Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation Review

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By Justin Jasso (@jjasso007)

There are some series that are just timeless. James Bond has gone on for decades, with the latest installment, Spectre, coming to a theater near you soon, and the series is still going strong. A good portion of that could be attributed to the fact that the series went in a more realistic (for a James Bond film) and raw direction. Another series that is also timeless is Mission Impossible. The latest film, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, picks up on something mentioned at the end of Ghost Protocol and we just drop right in to the story from there.

Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is still a part of the IMF and still trying to make the world a safer place for everyone to live. Here, he begins by boarding a plane (from the outside) during its takeoff and relieving it of a cargo of deadly explosives from terrorists. Later, a man who is part of a group called The Syndicate confronts Hunt. The Syndicate is an organization similar to the IMF, yet whereas the IMF wants to protect the world, The Syndicate is happy with destroying it. When in a bad situation, Hunt escapes with the help of a Syndicate operative by the name of Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson). Back at home, the IMF is dissolved and brought into the CIA under director Hunley (Alec Baldwin). Hunley orders Brandt (Jeremy Renner) and Benji (Simon Pegg) to bring Hunt in. But Hunt is on the hunt (yeah… I know) for the head of The Syndicate, to stop mad man Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) once and for all.

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The Mission Impossible series has evolved from what the original TV series portrayed. Now there’s a heavy emphasis on the action, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing when executed properly. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation completely succeeds where the action is concerned. Are certain scenes necessary, like the initial one with Hunt hanging from the side of a plane as it gains elevation and Benji tries to open the door so Hunt can get in? No, probably not. It is a blast to watch? Definitely! There is also an amazing chase scene on motorcycles and an intense scene taking place under water. Plus the rest of the movie has action sequences, so for you action buffs, you’ll be more than pleased. It’s also nice having many of the sets actually on location where the scenes are supposed to take place. We get the authentic visuals from the real locations, almost giving us a vacation within the film. For instance, a series in Casablanca, Morocco actually takes place in THE Casablanca. So, in essence, we’re able to journey to these actual locales, thought there isn’t much time for sightseeing. The story moves along at a good pace, with little down time or periods of excess exposition. Director Christopher McQuarrie sees to that.

Tom Cruise has come to embody what it means to play the role of Ethan Hunt. Say what you want about him as a person, but as an actor, he brings his A-game to work every day. The fact that he chooses to do his own stunts is also impressive, and I give him the utmost respect for that. Here, he’s once again the Ethan Hunt we’ve come to know and love, and as badass as always. Simon Pegg has a meatier role this time around – and much of the comedy comes from him as well – while Ving Rhames takes on a much more reduced role. He does make the most of the screen time he does have, however. Jeremy Renner is still the boss of the IMF, but even he knows where the power lies. He has more to do than Rhames, and has some nice comedic moments. Newcomer Alec Baldwin is in a typical Baldwin role, playing a not-so-competent CIA director. Watching Baldwin here reminds us of so many other two-dimensional roles seen in other films. And the other newcomer, Rebecca Ferguson, is solid in her turn as a spy who may be double or triple crossing everyone. You’re really never quite sure.

Photo credit: Christian Black

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation hits theaters as the summer starts to wind down, but it should still put up solid numbers. The film is fun, has great locations, some amazing action sequences, solid comedic moments, and a surprisingly decent story for this type of action film. The tone of the film is more or less serious, with some deeper elements being explored, but all that is paced and balanced out with the other elements of the film. Is Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation the best film of the series? That’s debatable. So maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. But the film is more than good enough for you to sit in that theater and decide for yourself.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


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