Christopher McQuarrie’s Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015) Movie Review
Opened: August 7th, 2015
Star Cast: Tom Cruise (Ethan Hunt), Rebecca Ferguson (Ilsa Faust), Simon Pegg (Benji Dunn), Jeremy Renner (William Brandt), Ving Rhames (Luther Stickell), Alec Baldwin (CIA Director Hunley), Sean Harris (Solomon Lane).
Directed and written by Christopher McQuarrie, based on the television series “Mission: Impossible” created by Bruce Geller.
Rated: U/A (for viewers above 12 years) Runtime: 133 Minutes
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (Durmarga Desam in Telugu) is the fifth part in the film series started in 1990’s and based on television series from the 1970’s, and it is kind of storming how long this particular product of spy entertainment has coined around, and by most accounts, continues to age like good vino. First Mission Impossible was release way back in 1996, was a satisfying yet silly spy thriller; John Woo’s Mission Impossible II was a serious trip-up and bluntly disappointing; The series returned with Mission Impossible III and found its stride with director JJ Abram, with good number of twists, turns and double crosses – they stopped caring about the narrative and packed as much action they could with Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol. The way Ethan hanging dangerously from the upper floors of Burj Khalifa and trying to outrun a rattling Sandstorm were just incredibly shot. Btw, only the first three parts were all faithful to the original television series with serious story-lines and grave enemies.
Using a narrative skeleton as model to embellish with death defying action sequences and few twists and turns seems to have worked well for the MI series so far; lets checkout whether the fifth film stay on this course and outshine its predecessors.
The series follows the efforts of the IMF (Impossible Missions Force) and their top agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise). This time around Hunt is tracking information on an occult criminal organization known as the “Syndicate.” After being kidnapped by the group early, Hunt is rescued by Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), an untrusty ally. Just after this, the IMF is thawed by the head of the CIA, Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin). With nowhere to turn for help and a mission to complete, Hunt goes rogue in order to bring the leader of the Syndicate to justice.
As always plot is tangled, in-feasible, and completely ludicrous. Luckily naive realism has never exactly been the preferred MO of the MI series (Title Justification). The story told in the film is by no means anything you haven’t seen before (MI Series, Presidents Men, and The Tenant). The story gnarls along and suitably cockeyed involving USB sticks and layer upon layer to defend them, as well as physical barriers designed to keep all but the more tenacious hands of the damned things. There some inane sequences to add: why does a facility with gait analysis rely on three combination locks? Even after UK Spy having the details never tries to penetrate the secured location for the data? Even after regular interference’s from Ethan troubles Syndicate they never try to eliminate him. We regularly forgive action movies that gloss over the details, but this one opts to pay painstaking attention on the details that makes no sense at all. With that quality of writing, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation is funny – sometimes even unintentionally – but most of the times it just prolonged, poorly paced and extremely ho-hum. It feels like almost every shot of the film is a bit long, every conversation had an extra line and every action sequence had some extra people to fight. Every scene that was fun got hauled until you forgot when it was gratifying and that’s not exaggeration. This Mission Impossible misses the distinct director’s touch each of the previous installments had. The opening sequence of the movie (given away for free in the trailer) is breath taking and genuinely thrilling. It culminates with Cruise’s Ethan Hunt dangling onto the side of a plane while it takes off and we see the ground fall away, all brilliantly interlarded with the comic relief by Hunt’s fellow agents. Unfortunately the film never maintains that scale and thrill and thus flunks to become the bright action film it promises; passing into a flat, typical affair.
Tom Cruise fights harder, runs faster, attempt death defying stunts and flies higher in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. Rebecca Ferguson who plays Ilsa Faust – a syndicate agent who just might hold the key to helping Hunt, is fine in her role. The core team of Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg and Jeremy Renner all give good support and each get a few moments to shine. Alas, the film falters in the same way that the previous four films did, the lack of a challenging villain. Sean Harris wasn’t bad as Solomon Lane, it’s just he had absolutely nothing to work with.
The best technical aspects of the film are stunt choreography and the soundtrack. The action surprises with Tom and Jerry behind episode of opera, an underwater heist and deftly edited and shot motorcycle chase and the spectacular aeroplane sequence. The soundtrack isn’t exactly enlivening in itself, but it leagues ahead of writing and direction. Even cinematographer Robert Elswit and Editor Eddie Hamilton deserve some credit for their works.
When you think 5th installments of successful franchises it’s not excessive for your mind to wander to the cases of dreadful fifth entries. A Good Day to Die Hard, Friday the 13th Part V, Scary Movie 5, Terminator 5 are just examples of just how bad a series can get by the fifth film. MI5 isn’t a bad film by any stretch, but the tremendous promise Rogue Nation offers with its exhilarating opening gambit quickly falls lazily into bland Bond pastiche. Rogue Nation isn’t the off the rails misfire that was Mission Impossible 2, but it lacks the connive of Mission Impossible, the emotional stakes of Mission Impossible 3, and the off-the-wall wow-factor of Ghost Protocol.
I rank the films as follows:
- Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
- Mission Impossible
- Mission Impossible 3
- Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
- Mission Impossible 2
Survi Review: 2/5