Review: Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation
Cinema: Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)
19 years after the Mission Impossible movie franchise began, Tom Cruise (not looking a day older!) returns for his 5th outing as IMF ‘super spy’ Ethan Hunt. Joined by returning cast members Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames and Jeremy Renner, they are once again faced with overcoming a seemingly ‘impossible mission’.
Intertwined within the core storyline of ‘The Syndicate (international rogue organisation) Vs The IMF’ is a buddy movie between Ethan and Benji (Simon Pegg). Finally removed from behind the shackles of an office desk and a computer screen, Benji finally manages to stretch his legs with some proper ‘on location field agent action’. Pegg plays the part well, and while still keeping a vulnerable, bumbling persona to Benji, his character grows in stature and confidence as the movie progresses. His scenes with Cruise show great camaraderie, and the characters trusting relationship with each other is palpable.
Tom Cruise as ever is superb. I care not a jot for any of the media hyperbole that is fed to us about his personal life, all I know is that he’s an actor whose movies are always worth watching and hardly ever disappoint. The ‘Cruise Checklist’ is present as always:
- Doesn’t look a day older: check (does he have a painting of himself in his attic!?)
- Takes top off to reveal toned 53 year old body: check
- Runs quickly towards the camera in at least one scene: check
- Does crazy stunt that any sane person wouldn’t even consider: check
- Makes acting look effortless: check
Rhames and Renner are relegated to more supporting roles but it is Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust who makes the biggest impact onscreen. Her character dances between alluring accomplice, to ass-kicking adversary. Never sure who’s side she’s on, her character arc takes as many turns as the storyline. The story at its heart is the simple ‘Good Guys Vs Bad Guys’, but like all previous M.I. movies there have to be twists and surprises along the way. Written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie (who has previous experience of working with Tom Cruise on Edge of Tomorrow and Jack Reacher) the movie moves along at a fair pace, interspersing thrilling action set-pieces between the story beats.
Sean Harris plays Solomon Lane; the movies main ‘bad guy’. Despite being slight of frame, Harris never has any problem with portraying an intimidating character; see Harry Brown and the thoroughly chilling Creep for proof, but he pales against the threat given to Ethan Hunt by Philip Seymour Hoffman in M.I.3 (a series highlight for me so far).
At 131 minutes the movie never seemed overlong and the box office takings so far indicate that we haven’t yet seen the last of Hunt and the IMF, and I for one am very pleased of that.
Review by Dave (co-host of 60 Minutes With)