Have you noticed how the number of sequels of a franchise is directly proportional to inferior film quality? It has happened with The Pirates of the Caribbean, Step Up, Die Hard and Twilight (although this one was devastatingly bad from the start). Is Mission Impossible the exception? Well kind of sort of. I mean imagine this dialogue:
“Ethan Hunt is the manifestation of destiny"
being yelled out at the climax causing fits of laughter in the theatre; which brings me to the quick and short version of this review – the Mission Impossible series are getting lost in the doldrums of mundane predictable plot twists, but upping their game with regards to action.
While Mission Impossible did wander away from solid plot lines and gave way to action gimmickry somewhere around the third installment, they have redeemed themselves with the latest installment, Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation. The film is surprisingly exciting, stimulating and fresh, considering the fact that we’ve seen Ethan Hunt in action four times before.
The franchise has come to the point when the elements of continuance are questionable. It is standard procedure – release a movie that could potentially be the last one of the series, incorporate that into the script, leave us all longing for more and, after a few years, bam! Another sequel. The director and screenwriter Christopher McQuarry followed this ‘protocol’ to the tee: IMF is accused by a pugnacious CIA director (Alec Baldwin) of being uncontrollable and disruptive, which consequently leads to disintegration of the group.
When people get fired, generally they do things like go home and weep, or look, but not Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise)! He teams up with IMF’s leader William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) and decides to continue with business as usual, going after a crime organization that calls itself The Syndicate. Hunt is assisted by several other rogue agents, played by Simon Pegg (who is as hilarious and lovable as ever), Luther Stickell and Rebecca Ferguson, a British spy. From that point onward, the movie is a series of action sequences that viewers have come to expect from the franchise.
Clearly visible is the creator’s effort to expand his imagination and create situations that have never been presented in film. The outcome is great!
As for Cruise, he is, once again, his powerful and entertaining self that we’ve grown to know and love. Note that I said “self”, not Ethan Hunt and for a good reason. Viewers will find it impossible (pun intended) to differentiate the character from the real-life actor. When you see Cruise in action, you will think “Oh, there’s Tom Cruise effortlessly holding his breath for 3 minutes in a water tank.”
Tom Cruise almost feels aline-like, sent to Earth to make us feel unskilled and dejected about wasting our lives away. He excels at flying planes, shooting, driving race cars, swimming, diving, beating people into oblivion, jumping, getting out of impossible situations, rock climbing, martial arts, making cocktails, representing professional football players, jumping on couches, karaoke and playing “Moonlight Sonata” on the piano in front of the president. But jokes aside, it is quite impressive to think that, at 53, the actor can pull of demanding stunts and look casual doing it; it must be the alien ancestry.
Christopher McQuarry didn’t disappoint; we’ve known about his screenwriting skills since The Usual Suspects, but diving into the world of directing is a relatively new territory, with only two prior films: The Way of the Gun and another Cruise feature, Jack Reacher. However, his lack of experience didn’t show in Rogue Nation – he created an enjoyable, solid action film that has all the elements an average Mission Impossible fan has come to expect.
Even though the film occasionally has spoofy vibe to it, you will not find it any less enjoyable. You’ll still end up exiting the theatre animated and content. Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation is everything you’d want from an adventure blockbuster: action-packed, amusing and exhilarating.
After the massively successful 2011’s Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol, the follow-up shows no signs that the series will wither or stagnate.