To be totally transparent, I wasn’t a huge fan of the first three Mission: Impossible films. The third was probably my favorite but nothing really stuck with me. Then Ghost Protocol came out and it’s one of the only times I’m glad that I paid $20 for a single IMAX 3D ticket. That movie was totally worth the price of admission. And it’s one of the few movies I buy on Blu-ray as soon as it comes out.
So Rogue Nation had a situation similar to when The Fast and the Furious reinvented itself with Fast Five. How could this movie even compare?
Tom Cruise returns as IMF agent Ethan Hunt. The CIA is trying to disband the IMF after they barely survived the last movie. Alec Baldwin joins the cast as CIA Director Alan Hunley, who communicates through William Brandt (Jeremy Renner), as they try to track down and bring in Hunt. Things get complicated though when Hunt uncovers that something called the Syndicate actually exists and has been one step ahead of the IMF all this time. So, Hunt has to reconfigure his team and stop Syndicate, all while also trying to stay one step ahead of the CIA. Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames return, as well as a new ally(?) played by Rebecca Ferguson.
While I still prefer Ghost Protocol, Rogue Nation is a fun trip and a great addition to the franchise.
Let’s start with the action, which is what made the past entry so memorable. The movie opens with the big action setpiece from the trailers: Hunt hanging onto the side of a plane as it takes off. It’s a great scene and a great choice for the trailers, as it literally has nothing to do with the actual plot of the movie. There were some other great scenes, probably the highlight being an incredible motorcycle chase through Morocco. There’s also an underwater mission that had me on the edge of my seat as well.
The other thing I was worried about here was the story. Sometimes these films get convoluted and confusing. Luckily, this story was pretty straight forward, though threw enough curveballs that I was satisfied. While Pegg got more screentime, Rhames had very little to do unfortunately. Renner was also sidelined and got zero action, which is a shame considering his action resume. The real standout though was newcomer Rebecca Ferguson, as Ilsa Faust. She kicks some serious ass here, she’ll make a huge name for herself in the action genre after this film.
And what can I say about Cruise? That guy is a star and he’s still got it.
The only reason I prefer Ghost Protocol is that this movie’s action scenes just felt smaller in scale. The sandstorm and tower-climbing in the past just overshadow a motorcycle chase, no matter how big.
It also ran a bit too long, as I started getting restless in the final act of the film.
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is a great movie and a spectacular way to spend time this summer at the theaters. We’ve had a few disappointments this summer… Luckily Rogue Nation isn’t one of them. It’s big action, a great cast, and a fun story that will give the upcoming James Bond film Spectre a run for its money.