Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

Hey readers. Sorry for the hiatus– We will be posting less frequently for a few months because of the business of senior year, but for now, here is Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, starring Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, and Simon Pegg. It is rated PG-13 sequences of action and violence, and brief partial nudity

Rogue Nation follows the adventures of Ethan Hunt (Cruise) as he attempts to hunt down the Syndicate– a rogue organization that is attempting to have him terminated. But on top of that is the fact that the IMF– the organization of which he is a part of– has been shut down, pitting him up against the United States Government as well.

8 out of 10

The Mission Impossible series has a weird progression in terms of quality. The first movie was pretty solid, definitely good enough to spawn sequels. The second was a bit of a clunker, and the third was an upgrade, but still not up to par with the original. But then it experienced a weird sort of renaissance, with Ghost Protocol being very good and Rogue Nation being probably the best film in the series yet. It is filled with intriguing characters, a gripping storyline, and action that can be only be described as badass.

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Tom Cruise is excellent as always, giving Ethan Hunt an appealing intelligence and coolness that is essential for a leading character. He is joined by Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, and Ving Rhames, who play a trio of agents that provide a dynamic that Ethan needs, specifically comic relief. Pegg, mostly known as a comic actor, provides a bit of that, but also plays a surprisingly charming sidekick. Renner is solid as always, and Ving Rhames was a steady presence that provided really solid comic moments as well. The main crew is in top shape, giving the film a good basis for success.

One thing I like about the series is that, while the films sort of connect, you can watch any of them out of place and still understand what was going on. While there was definitely some remnants of the Ghost Protocol action, the whole deconstruction of IMF is easy to follow. The establishment of the Syndicate, while slightly more confusing, is still pretty simple to get a handle on, event with details leaking over from Ghost Protocol. The whole man vs world thing makes for a very interesting conflict for us to follow, especially because of how quickly it all dissolves in the first place. We are thrown right into the story, and it never relents in interest, keeping us entertained and invested for the duration of the film.

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But undoubtedly the thing this movie excels in is it’s perfectly executed stunts and action scenes. They are so obviously unrealistic, though that hardly matters because of how well executed they are. There was a bit of everything; some plane fights, assassination attempts, car chases; all of them choreographed really well and edited together to perfection. The diversity of the action, plus the incredible execution equate to a fantastic action thriller that bodes well by any measure.

The one flaw in this movie was the weakness of the villain, who had no established character, and did not feel like a threat. It was very Marvel-ish, if you ask me. He didn’t appear enough to have us thoroughly dislike him. He was just filler.

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That being said, Rogue Nation is successful in accomplishing its goal: being an entertaining spy thriller that takes us on a fun ride from beginning to end.

9 out of 10

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, like its protagonist, has no difficulty overcoming impossible odds. It would have been easy to cruise on the success of the last movie by yet again having an end of the world scenario, but the creators chose to scale back and make it a more personal film, this decision helping the film greatly.

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Tom Cruise’ vendetta against the mysterious Syndicate was very fun in the way that every movie rampage is fun, but while Cruise may have felt a need for a rampage, as the audience I felt a powerful “Eh” towards the villain since the film’s only real attempt to make us hate them is to kill a character whose name I cannot recall and whose dialogue amounted to three to four sentences about Jazz music.

Cruise’s jaw dropping stunts captured my attention in the same a Nicholas Cage performance does: them being off the wall, completely real, and scary in the way you think someone might die. Cruise in general delivering another good performance but at this point its as expected as me getting rejected.

Simon Pegg was my favorite part of the last film and I was overjoyed at how much additional screen time his character Benji received. The elaboration on his loyalty to Tom Cruise was really interesting as well as touching since we got to see how deep the bonds of friendship went with the whole MI team, his character really being an emotional center point for the audience due to his friendly and funny nature.

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Jeremy Renner, much like his Avengers counterpart, is kind of a blank slate still, his character weak and not especially essential although his partnership with Ving Rhames helping to bring some good scenes with the two of them hemming and hawing at one another like an old married couple.

Rebecca Ferguson played the complicated character Illsa, a mysterious woman whose shifting allegiances make her hard to track and predict. Her chemistry with Tom Cruise being great with their pseudo-romance making their scenes fascinating to watch.

Now that we got all that stuff out of the way let us sink our teeth into the real treat of the film: THE ACTION. This film has some freaking great action.

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We got a badass plane scene, a brutal fistfight, and an assassination prevention in the first part of the movie! The action is shot beautifully, its beauty and fluidity a marvel to experience, it being complemented by a great score and overall fantastic choreography. This film was a true joy to sit through for me since I received not only a good story, but also a great adrenaline ride.

Sure there are some flaws in the film, but they are minuscule enough to not distract you and let you enjoy a great spy thriller.