Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller
Directed by: Christopher McQuarrie
Starring: Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg
It’s hard to believe that the Mission Impossible franchise is now almost twenty years old. Through a succession of stylistically diverse directors ranging from the taut psychological antics of Brian De Palma to the death defying action of Brad Bird, one thing has remained consistent throughout the franchise’s run: that of its effervescent leading man, Tom Cruise. No matter your personal feelings, there’s no denying that Cruise has serious star power. With charisma to burn and a penchant for placing himself in ever increasing life-threatening situations, Cruise is a movie star like no other; and from Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’s gravity defying opening ten minutes, it’s easy to understand why.
Written and directed by Cruise’s Jack Reacher collaborator, Christopher McQuarrie, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is perfect summer blockbuster entertainment. With a bona fide movie star leading the way, action set pieces galore, and a plot that provides no amount of convoluted excuses for our heroes to travel to several exotic locales around the globe, Rogue Nation feels like old school Hollywood.The plot finds Cruise’s Ethan Hunt on the trail of a mysterious terrorist consortium known as the Syndicate. After the IMF is dissolved and absorbed into the CIA, Hunt and his team go rogue and off the grid, teaming up with Rebecca Ferguson’s undercover British Intelligence agent to expose the Syndicate’s leadership and stop them from doing whatever it is they’re planning on doing.
As you can guess, the plot isn’t exactly burning with originality. Once again we have Hunt going rogue, we have double crossings, Simon Pegg’s comic relief and a MacGuffin that needs to be stolen from some improbable and quite frankly ridiculous security facility. It’s everything we’ve seen before and then some. And when you have an opening that involves our hero clutched to the side of a freight plane in mid air, everything that comes after feels a tad underwhelming. Despite its rambunctiousness and unwavering energy throughout, nothing can live up to the sight of Tom Cruise dangling off the side of that plane.
However, much like his predecessor Brad Bird, McQuarrie never once forgets that these movies are supposed to be fun. In a time when blockbusters and other certain British spy films are so full of darkness and morose soul searching, Mission: Impossible is as light hearted and as enjoyable as they come. Yes, the plot is merely a device to get us from one explosive set piece to the next, but it’s all so jolly entertaining that it’s easy to just go along with it and forget the film’s lack of originality.
Cruise is at his very best once again, while Renner, Pegg and Ving Rhames are pitch perfect support. Female characters have never had the best run throughout this franchise, but new addition Rebecca Ferguson is as magnetic and as kick-ass as the film’s leading man. Hopefully, with the muted sixth installment already in discussions, Cruise and his creative team will find a way to bring Ferguson back into the fold.
Whilst it’s not exactly a faultless film, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is all kinds of fun, despite the majority of the movie failing to live up to the promise of its opening ten minutes.