Taking a break while I move house, I have taken all 250+ of my watched DVDs home, and decided to loan out all my rather left-field unwatched foreign DVDs to a friend and head back into the mainstream. Where better place to start than the Tom Cruise franchise that keeps on soldering on, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation.
My expectation heading into this film was for something completely and utterly mindless, filled with double-crosses, stunts and nonsense. Above all else, it had to possess the slightest elements of realism, but be so ridiculous that every scene becomes an internal struggle between laughing and genuine awe. With the audible disappointment of James Bond doing the rounds at work, and the last Bourne installment failing to live up to expectation, I can safely say that Mission Impossible has successfully stepped in to fill this void.
Cruise smashes throughout this film in an unbelievable combination of fighting, driving, motorbike riding, plane dangling, gunfights, deep water diving, and, well, more fighting. These stunts are made even more impressive by the fact that he insists on doing many if not all of his own stunts at the grand age of 53. Tom is anything but showing his age in this film, and from the opening scene alone I felt a huge sense of relief, familiarity and resounding trust in this series of films I have grown up enjoying.
Cruise stars once again as Ethan Hunt, the typical renegade top-secret spy guy who does things his way by any means necessary, while causing cataclysmic damage along the way. We travel across the globe, including London, Minsk and a strangely empty Casablanca, breaking faces and escaping from bad guys, all while flaunting an infinite array of gadgets and abs. It’s within this film, that the past finally catches up to Hunt, as a surly Alec Baldwin from the CIA attempts to shut down their super-secret spy organisation and issues a warrant for Mr. Hunt.
Despite being hunted, Hunt being Hunt has his own agenda and is also on the hunt for “The Syndicate” (that’s a lot of hunting); A rival super-secret organisation that is responsible for everything bad in the world. This entertaining game of cat and mouse naturally escalates to outright insanity, as it usually does in the world of Mission Impossible. All the while Hunt forges a questionable allegiance with the excellent Rebecca Ferguson playing a double-double agent, of whom we have absolutely no idea what side she is on for the entire film…. and it’s brilliant.
It isn’t all a smash and grab job, and in-between the action sequences there are some great tension building scenes as they do their spy schtick in public places, along with the help of lovable computer nerd Benji (Simon Pegg) for hacking and comic relief purposes. While other appearances from Jeremy Renner and Ving Rhames help prop up the platform for Cruise and Ferguson to stand on.
It is every bit as ridiculous and nonsensical as I had hoped for, and it showed no signs of slowing down right until the end. I’m excited to see what else this franchise can produce next, as it has gone from strength to strength over the years, and despite fierce competition out there in Hollywood is still shows that it is a key player in the action movie genre. Benefiting from a great cast, arguably Cruise’s best performance out of the MI franchise and some immensely impressive action sequences, the completely irrational plot and not very villainous villain can be totally overlooked.
Those looking for a break from the bleak world of today, one where the good guys actually stand a chance of winning, then look no further than Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is still out in cinemas! Also, it’s due to come out on DVD shortly. Eyes peeled.
Great review. I consider MI5 to be an almost perfect action movie. Lots of fun.
I enjoyed that, great review. You’re right, this is extreme escapism. We need it, sometimes.
Cheers Gareth, glad to see we both got something out of it !
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