2015 / Director. Christopher McQuarrie.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
Okay. So yeah... they can go ahead and make more of these movies. The MISSION IMPOSSIBLE series has come a long way since Brian DePalma rebooted the franchise back in the mid nineties and the last few entries have proven to be bloody belters. ROGUE NATION is one hell of an action flick and my fingers hurt from the constant chewing of nails.
The film reassembles the IMF team from the previous two films and pits them against a top secret organisation known as The Syndicate, which has been dismissed as a myth by most government departments and the CIA. Tom Cruise returns as Ethan Hunt as he falls off the grid to expose the Syndicate while the IMF is dismantled by the senate and a ruthless CIA director (Alec Baldwin). What follows is a complex action caper full of espionage, misplaced loyalties and double crossings. It is the precise type of movie that reaffirms why we go to the cinema... ie pure escapism.
Director Christopher McQuarrie and Tom Cruise have a solid working relationship, having previously worked together on JACK REACHER, EDGE OF TOMORROW and VALKYRIE. They clearly have a strong rapport and have delivered the most concise, controlled and elaborate instalment in the MISSION IMPOSSIBLE series yet. At the sprite age of 53 Cruise has never looked fitter, nor stronger. He commands the screen and (for me) watching him is an absolute pleasure. Ethan Hunt is a role that he now owns and he is obviously more comfortable in those shoes than ever before. He understands the nuances and the limitations of the character and he knows what works and what doesn't. The comedy is perfectly placed and never distracting and the action is paced more strategically then the previous films. While I didn't enjoy this one as much as I enjoyed GHOST PROTOCOL, I can definitely recognise that it is the better of the two.
The support cast are all good with Ving Rhames, Jeremy Renner and Alec Baldwin each bringing the level of solidity that we have come to expect from them. The real revelation here, however, is Simon Pegg. This is his third appearance in the series and it is his most dexterous performance yet. He is given a whole lot of range to work with and he brings the dramatics as competently as he brings the comedy. He is really something else here and his own on-screen rapport with Cruise is also evident. They click and it's a wonderful thing to see.
With five MISSION IMPOSSIBLE adventures clocked up and a sixth one on the way, this is a franchise that is giving 007 a run for its money. ROGUE NATION looks more like a James Bond movie then any of the other chapters and the marker is set for a strong, ongoing franchise that will enjoy longevity so long as they maintain the right direction, as demonstrated here. With great performances, a smart script and well handled action sequences it is a movie-property that is finally comfortable within itself. That's quite an evolution from the convoluted and miscalculated original movie almost twenty years ago.