ByJames Wood, writer at
Unabashed Transformers fan. Man crush on Tom Hardy. Avid fan of Tommy Wiseau's cult disasterpiece The Room.
James Wood

Topping Brad Bird’s Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol was always going to be a big feat. How do you improve upon a near perfect action film that sees Tom Cruise scale the Burj Khalifa, race through a sandstorm, prevent a megalomaniac from nuking America and perform alongside an awesome team of supporting characters? Rogue Nation doesn’t improve upon the fourth outing but that’s not a problem as this fifth entry packs some of the most stylish, inventive and nail-biting action sequences seen this year.

My only criticism towards this film is aimed at the bad guy. Whilst Sean Harris' performance is strong, his actual character Solomon Lane isn't rather interesting nor memorable. He may have a slimy demeanour, but he's never that menacing. My other disappointment is the fact Paula Patton didn’t return as Jane Carter, she brought conviction, beauty and excitement to Ghost Protocol. I know actors have other commitments but it would’ve been superb to see her again.

Otherwise I can’t complain, this is a solid hard hitting action film, and franchise newcomer Rebecca Ferguson kicks ass, delivering one of the most effortlessly cool, seasoned performances of the year, up there with Charlize Theron’s role as Furiosa seen in Mad Max Fury Road. Ferguson plays it suave, teasing the characters as well as the viewer as to whose side she’s really on. She threatens to steal the scene from Tom Cruise on numerous occasions, her ferocity and believability especially during the underwater and bike sequence only heighten her presence, but her finest moment sees her in sniper position in a striking yellow dress on an assassination mission, she is gold! And the high heels gag is a nice touch.

Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Alec Baldwin and Sean Harris do a top job in their roles as expected, especially Renner and Baldwin who fight with politics and morals in some really tightly directed and well-performed boardroom scenes that question the future of the IMF and agent Ethan Hunt’s actions. Christopher McQuarrie is a masterful director when it comes to action, at one moment I almost got up and clapped because his lack of crash bang wallop creates poetically silent action sequences. Then the bike chase throws you right into the high speed madness, I actually felt like I was along for the ride and was going to crash myself, watching bikes weave in and out of traffic is terrifying.

Tom Cruise, the go-to man for action is again at the top of his game, a game that just keeps on growing and getting more mad. Everyone has seen the trailers, Cruise dangles perilously off the side of a giant plane. He did that for real, what sane person does that? This is why your cinema ticket is more than paid for within the first ten minutes as the opening is heart pumping insanity, Cruise gives fans and viewers what they want, and hanging off an airbus high in the sky is the icing on the cake. Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation is a damn good film, if I keep going on I’ll end up blabbing.


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