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Murray Journal

Dan's Review: "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation" keeps the action going

Jul 30, 2015 05:46PM ● By Dan Metcalf

Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation - © 2015 Paramount Pictures.

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (Paramount)

Rated PG-13 for sequences of action and violence, and brief partial nudity.

Starring Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris, Alec Baldwin, Simon McBurney, Zhang Jingchu, Jens Hultén, Tom Hollander.

Written by Christopher McQuarrie and Drew Pearce.

Directed by Christopher McQuarrie.



I’ve been a big fan of the Mission: Impossible movie series ever since Brian De Palma’s initial version hit the big screen in 1996. After a subpar offering from John Woo in 2000, J.J. Abrams took over, giving us a superior third installment. Abrams stayed on ever since, producing MI: Ghost Protocol in 2012 and this week’s release of MI: Rogue Nation. The star power attraction to the series comes from Tom Cruise, who hasn’t lost a step playing Ethan Hunt, the secret agent who always seems to get the best of global bad guys.

The story begins as Impossible Missions Force (IMF) is dismantled by the U.S. government at the insistence of CIA chief Huntley (Alec Baldwin). Hunt is forced into hiding, while Benji (Simon Pegg) and Brandt (Jeremy Renner) are forced to take on new roles in the CIA. Hunt, in the meantime, is on the trail of the “Syndicate,” a secret “anti-IMF” cabal led by the notorious Solomon Lane, a former British intelligence agent gone rogue. Hunt is captured by Lane, but is aided in his escape by Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson), another British agent working undercover in the Syndicate. At first, he’s forced to work on his own but Hunt eventually enlist Benji and Brandt’s help as he gets closer to Lane, who’s trying to get ahold of a secret file that will allow him to create chaos across the globe while exploiting countries’ riches. Through several capers, chases and fights, Hunt works with his old team and Ilsa to confront Lane and outwit him.

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is a serviceable action thriller, with plenty of exciting scenes and clever plot twists one would expect in an MI movie. One scene in particular stands out: an attempted assassination on the Austrian prime minister that takes place during Puccini’s Turnadot opera in a Viennese theater. The music and choreography are precise and clever, utilizing great stunt work and camera angles. There is another spectacular motorcycle chase that is equally brilliant.

Even with the great action and good performances from Cruise, Pegg and others, there are a few flaws that render Rogue Nation a little less appealing that Ghost Protocol (directed by Brad Bird). Christopher McQuarrie (who also directed Cruise in Jack Reacher and Edge of Tomorrow), does a fine job of bringing the action together, but perhaps misses on some of the character chemistry and camaraderie seen in previous MI movies. The end scene/confrontation with the villain is also a little anticlimactic. Another noticeable absence is Jane (Paula Patton), who was supposed to part of Hunt’s team at the end of Ghost Protocol. Her deletion from the cast that worked so well in MI:4 is conspicuous, leaving a lot of dudes on screen. Another slight confusion is the casting of the lovely and talented Rebecca Ferguson, who looks a lot like Bridget Monaghan, who played Hunt’s wife in MI:3 & 4. You kind of expect her to rip off a mask, revealing she’s really the wife – but that never happens.

Even with its flaws, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is great summer escape action movie that will get audience hearts beating – and keep the franchise going a little longer.

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation Trailer