Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation

Image result for mission impossible rogue nation poster

"The IMF is uniquely trained and highly motivated. Specialist without equal, immune to any countermeasures."

It’s taken me a while to get my head around writing a review for ‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’ (a subtitle within a subtitle, thank god for that hyphen or this would be the Impossible Rogue Nation instalment of the Mission series) mainly because I find myself struggling over the question, is this the best ‘Mission: Impossible’ movie yet?
Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team are facing trouble from every angle, the government is seeking to shut down the IMF and as well as this they are facing a deadly terrorist organisation known as the syndicate. Now they must go it alone to put an end to a plot to initiate global chaos.
Can I just say right away that ‘Rogue Nation’ had an awesome trailer, like truly spectacular so check that out if you haven’t already. Going back to my earlier statement though, this pretty much answers the question ‘is it good?’ It is, very good in fact. Is it the best ‘Mission: Impossible’, i.e is it better than ‘Ghost Protocol’? Tough question.
When you realise that this is the fifth movie of this franchise it dawns on you that this is the best fifth franchise film by far (‘Empire Strikes Back’ does not count, that is the second Star Wars film, even if it’s full name is in fact Episode 5). But my point is that this franchise has virtually gone from strength to strength (with the exception of two) each film is better than the last. Each movie also feel slightly different, Brian De Palma, John Woo, JJ Abrams and Brad Bird all made very distinct and individual movies that also work as a set piece. Director Christopher Maguire also has a distinct style but you can’t quite put your finger on it as it seems to incorporate a bit of the styles of every other director of this franchise. The suspense of De Palma, flamboyance of Woo, pace of Abrams and cartoon sensibilities of Bird are all present and are used to great effect. In terms of directing they should have just called it ‘Mission: Impossible – Greatest Hits’. I suppose it leans slightly more towards the first one and ‘Ghost Protocol’.
When you think about it that’s a remarkable achievement as what that means is that the film manages to defy physics in an entertaining way but also maintains a certain amount of suspense and tension. I’m not sure how they do it, but against these plausible free stunts like Tom Cruise hanging on to the side of a plane or somehow driving a car minutes after being knocked severely unconscious, there’s a way to make it feel exciting and rather than take away from the spectacle, it only adds to it.   
There’s a certain amount of gravitas that continually seeps back into the events. The franchise feels like its aged a bit, but in a good way, as if they’re accepting that most people do not go through everything Ethan Hunt has been through. There’s a world weary nature to the cast, acknowledging that the events are not happening to them for the first time and that they must utilize their team skills to get through this.
The team element is essential to the success of this film as even though Tom Cruise is a megastar it’s more of an ensemble piece. Whatever crazy stunt he undertakes is only as amazing as it is because of Simon Pegg’s reaction to it, or Jeremy Renner having to pick up the pieces. This is exemplified in a scene where Cruise races through the streets of Casablanca, asking Pegg if his seatbelt is on, to which Pegg screams ‘You’re asking me that now?’ When the car crashes and ends on its roof, Renner pries the door open to be greeted with a casual duo in the seat. Rebecca Furguson is also a nice new addition to the team, a great and modern femme-fettle. Alec Baldwin also brings a lot to the pot and Ving Rhames is back with a bigger role in this instalment.
There’s also something wonderful about a film that just knows where it stands. It’s a spectacle of a thriller so there’s no need for over complicated narrative structures, needless backstory or sarcasm. It goes without saying that the action scenes are great as well and the villain is far better than ‘Ghost Protocol’.
So is ‘Rogue Nation’ better than ‘Ghost Protocol’? I honestly don’t know, I think it just goes to show how good both of them are and why this series is suddenly the action franchise of a generation.
Result: 9/10

1 comment:

  1. What about the villain though? There seems to be a lack of praise for Sean Harris' portrayal of the main antagonist. Was he not worth mentioning? For a 9/10 rated film there must be something to say.