Film – Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

Steve Taylor-Bryant gets another chance to wax lyrical about Tom Cruise. Will he ever stop? We don’t think so...

After an excoriating official US government review of its history of questionable missions with high stakes and considerable collateral damage, the IMF is disbanded. Regardless, Ethan Hunt is undeterred from his personal mission to stop a sinister counter-organization to the IMF, the Syndicate. Now a fugitive from the CIA, Hunt secretly calls his colleagues together to accomplish that, which soon also involves a mysterious woman who has an agenda of her own with those criminals. With both sides playing deadly complex games of intrigue, Hunt and his team must take even more risk with difficult options to protect the world.

I saw Rogue Nation described by a large international reviews magazine as ‘The best of the franchise’ and I can see where they are coming from although I disagree. Don’t get me wrong, I love Rogue Nation and will explain why in a moment, but I don’t think any film you make within the series will top the original 1996 introduction to Cruise’s version of Ethan Hunt as the style and humour of the movie was as close to Bruce Geller’s original television success as you will get. However, as time and director changes have gone on, so the franchise has metamorphosed into something else. Each new vision brings something else to the table, whether it be tone, jokes, stunts, plot work but the one remaining constant that glues the whole thing together is Tom Cruise himself. Could the MI films work without Cruise? I think now they probably could and, personally, I’d like to see the franchise handed over to Jeremy Renner but Cruise loves the franchise and it’s his aura around the productions that make the films what they are. He is definitely in control of the direction in which the series is going and his obvious love for the characters shines more than his perfect teeth when he’s smiling but it’s the kind of control people want to see, it’s the kind of control that has seen some of the world’s best action directors bring their style to the screen but happily work under the watchful eye of Cruise.

Rogue Nation takes the level of stunt work up a notch, as each film has done before it, and the opening scene with Cruise actually strapped to the side of an aeroplane whilst it takes off is something special indeed and, dare I say, outdoes any Bond opening. Cruise is class, just pure class and that oozes off the screen. I know he is not everyone’s cup of tea but you cannot knock his enthusiasm for the project he helped to create and is as wonderful and humorous as he has always been. The team is more settled in Rogue Nation with the returning Simon Pegg as Benji Dunn who is most definitely the joker in the pack with his Britishness and almost inept technical skills. The woefully underrated Jeremy Renner (yes I am a huge fan) is the straight man and his William Brandt character is much more involved this time around in the action as well as doing his office boy routine and who doesn’t love Ving Rhames as Luther Stickell? On the side of darkness you have Sean Harris as Solomon Lane who is very understated and almost quiet which adds an air of mystery and Ilsa Faust played by Rebecca Ferguson is much more than the usual eye candy you get in the Hollywood Blockbusters of today, more than holding her own on screen and in the action.

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation is not the best of the franchise but the way it treads that line between being its own entity and being a Bourne or Bond and yet not dropping into copy territory is remarkable and, had my love for the original not have been so strong, then I would definitely have been stating ‘Best of the Franchise’ myself.

Image/Synopsis - IMDb.

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