More James Bond-ian in nature than Impossible and in need of a more developed main villain, Rogue Nation (the fifth of the Mission: Impossible series) still improves upon the franchise, crackling with top-shelf stunts and action set pieces while maintaining the more human nature of its lead character and star.
Tom Cruise once again does a very good job of keeping Ethan Hunt a more relatable hero, one that, despite performing deeds of ball-busting bravado, still manages to show that he's not indestructible. This was a theme that became very evident once producer JJ Abrams took over the franchise with Part III (after John Woo decided to make Hunt into a damn Matrix character with Mission: Impossible 2). Wisely, they allowed Cruise more time to breathe life into the character, and allow there to exist a connection between the films. Where the fourth film made small references to the third film, Rogue Nation is even more impacted by the actions of its direct predecessor, especially with its character development.
Director Christopher McQuarrie, coming off his directorial duties leading Tom Cruise in the great Jack Reacher, continues where Brad Bird left off with the previous film, though I preferred the smoother script and structure of that prior film. McQuarrie and Cruise (once again as producer) give the film room to develop, and allow other characters more time to shine (especially Simon Pegg, who rightfully plays more of an action-involved sidekick of Cruise this time around). The addition of Alec Baldwin into the franchise was also a good choice as a head of the C.I.A.
The only real knock I can give the film is that it didn't spend enough time making its main villain a more developed entity. While actor Sean Harris' face is creepy as hell and his actions toward the end of the film having significant consequence, not enough clear emphasis was put on his motives to make us fear him more as a person than just an evil entity existing in the background.
Overall, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation is a good end-of-the-summer action film; a diversion from a year filled with superheroes and CGI cars. Speaking of cars, the chase scene in this film, though being only a small part of the story, was better than any of the CGI-handicapped action scenes in any of the previous few Fast and the Furious films.
And this film's opening stunt might make your stomach digest your balls if you're afraid of heights.
Tom Cruise proves once again he is one of Hollywood's last remaining box office stars
Action scenes are top shelf
Alec Baldwin and Jeremy Renner are great in their roles as men of power
Film connects to the prior film without you being required to see it
Simon Pegg is great comic relief
- More humor
Main villain isn't well developed
Ving Rhames is mostly forgotten except for a couple scenes
Stakes aren't raised from the last film
More of a James Bond film than a Mission: Impossible
Rogue Nation had a funny editing issue in a foot chase scene. Tom Cruise and Jeremy Renner, both in tip-top shape, are chasing after a bad guy, hauling ass over a not-so-short distance from a mall to a parking garage. Cruise yells to Luther (Ving Rhames) to keep an eye on another character. Luther a moment later radios to the two men in pursuit that he lost sight of the other character. Moments later, mid-sprint, Cruise and Renner stop giving chase. Five seconds later, a clearly out-of-shape Rhames is right behind them, as though eating large meals never affected his ability to run thirty miles-per-hour to the location the other two track star-shape actors required much more time to cover.
RANKING THE SERIES
- Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (A)
- Mission: Impossible 3 (B+)
- Mission: Impossible (B+)
- Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (B)
- Mission: Impossible 2 - (C+)