Your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to go watch the best Mission Impossible film yet.
A couple of days ago, I wrote a post on why I can't wait for the new Mission Impossible film. You can read that here. At times, when you expect too much of a movie and are really excited, you're setting yourself up for disappointment. However, last night, Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation exceeded my expectations and became my favorite film of 2015 so far.
I attended an advance screening at which Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie were present and they answered some questions. I'll include some paraphrased quotes where relevant.
The story is notches above your typical spy fare. It keeps you guessing, is fairly suspenseful and doesn't lay out all its cards until the third act. I intend to keep this review spoiler free and so will refrain from going into more detail, but I will say this - Ethan Hunt has finally met his match.
Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol was by all measures a very entertaining and enjoyable film, but the weak villain stuck out like a sore thumb. While Sean Harris's new baddie isn't quite as captivating as Phillip Seymour Hoffman's was in Mission Impossible 3, his character is fleshed out well and given enough screen time and dialogue to leave a solid impression. It helps that he's truly Ethan's intellectual equal and actually pushes our protagonist to his limits.
Speaking of Ethan, Tom Cruise is in top form as always. He's been entertaining us for decades and has no intention of slowing down. He slides into the role effortlessly and is as convincing as ever as the IMF agent he's portrayed five times over the past 20 years. Whether its having a laugh with the team, recovering from defeat or hanging out on the side of a plane that's taking off, he does it all - and does it all very well.
"Tom never takes vacation/time off. He loves what he does. We'll be shooting a scene where he's going 70 mph on a motorbike with roads closed and people all over watching and he'll already be thinking about his next project. He never stops working. It's why I look like his uncle even though I'm younger than him."
- Christopher McQuarrie
Its nice to see that the entire ensemble gets good parts too. Jeremy Renner plays a pivotal role and while he doesn't have much action, has some of the best lines of the film and is important to the story. Same goes for Simon Pegg who's as entertaining as ever playing Benji. Ving Rhames - the only other actor who has appeared in all five Mission films leaves a mark too and has his moments to shine. The real surprise however, is Rebecca Ferguson. Her character's loyalties are in question for most of the movie, making her incredibly interesting and her performance is flawless. Alec Baldwin makes the most of his brief appearance and is a treat whenever he's on screen.
The action sequences are beautifully choreographed and stunningly shot. Good editing ensures they flow well and are easy to follow, never seeming choppy or overwhelming. There's a lot more in store than the much publicized plane sequence, that the marketing team has done a good job keeping unseen.
"While hanging out on the side of the plane, before we started the shot, I told Chris that if I look like I'm panicking, its because I'm acting, so don't cut it. And even if I am actually panicking, don't cut because it'll only help my performance."
- Tom Cruise
The film is a globe trotting adventure and visits many locations, and each is distinctively captured and given its own look and feel. The script is smart as well as funny and at no point during the film's 130 minutes did I find myself bored or uninterested. Christopher McQuarrie's direction is confident and he ensures all the well done individual elements come together well for a great finished product.
"When Tom Cruise wants to do a stunt himself, getting in his way can be injurious, I just let him to it" - Christopher McQuarrie
Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation is a slick, thrilling and incredibly entertaining blockbuster that has enough substance to match its style. I highly recommend you accept this mission and check it out when it comes out in theaters and IMAX this weekend.
Do you intend to watch Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation? Let me know in the poll and comments below!