Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)
Starring: Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Jeremy Renner, Ving Rhames, Alec Baldwin, Sean Harris
Directed by: Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher; The Way of the Gun)
Synopsis: Ethan Hunt goes rogue to defeat a mysterious, powerful enemy. Not to be confused with every other spy movie plot in the past 20 years.
- The plot is actually followable, which is refreshing. You won’t be left scratching your head unless your pubic lice have migrated north.
- The cast is great (with one exception, see below). Tom Cruise is once again excellent for a guy who strongly believes we’re all controlled by alien ghosts. Even though he’s well into his 60s, he still carries these parts very well, and I’m impressed by his Jackie Chan-esque dedication to doing his own stunts. Simon Pegg has perfected the role of comic relief sidekick in bigger action films, but hopefully he gets back soon to being the comedic lead in a movie that’s actually worth watching. Rebecca Ferguson is a nice surprise, as I’d never heard of her before. Ving Rhames plays Ving Rhames.
- Not quite as pants-droppingly stunning as Skyfall, but the locations and sets were lovely, and grittier this time around than in Ghost Protocol.
What doesn’t work:
- I couldn’t possibly be more sick of a spy movie/TV plot about the protagonist going rogue. The fact that the movie is actually called Rogue Nation really gave my piss brain bubbles.
- I understand there was a real-life scheduling conflict or whatever, but where are the essential members of Hunt’s previous teams when he really needs them? They were all eager to help him out with his rogue schemes before. Did they have a falling out or something?
- The villain, Solomon Lane, seemed horribly miscast. He looked like a strong wind would knock him down the street, and the way he spoke in a raspy whisper was off-putting. He honestly seemed like he had Down Syndrome, and I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way whatsoever, I am a big softy when it comes to people with mental challenges and would never disparage them, but his performance was just so strange. If he was meant to be mentally challenged, that’s fantastic, if the actor himself was mentally challenged, I would absolutely love it and be all for it. But that’s not the case, so it’s a very very weird performance.
Overall: A solid spy thriller that thankfully continues the excellence of Ghost Protocol, but unfortunately doesn’t necessarily improve on it. Outside of Hunt hanging on the plane, there weren’t too many “wow” stunts. The car/motorcycle chase was nice, but nothing groundbreaking. But it was nice to see a summer movie made for adults for a change. The plot was understandable and there was nothing overly stupid about it. The IMF isn’t quite up to the standards of Mr. Bond these days, but they’re a satisfying alternative, and I’d be on board for more missions.
Score: 7.75 times Tom Cruise rides a motorcycle per hour (out of 10)