At the start of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (surely that’s too much punctuation for one film title?), we meet the IMF team during some classic highjinks, but it turns out the team is not in favour with the CIA and ends up getting shut down.
As a result, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) goes into such deep cover it feels like he’s coming back out the other end, and continues to evade the CIA or answer for his actions in order to continue tracking down who he believes is the leader of the Syndicate – a rogue nation using agents that are missing-presumed-dead to try and bring down the system.
He comes across the mysterious Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) along the way, a seriously kickass agent with some dubious morals, and goes on to reunite with his team to take the Syndicate down.
This is a Mission: Impossible film that is pacy, doesn’t take itself too seriously, and clearly aims to just give audiences a bloody good time.
What’s good and refreshing is that it doesn’t go so OTT on plot that you haven’t a clue what’s happening – it keeps it simple enough for the audience to follow along, whilst leaving enough room for twists and turns.
Cruise is as reliable as ever. There isn’t that much about Ethan Hunt himself to remark upon in this – he seems to just be there to run fast, jump high and do ridiculous things, and the way Cruise pulls off his stunts is awesome – but it’s his interaction with the other characters that’s key.
As a team, the whole cast works so well together. Simon Pegg provides fantastic levity and humour, as well as a great all round performance, and the chemistry between Jeremy Renner and the other team members is a pleasure to watch too.
The action is impeccable, and director Christopher McQuarrie shows his chops in this area – there’s incredibly slick set pieces (one during an opera is a particular joy), and there’s a somewhat understated but effective final conflict that attempts to build tension, but you perhaps don’t ever really feel like anything is in jeopardy.
Ferguson is a spot-on addition to the ensemble, and her action moves in That Yellow Dress create some standout imagery that is the lasting memory of this movie. The audience is continually unsure of her motives, and she’s given plenty to do. You can sense she’s an agent that is just desperate to get out of the game.
The villain of the piece, played by Sean Harris, is the weakest link – who actually is he? Why is he doing this? There’s no real depth to the character. He wants to ‘take down the system’ – but what else is new?
There’s also laughably bad, cliche dialogue in parts – Alec Baldwin‘s statement ‘Ethan Hunt is the manifestation of destiny, and you, are his mission’ tells you all you need to know about that. Like, really? That line made the cut? What does that even mean?!
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation has it’s flaws – but overall, you’re having so much fun that you forgive them for it. 4 stars from us for a thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable addition to this iconic action franchise.
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is streaming on Netflix at time of publishing, or you can own it on DVD here.