Desperate times. Desperate measures.
Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation is a 2015 spy film directed by Christopher McQuarrie, written by Christopher McQuarrie, produced by Skydance Productions, TC Productions, and Bad Robot Productions, and distributed by Paramount Pictures. The film is based on the 1966 TV series, Mission: Impossible. It stars Tom Cruise and Rebecca Ferguson. It was not nominated for any Academy Awards. This is the fifth film in the Mission: Impossible franchise. It was preceded by Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol and followed by Mission: Impossible-Fallout.
"The syndicate is real. A rogue nation, trained to do what we do." -Ethan Hunt
After the IMF is disbanded, Ethan Hunt and his team face a new threat, but this time, they're truly alone. Ethan discovers a syndicate-a terrorist group that wants to create a new world based on violence and dangerous terrorist attacks. Ethan, Benji, Brandt and Luther join forces with Ilsa Faust, a former agent for MI-6 who may or may not be working for the syndicate.
I think that this film has the best characters in the entire Mission: Impossible franchise. Obviously the entire IMF team is great, with Ethan, Benji, William Brandt, and Luther. Solomon Lane is a worthy villain, and he is one of the stronger ones in the series. But the highlight is Ilsa. She is, now, considered the best character in the franchise, and for good reason. She is a conflicted character that is working for the good guys and the bad guys, which makes her incredibly interesting and also dangerous. She is charming, but you don't know if you can trust her. They show her doing things for both sides, so it is really hard to tell which side she's on.
The story of this film is also pretty good. I liked the idea of a "rogue nation" that can do what IMF can do, but uses their skills for terrorism and world domination. The IMF hasn't really faced an opponent of this skill and scale. The addition of Ilsa raised the stakes of the film, making it about ten times more exciting.
The action and stuntwork in this film is amazing. The movie opens with Ethan Hunt hanging off of a plane. From there, it took off. The next action sequence with Ilsa has some very cool parts. There is some martial-arts looking moves, and it is very cool. The opera scene is the highlight of the action. It is incredibly intense and exciting. As the opera crescendos, the fight escalates. The scene explodes when Ilsa shows up and Ethan recognizes who she is. It is a very fun scene, and something that should be done more in these action movies.
Another example of tension is the scene where Benji has to get past all the security checkpoints and is relying on Ethan to switch the ID cards...underwater. It is a very uncomfortable scene, as you watch Ethan lose oxygen and drop the card, then have trouble opening the escape hatch. Benji barely gets by the security and Ethan nearly dies, but it made for a fantastic scene.
The acting is great, as usual. Alec Baldwin joins the cast as well as Rebecca Ferguson. They are both very good. Alec Baldwin delivers his usual sharp, stern performance, which works very well in his character. Rebecca Ferguson is in a much nicer role than usual, as she doesn't always play a good guy. She is great, too. She adds the right amount of dishonesty and suspicion to the role of Ilsa, making her character more interesting than ever.
Cruise, Rhames, Pegg, and Renner are all good. I mean, he's Tom Cruise. He's been good in all of the Mission: Impossible films. Ving Rhames is as likable as Luther has been throughout the series. Simon Pegg gives Benji some more emotion in this film, making him more of a character than comedian. Jeremy Renner takes himself out of the action, but still delivers his serious and good portrayal of William Brandt.
The first thing is the subplot. I think that they tried to force in a subplot about Alec Baldwin's character trying to shut down the IMF, which we just did in Ghost Protocol. The IMF was disassembled and there was no backup or resources that they could use. It felt like they repeated the same thing, but tried to make it more of a plot line, and it just doesn't work at all.
I also think that they dug too deep into Ilsa's background. She's supposed to be a mysterious character and we don't want to know a lot about her so that the stakes can be as high as they already are, but then they go ahead and show her entire backstory. Not a fan.
The final thing that I have on this film is the villain's plan. Solomon Lane felt like he was a good foe for the IMF, but his plan was a little bit shaky. It didn't seem very well explained and it felt like a very generic evil villain scheme. They could've tried to have this "rogue nation" take over the IMF and carry out their plot there and that would've made for a much more interesting storyline.
Despite some villain issues and a weird repeat, this film has great acting, action, and story.
I will give it a Savory rating. Age range is 9+.
SWEET N' SOUR SCALE
"Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation"
Fun Factor: 8/10
Directed by Christopher McQuarrie
Released on July 31, 2015
Rated PG-13 for moderate violence and action, disturbing themes and images
2 hours and 11 minutes
Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt
Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust
Jeremy Renner as William Brandt
Simon Pegg as Benji Dunn
Ving Rhames as Luther Stickell
Sean Harris as Solomon Lane
Simon McBurney as Atlee
Alec Baldwin as Alan Hunley