After the IMF is dissolved into the CIA, Ethan Hunt goes rogue and searches for a secret terrorist organisation known as the Syndicate, a rogue nation trained in all the same ways as the IMF and is dedicated to a new world order.
Tom Cruise (Edge Of Tomorrow) returns to his most iconic role for a fifth time and it might be the best he’s ever been as the character of Ethan Hunt. Cruise yet again proves why he’s the best there is at what he does. Hanging to the door of a cargo plane whilst in flight and holding his breath under water for an obscene amount of time are just a couple of the insane stunts that Cruise performs in this high octane spy thriller.
One of the most exciting aspects of the Mission: Impossible franchise is that no director ever stays on for more than one film. Brian De Palma (Mission: Impossible), John Woo (M:I 2) , J.J Abrams (M:I 3) and Brad Bird (Ghost Protocol) have all brought their own unique style to the series and now Jack Reacher director Chris McQaurrie has tried his hand at the series with Rogue Nation and it might be the best one yet.
After the near catastrophic events of Ghost Protocol which left the Kremlin in ashes and a disarmed nuke in the Ocean, the CIA are opting to dissolve the Impossible Mission Force as they seem to cause more trouble than good. Ethan is busy with other matters as he's trying to prove the existence of the Syndicate to the rest of his team and the CIA so that he may stop them once and for all.
After being captured by the organisation which he is so desperate to take down, Ethan Hunt comes across Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), a British agent who may or may not be allied with the Syndicate. She helps Hunt escape yet her allegiance is a mystery. She remains loyal to the head of the organisation, Soloman Lane (Sean Harris), a mysterious and deadly man with a dangerous agenda.
The Mission: Impossible franchise was rejuvenated in 2011 with Brad Bird's exciting, playful and excellent Ghost Protocol. McQuarrie's follow up feels like a healthy blend of that previous film and Brian De Palma's 1996 original. It has the constant build of tension that made the first film so enjoyable, yet also keeps the humor and similar tone of Ghost Protocol.
From the opening scene the tension builds and builds and leads to a fully satisfying pay off. Rogue Nation certainly has some of the most impressive action scenes out of the entire series, of course the plane sequence which has rightfully crowded all marketing materials, but one of the most impressive car/motorbike chase scenes I've ever seen which takes place in the middle of the film might be even more impressive.
Tom Cruise is as good as ever and falls right back in as Ethan Hunt. He more so than any other actor I've ever seen cares about the viewing experience, he wants his audience to truly have the best time possible when watching his films, which is the main reason why he strapped himself to the side of a cargo plane. As well as performing these incredible stunts, he gives another great performance. Cruise doesn't play Hunt as an indestructable superhero, he's a man who could die at any second on his missions and that makes the film all the more tense.
The supporting cast also do an excellent job. Simon Pegg (Star Trek), Jeremy Renner (Avengers: Age Of Ultron) and Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction) as Ethan's IMF team and Alec Baldwin (The Hunt For Red October) as the CIA's Alan Hunley opting to get rid of the IMF all do a remarkable job in the film. But the standout may be Rebecca Ferguson (Hercules) as Ilsa Faust, the mysterious and deadly woman who is never fully allied with either the IMF or the Syndicate, which makes for a lot of surprises in the story which is definitely the most interesting Mission: Impossible story we've ever had. As well as directing, McQuarrie also wrote the script and it's a great one, not surprising when recognizing that two of his writing credits are for Edge Of Tomorrow and The Usual Suspects.
A weak aspect of the Mission: Impossible films has always been the villain, with Phillip Seymour Hoffman in M:I 3 being the only memorable one in the franchise....until now. Sean Harris (Prometheus) as the mastermind behind the scenes of the Syndicate was fantastic. He didn't have a whole lot of dialogue yet whenever he appeared on screen, his presence was felt. Every time he and Hunt shared the screen there was an instant rivalry with one another, as though both of them had finally met their match.
Now and again the pacing will drop and perhaps a couple of scenes could have been cut down to keep up the quick pace. Because the film thankfully uses practical effects to their fullest advantage, any time CGI is present, it's obvious, during the underwater heist and the high speed bike chase, a couple of shots are so obviously computer generated that it took me out of the film for a split second. These are very small issues in an otherwise marvelous action film.
Rogue Nation is a thrilling, tense and completely satisfying spy adventure. It takes all the good from the rest of the Mission: Impossible films and creates a purely interesting story with great characters and even greater action. This is one mission, you should choose to accept.
Have you seen Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation? If so, what did you think about it? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @JamesPorter97