Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)

Rates: * * * 1/2

Why Did I Watch It? Following along with the blank check patreon series on Mission Impossible.

Cast, crew, etc

Trailer

Tom Cruise hangs off the outside of a plane!! Talk about a big opening. The MI team are back, properly a team now with several recurring players, and an ever more continuous story line (in my opinion, a mixed blessing). They face Solomon Lane, a terrorist version of Ethan Hunt, who has taken control of a shadowy organisation called ‘The Syndicate’, and is wreaking havoc. And did I mention that out heroes have been DISAVOWED?

One of modern cinema’s most reliable franchises delivers another exciting instalment. The action, stunts, and set pieces are all very good, although the film does stack the first half, making for a slightly limp final act. The plane hanging off of is probably the standout – so slightly odd to lead with that? – but the cat and mouse game at the opera is tops, and the infiltration of the underwater ‘torus’ has some striking imagery…. and some dodgy CGI. Also: I really love the score in this one; big, silly and rousing, in just the right way.

Sean Harris is excellent as the menacing terrorist mastermind. His thin glasses, narrow face and rasping voice all combine to provide a sense of real threat. The other new character that pops is Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust; despite this silly name (she’s…. English?) she is tough and capable, and playing a dangerous game as a double agent inside Harris’ den.

But the final act. It is lacklustre – after the great action from the earlier scenes, the final bit is just an extended chase – and silly; having TC memorise thousands of financial transactions in the blink of an eye is a but much, even for this franchise. I also don’t like the way Benji is handled. He is the weak link, that gets captured, and then behaves like a frightened little kid. This might play if he was still the nerdy tech guy, always in the van, but he is meant to be a field agent now, and so should be able to handle himself better than this.

Complaints over: still a rollicking action adventure. Not my favourite MI, but a lot of fun.

Current MI ranking:

  1. Ghost Protocol
  2. Mission Impossible
  3. Fallout
  4. Rogue Nation
  5. III
  6. II

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