Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation Movie Review
From the first minute to the last, Tom Cruise proves that he is still the action star we want him to be and that the Mission: Impossible franchise is as strong as ever. The latest flick, Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, is an intense, action-packed, semi-smart and highly entertaining thrill ride.
Written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie (writer of The Usual Suspects, and director of Tom Cruise’s Jack Reacher), Rogue Nation has Ethan Hunt disavowed by the U.S. government after the IMF is assumed by the CIA (led by an underutilized Alec Baldwin), even as he hunts for a covert group called The Syndicate that is orchestrating terrorist attacks around the globe.
So, it’s sort of the plot from the last one (Ghost Protocol) only a bit smarter and with a more cunning villain, played perfectly by Sean Harris, who looks a lot like a bitch-faced Simon Pegg but who isn’t Simon Pegg at all.
Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation is a blast of a film, featuring several high intensity action scenes and a plot featuring a surprisingly effective cat-and-mouse game between Ethan Hunt and a nemesis that plays a lot like Sherlock’s Moriarty. From an opening sequence that literally has Tom Cruise--not a stuntman--holding on for dear life to an outside of an airplane to a motorcycle chase that truly makes you feel like you’re going 150 mph, the movie delivers big time.
To call the movie “smart” may be going one step too far, but it is “smart-ish” and arguably offers the most engaging plot since the original. The dialogue devolves a bit in the third act as McQuarrie tries to wrap a lot of things up in between big action sequences, and the obligatory break-into-a-seemingly-impossible-to-break-into-building sequence doesn’t make a ton of sense when you think about it. Though Rebecca Ferguson’s character is handled quite well, McQuarrie could have done more with her. Baldwin is forced to deliver the movie’s most hilariously serious line, something about Ethan Hunt being an angel of destiny or some bullshit like that.
Still, the faults are minor in the scheme of things as Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation caps off what has been a fairly lucrative summer blockbuster season. Though his personal life often overshadows everything else, Tom Cruise is one of the most consistent performers, and he and his IMF team are at the top of their game here.
All you have to do is choose to accept it.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.