I did that this latest Mission Impossible effort to be a highly entertaining mission to watch.

3 - 3/4 Stars    

1 comment:

  1. Saw this movie over the weekend - your review exactly captures my take of the film. Overall we enjoyed the movie and it seemed to compress time so that is didn't feel like I was sitting for 2hrs + 11 minutes.