Review by Ryan
Your mission, so you choose to accept it, is to read this review and either go see the film or not following my recommendation! You decide. Admission probable. Directed by Christopher McQuarrie, “Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation” is the fifth entry in the 19-year-old franchise. While it may not be the best mission yet, the film does what it set out to do: take the audience along for a ride! This may be the final mission in the franchise, so if you are interested in reading a spoiler-ish free review, and honest opinion, hang around, but don’t set off any alarms.
Ethan Hunt, played by Tom Cruise, and his Impossible Mission Force (IMF) have been dissolved, leaving him no choice but to act on his own as a rogue agent to respond to another rogue group (The Rogue Nation known as “The Syndicate”)– an evil organization that will stop at nothing to remove the IMF from the face of the Earth.
The plot of this film is more complex than it really needs to be, making it difficult to keep track of who is on whose side. If you can see past that for what it really is, an action flick, then you’ll enjoy most of it. I enjoyed the first hour or so of the movie. My tired eyes were fully awake after a long day of work, and my ass was on the edge of my seat for the action scenes, comedic relief, and I was in sheer awe of all the stunts involved in making this movie entertaining. As with all classic action movies, what really matters is the characters and how they overcome the impossible.
Tom Cruise takes centre stage as Ethan Hunt, the man who doesn’t stop running and somehow survives. Call it achieving the impossible or smart luck. He’s doing pretty well for his age (holding on for dear life on the side of a plane, diving into a pool and holding his breath for several minutes and making it out alive). It’s either his body type or his onscreen charisma that gives him the believability that other actors in the genre (Liam Fucking Neeson) can’t seem to grab. This movie makes it really all about him, though, and that was one of the reasons why I really enjoyed the previous entry, Ghost Protocol, more than this film. Rogue Nation packs a punch with the stunts it puts Ethan through, but lacks the suspense and intrigue the relationships of the previous film had.
Speaking of relationships, Ethan just happens to come across what could be his next romantic partner, but instead the movie doesn’t force it and treads lightly. Hug me if I’m crazy, but not all action movies or mission impossible movies need to have romance. Rebecca Ferguson plays Ilsa Faust, a double agent who plays both sides and struggles to maintain trust of the men she is required to play. She does quite well in this movie performance-wise. Ilsa joins Ethan, and Benji, played by Simon Pegg, as the stars of the show, leaving other actors with really meaningless screen time.
Ving Rhames and Jeremy Renner play minimal roles, which really make their support amount to one time use weapons from Q that James Bond would have at his disposal. These characters that have been vital to the franchise are given probably 15 minutes total. Alec Baldwin, sits on the other side of the court, and thinks Ethan has lost his goddamn mind. If they wanted a stubborn and angry old actor, they should’ve called on Jack Nicholson to yell at Tom Cruise again. But that would’ve made the main villain look even weaker.
The main villain is Solomon Lane (played by Sean Harris) who is the weakest villain I’ve seen in a movie for some time now. His most noticeable trait is the laughable voice that begins to make you cringe as the story moves along. He sounds like he would’ve been threatening in the Godfather franchise, but not here. They set him up as a man who did evil things, and yet you rarely see him do evil things. I want to love and hate a villain at the same time, not be annoyed in every scene. In the end his character (spoiler-ish alert) succumbs to a very anti-climactic what-the-hell-do-we-do-we’ve-got-to-finish-filming end. You will be seriously disappointed. If this is the final movie in the franchise, then this was the worst way to do it.
This movie was fun for the first hour or so, then as it tried to wrap itself up, it tripped over itself, and just didn’t satisfy me. I give the movie great props for its action, but characters and story falter through twists and turns of an unnecessarily complex plot. You’ll enter the theatre singing the classic tune, but leave with a “meh” feeling. That feeling of let down when you think “damn, so close but the laser was in the way!” A great Mission Impossible movie is still within reach. I want there to be one more, and have the team hand over the torch to a new group. It’s possible! Man can dream! After all… nothing is impossible.