It’s a bold move to heavily advertise the biggest stunt of the movie and the probably the most exciting moment and then use it within the first ten minutes of the film. It means one of two things: either the rest of the film is less exciting or there are more hidden gems yet to be seen. In Rogue Nation, you could argue the case for both.
That initial stunt is incredible. You will have seen it in the trailers and on the poster and it is every bit as exciting as it looks. You can tell it is done for real because the moments just after are quite poorly CGI. It is also a clear example of how Tom Cruise isn’t relenting or slowing down considering how long he has been producing these films.
The aeroplane stunt isn’t the only major set-piece and although none of the others are quite as impressive, it doesn’t mean they are any less exciting. An underwater sequence and an exhilarating, brilliantly shot car chase that directly follows it are some of the more exciting parts in the whole Mission: Impossible franchise. The car chase itself couldn’t feel more real and some of the choices in camera angles and general choices that director (and writer) Christopher McQuarrie made are very creative and make for better viewing.
Mission: Impossible lives and dies on it’s story though. The last two movies have managed to mix the action with a much more developed and deeper story. None of the movies have reflected the tension and clever plot of the very first Mission: Impossible and unfortunately Rogue Nation can’t quite manage it either. There is a very good story here, with Cruise’s Ethan Hunt having to go on the run and pursue his closest match – Solomon Lane, leader of The Syndicate (the Anti-IMF, also the worse piece of dialogue in the whole movie).
The plot gives it’s fair share of twists and turns, bluffs and double-bluffs but unfortunately, in some cases, this goes too far. The film could be about half an hour shorter and has one Impossible Mission too far. This jars even further when the finale doesn’t really match the great work that went before it – with a far too tidy resolution and quite damp ending.
The characters that are created certainly deserve much more. Sean Harris is suitably creepy and menacing as Solomon Lane. He makes for one of the better villains that the IMF team have had to face. The team itself is relatively familiar. Simon Pegg has been one of the best addition to series and he gets a decent, increased screen time here. Jeremy Renner actually has less to do but makes a suitable impact while it’s great to see Ving Rhames back to play a proper role rather than just the cameo from the last movie.
Rebecca Ferguson is the major new addition. Her character is one of the better female characters that have been included in the Mission: Impossible franchise, matching Hunt for kick-ass ability. Unfortunately, the actual story around her is one example of trying to be too clever and confusing when a simpler, more effective solution was probably apparent.
The movie does a good job of keeping the franchise fresh though and the over-long, sometimes convoluted story doesn’t take too much away from the action, decent cast and quite cool moments that make the Mission: Impossible series what it is.
Overall, Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation is another solid addition to the franchise. It has great action but never really tops the now, well-advertised opening scene. Cruise is on form and effortless as Ethan Hunt while most of the better cast from the series make a welcome return. The villain is great and offers a credible threat while Rebecca Ferguson is a female match to the male heavy cast. Unfortunately, the story becomes over-long and tries to complicate what could be quite a simple and straight-forward plot.
Rating – 4
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