“Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation” is pure action-packed adrenaline: 4.5/5
Over his impressive career, Tom Cruise has been a businessman, a one-eyed German agent, a bartender, a futuristic cop, a pilot, and, of course, IMF special agent Ethan Hunt, most recently in “Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation”. But Tom Cruise is also something not so easily attainable. He is an icon.
So big of an icon that he literally has an entire genre to his name, the so-called Tom Cruise movie. This, of course, is usually a high-octane fast-paced thriller with wit, even though some of his more acclaimed films are dramas, such as “Jerry Maguire” and “A Few Good Men”.
“Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation” is just about the epitome of Tom Cruise movies.
I say this with complete and utter sincerity. This movie succeeds on every level of a Tom Cruise movie, heck, an action movie altogether, and just leaves a big goofy grin on your face for its entire two-hour runtime. Look at Tom Cruise! He’s running on top of the plane! Oh, no! The plane is taking off! Hang on, Tom!
Sounds fun, doesn’t it? It is. Every scene, every note of the music, every letter of dialogue is an absolute blast, regardless of if you understand the plot or not, because the plot doesn’t matter. What does matter is Tom Cruise driving through Casablanca, with Simon Pegg in the passenger seat, being chased by bad guys on motorcycles, quickly being tailed by Jeremy Renner and Ving Rhames in a 4×4. It’s so ludicrous, impossible, if you will, but something about it seems so real. Because it is real.
I’m sure you’ve heard that Tom Cruise does all his own stunts, which means, yes, he actually clung onto the side of a plane during takeoff, and he actually drove backwards off a ramp in the streets of Casablanca. Even the characters seem like what the actors would be like in real life. Either that’s really good acting or really good casting. Probably both.
Fine. The plot. The IMF has been disbanded by the government and has been replaced by the CIA, led by Alec Baldwin’s Alan Hunley, and Ethan Hunt has gone rogue after a mission, with knowledge of The Syndicate, a so-called anti-IMF, as described by Simon Pegg’s Benji Dunn (a great comic relief without being goofy or incompetent), led by Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) a, big, bad terrorist who is in need of funding for his acts of terror, and is after a disc that contains money for his use. So, of course, Hunt must team up with the aforementioned Benji, William Brandt (Jeremy Renner), Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames), and the beautiful Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) to stop him from attaining it. Excitement ensues, including a fight scene that takes place backstage during a live opera, and an underwater scene that will leave fingernail scratches on your seat’s arm rest.
It is beyond amazing that you can take such an unrealistic setup and turn it into an incredibly realistic movie. You know Ethan Hunt is going to survive it all, he always does. And also, they need him for Mission: Impossible 6, but that is beside the point. The fact that he has always beat insurmountable odds, yet you still hold your breath every time that he is in danger. It is probably because you have grown to love Ethan Hunt after 20 years and five movies. Or perhaps it’s because you never want him to stop running, or fighting, or climbing, or hanging off the side of a plane.
Even the characters seem real. They’re not superheroes, though they very well could be. William Brandt has his own perspectives that often conflicts with the effectiveness of the crew. Benji is often a nervous wreck, he’s not exactly cool under pressure. Even Ethan Hunt isn’t invincible. There are a couple of scenes where he indeed fails, is beaten, and captured. The team’s plans often go awry, giving it the sense of suspense that many blockbusters action movies lack. If everything always goes according to plan, it loses all of its suspense and draw that is keeping you in your seat.
The film is also infinitely more clever than you would ever expect a Mission: Impossible movie to be. It grabs hold of almost every single action movie trademark and makes it its own. Jens Hulten makes for a creepy and incredibly dangerous henchman called the Bone Doctor. Rebecca Ferguson owns the role of the badass and beautiful woman, being equal to Ethan Hunt. Even the motorcycle chase is prone to the never ending charm and magic touch of “Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation”. It always stays one step ahead of Hollywood, including cooler chases, more exciting action (especially the opera scene, make sure not to miss that one) and bigger twists. The genius of the recent Mission: Impossible films puts Ethan Hunt right next to Daniel Craig’s Bond and Matt Damon’s Bourne, while being in a league of its own. Because “Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation” is something Bourne and Bond will never be. A Tom Cruise movie. And sometimes, that’s really all it needs to be.