'Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation'
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Cast: Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Jeremy Renner, Alec Baldwin
Tom Cruise in a still from 'Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation'. Pic/Santa Banta
There's a reason why Tom Cruise is still a beloved movie star. Even after turning 53, he continues to appear in big science fiction and action thrillers in which he does his own stunts. It helps that most of the films he does are actually pretty good, and he gives it his 100% every single time. It's why the 'Mission Impossible' series has not only survived for 20 years but has also gotten better with every film.
'Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation' may not be as fun as the previous installment 'Ghost Protocol', but it's an exceedingly good action movie. Directed by Christopher McQuarrie who assisted in 'Ghost Protocol' and co wrote 'Edge of Tomorrow', 'Rogue Nation' brings back the visceral spy thrills that made the first film so good, and infuses them with the breakneck pace of 'MI:3' and the humor of the 'Ghost Protocol'. Basically it takes everything good about the first four films and rolls in all up into a neat little package ready for consumption.
This time, there's a shady organization called The Syndicate that entraps Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and places him in a deadly cat and mouse game. Naturally, his buddies Benji (Simon Pegg) and Brandt (Jeremy Renner) also get involved and also tricked. It doesn't help that a CIA head honcho (Alec Baldwin) finds all this a mess that Hunt has created and orders the closure of the Impossible Mission Force and Hunt's arrest. There's also an extremely sexy double agent (Rebecca Ferguson) who may or may not be a triple agent, alternatively helping and antagonizing Hunt as he makes his way towards and away from The Syndicate.
The story is cookie cutter by 'Mission Impossible' standards but it's the way the story is presented that makes all the difference. McQuarrie bravely spends time establishing character arcs and genuine conflicts that render stakes, so when our heroes are in danger you root for them to make it out alive. The film also moves at the pace of a hurricane, zipping from one exotic foreign locale to the other, yet somehow seeming coherent.
The action set pieces are stunningly good – the best of which is a stylish Mexican standoff at a Vienna orchestra with trumpets that turn into sniper rifles and rooftop escape in high heels. As icing on the cake you also get Tom Cruise blazing through the road on a super fast motorcycle – an iconic combo to say the least. The title theme is sparingly used, and by the time the end credits roll it becomes clear that the franchise is heading towards a James Bond like transition, where another actor will soon step into the shoes of Cruise. And with an actual Bond movie releasing in just a few months from now, it's a memorable year for spy movie buffs.
Watch the trailer of 'Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation'