SUMMARY: Despite its previous successes, the Impossible Missions Force is absorbed into the CIA due to the high collateral damage on its mission during a Senate hearing thanks to the testimony of CIA director Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin). As a result, the former IMF members help the rogue Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) take down a mysterious criminal organization known as the Syndicate.
ANALYSIS: The best aspect about the “Mission Impossible” film franchise is that they portray IMF as a team rather than the Ethan Hunt show (nothing against Tom Cruise…I’ll get to that in a second). Sure, Ethan Hunt is the field agent for IMF, he couldn’t do it without the help of Benji Dunn and William Brandt. That’s amazing for a long-running franchise such as this one(the original “Mission Impossible” movie will be twenty next year) because the supporting cast all have unique personalities instead of relying on the main protagonist. Speaking of the general cast…
Say what you want about his personal life but Tom Cruise usually puts a lot of effort into his performances. What makes the Mission Impossible franchise stand out amongst other action movies is that Tom Cruise is willing to put himself in danger in order to give an effective performance whether its dangling from the Burj Khalifa in “Ghost Protocol” or from outside an airplane in this particular movie. It’s nice to see Ving Rhames return as Luther Stickell after only appearing in a cameo in “Ghost Protocol”. It’s also great that Simon Pegg’s character of Benji Dunn has a much bigger role in the latest two “Mission Impossible” films.
Like the previous films in the series, “Rogue Nation” has some well thought out action sequences. Director Christopher McQuarrie is better known as a writer in Hollywood. I really liked his writing on “The Usual Suspects” (in which he won the Oscar for “Best Original Screenplay”) and “Edge of Tomorrow” (my second favorite movie of last year). It is with “Rogue Nation” that he proves he can helm a big budget action movie. Ever since the first “Mission Impossible”, it seems that the series tries to raise the stakes in its action scenes with each successive sequel. Although it doesn’t beat the Burj Khalifa scene in “Ghost Protocol”, the film has some notable action scenes such as the aforementioned airplane dangling scene and a scene that involves Ethan Hunt diving into an underwater server in order to retrieve a ledger that supposedly contains the list of Syndicate agents. Although “Rogue Nation” is very well-written thanks to McQuarrie, I felt that the antagonist Solomon Lane felt rather bland. This is a let down since the third Mission Impossible had a great villain (brought to you by the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman). Despite this, Sean Harris does fine despite having very little to work with.
OVERALL: Although it’s not as groundbreaking as “Ghost Protocol”, “Rogue Nation” is another great addition to an ever-growing franchise.