Possible spoilers ahead!
Ever since the events of Ghost Protocol, the IMF has hunted down The Syndicate, an international crime organization that has kept its existence a secret for years, all the while using clandestine methods to incite chaos around the globe.
But when CIA director Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) has the IMF dissolved over its past reckless conduct, agent Ethan Hunt decides to go rogue in order to track down the mysterious leader behind The Syndicate.
Now Ethan is on the run from the CIA and The Syndicate, and as good as Ethan Hunt is, this job is too big for just one man. Aiding Ethan on his mission are his trusted fellow agents – Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames), and William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) – as well as one mysterious Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), an individual who keeps her true allegiances remain a secret.
It’s hard to believe Rogue Nation is the fifth installment in the Mission: Impossible movie franchise. That’s not easy this days for a non comic book franchise.
It’s even harder to believe its been nineteen years since the first installment was released in theaters, way back when I was 18. Damn, when did I get I got old?
Anywho, considering how good Ghost Protocol was, I had a feeling Rogue Nation would be just asgood,. But Rogue Nation turned out to be the smartest and most exciting blockbuster in the series.
This movie kept everything as fresh as ever, and much of the credit for that belongs to the film’s Oscar-winning writer/director Christopher McQuarrie.
The screenplay by McQuarrie brilliantly combines the necessary exposition with sharp dialogue, humor, and a plot that’s smarter than average action movie. The plot moves the film along, and never does it feel like the script is written around the action sequences.
Christopher McQuarrie. delivered not just the best Mission Impossible film, but one of the best spy movies in recent years. Rogue Nation has a syle to it, there’s also an elegance to this movie. Although very different films, I would say Rogue Nation is the Skyfall of Mission Impossible, it’s just that good.
This movie also had the best acting of any Mission Impossible entry. The version of Ethan Hunt we see in Rogue Nation is a seasoned professional, but a very human one. The Hunt character is shown as more physically vulnerable and is continually put at a disadvantage while he’s on the job.
This allowed Tom Cruise to portray a version of Hunt who has evolved from previous Mission: Impossible films. Perhaps one who is losing a race against age. The film quietly acknowledges the toll of his work on him over the years. But tis done in such a way that its amusing, and brings back memories of the other films. And boy, does Tom Cruise get knocked around in this movie.
Let’s see, he gets captured by some Syndicate people and hung by his wrists and beaten by a goon known as Janik “Bone Doctor.” He later dives into a centrifuge chamber full of water to re-key a security system so that Benji can sneak into the top-secret data storage base above, and reprogram the system or something or other. Of course only Tom Cruise can go into the water chamber because you have to be able to hold your breath for three minutes and seriously, who can do that besides Tom Cruise?
The star also gets to goe on high speed chases involving a slew of motorcycles and cars making hairpin turns and speeding down stone steps in Casablanca. And the motorcycle chase, is one of the best action sequences I’ve seen this side of Mad Max.
The breakout star of the movie is Rebecca Ferguson (“The White Queen”) as Ilsa Faust. I liked her character instantly, even though I didn’t know a thing about her. But Ferguson gave her character so much wit, intelligence, and sophistication that it felt like we’d known her for ages. Not only that, but this lady can handle action extremely well. It’s easy to envision Ferguson headlining her own action movie down the road.
One more bit about Ilsa: She is easily the most well-rounded female character in the Mission: Impossible series to date (and the best match for Ethan so far), so I hope they bring her back in the next Mission.
In the end, “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” is a brilliant piece of filmmaking. From the directing, to the script, to the acting, the entire crew outdid themselves. Even if you don’t like action movies, you should give “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” a shot. This is one movie that has something for everyone.
“Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” final score: 10