Barton’s Movie Reviews – MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION

Any franchise that enters its fifth film normally shows signs of fatigue, whether it be a case of same old same old or the fact that the audience just aren’t interested anymore. It’s rare to see a franchise go from strength to strength in its later stages but the Mission: Impossible franchise has done just that with its latest, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

Rogue Nation finds Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF team tracking down and eradicate The Syndicate, an organisation made up of highly skilled international agents with a mission to destroy the IMF.

With their methods under examination and the IMF dissolved by the American government, Hunt and his team must, as always, go it alone while trying to avoid detection from the CIA as well.

The Mission: Impossible franchise is one that can take pride in its action sequences and in Rogue Nation, it has some of the most exhilarating moments you will see in a cinema this summer. They are all executed to perfection by director Christopher McQuarrie and shot breathtakingly by Robert Elswit,.

When your film opens with a magnificent stunt that sees Hunt hanging from the side of plane during take off, you know you’re in for something special. From there, Rogue Nation moves at a blistering pace, packing in a tense underwater infiltration and a pulsating car/motorbike chase through the streets of Casablanca for good measure.

McQuarrie’s screenplay is great fun as well; reminding us that, while of course there is a serious issue to be dealt with, there is fun to be had at the same time. Not every spy film has to be 100% serious.

It would be hard to talk about a Mission: Impossible film and not mention the performance of Tom Cruise in the signature role of his career, Ethan Hunt. Cruise has a reputation for giving his all to give the audience a memorable experience at the cinema. For Ghost Protocol he hung from the side of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai but for Rogue Nation he exceeds even his own crazy standards by clinging to the side of a cargo plane during take off.

God knows what he’s got planned for the next film.

Cruise is joined by other Mission: Impossible alumni such as Simon Pegg as Benji Dunn, Jeremy Renner as William Brandt and Ving Rhames as Luther Stickell. Pegg gets more to do in Rogue Nation than any of the previous films which ends up being a good thing. Rhames too gets more to do but it is Renner who finds himself sacrificed a little for this to happen. Renner takes more of a back seat in Rogue Nation compared to Ghost Protocol, swapping field work for a desk role.

Then there is the newcomer in Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust. Much has been made of Ferguson’s character being a strong female character in a male dominated genre. Yes, it’s great to see but I was more intrigued by the mystery of her character and how it kept me on my toes trying to figure out where the story was going to go next.

Aside from Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s Owen Davian in Mission: Impossible III, the series has never really had a good enough villain, holding the films back a little. The villain of Rogue Nation is Solomon Lane, played by Sean Harris. Lane is certainly sinister and makes his mission quite a personal one against Hunt but it doesn’t does stop him from being, rather unfortunately, yet another weak villain in the series.

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is without a doubt one of the stand-out films that the 2015 summer blockbuster season has had to offer. If they can keep the franchise this fresh after five films then all I can is; please keep on accepting those missions Mr Hunt.

Verdict: ★★★★½

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