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Review: Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
07.28.2015
8 10

PLOT: When the IMF is disbanded, rogue agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is on his own as he tracks down The Syndicate, an underground network of former spies responsible for a series of deadly terrorist attacks.

REVIEW: You've really got to hand it to Tom Cruise. There's a reason why his super-stardom has endured for over thirty years, as there are seemingly no lengths he won't go to in order to entertain his audience. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION is yet another superb two hours of fun, second only to MAD MAX: FURY ROAD as far as summer entertainment goes.

Ever since its start the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE film franchise has been all about going big, and ROGUE NATION pulls out all the stops. There are more set-pieces loaded into the first half hour than in the entirety of most $100 million plus action movies, and the excitement is so infectious that even at a normally reserved press screening, the journalists in attendance couldn't help but laugh and cheer along with all the fun.

Director Christopher McQuarrie – who's been working as one of Cruise's main writers since they collaborated on VALKYRIE – holds his own compared to former series directors Brian De Palma, John Woo, J.J Abrams (who's back as a producer) and Brad Bird. While it probably would have been impossible to outdo the insanely lavish GHOST PROTOCOL, McQuarrie gives it his best shot and some of the action sequences are absolutely insane. While his last directorial vehicle, JACK REACHER, was an admirably stripped-down action flick, ROGUE NATION is nothing of the kind. This is big with the tempo being perfectly set by the pre-credits teaser, featuring Cruise's celebrated hang 5000 feet off the ground on the side of an A400M Airbus – no trickery involved.

Despite the scale, ROGUE NATION is relatively light on CGI as far as big-blockbusters go as Cruise himself has gotten to the point where he's really the only special effect the movie needs. I'm not sure exactly where it happened, but somewhere along the line Cruise must have decided to give Jackie Chan a run for his money as a one-man stunt machine, with the plane bit only being the tip of the iceberg. At fifty-two, Cruise is still fit enough that he's able to spend his first major action sequence shirtless, and the choreography makes it clear that he's rarely – if ever – doubled in even the riskiest fight scenes. In two hours time, we see Cruise mix-it-up hand-to-hand with dozens of opponents, pull off acrobatic moves that would be impressive for men half his age, and spend an extended amount of time underwater as part of a virtuoso sequence brilliantly executed by McQuarrie. His directing and handling of the action sequences really is top notch. Although apparently not shot in IMAX format despite the release (I saw it at a conventional screenings) the film is beautifully shot by GHOST PROTOCOL/NIGHTCRAWLER dp Robert Elswit, while the retro spy score by Joe Kraemer suits the edge-of-you-seat vibe perfectly.

Cruise/Hunt's usual pals are back for another go-round, with Simon Pegg's Benji evolving into a full-fledged sidekick for Hunt throughout his adventures. Ving Rhames is also back with a bigger part than last time, which gives the film its only real continuity with the first two installments, while Jeremy Renner winds up mostly sidelined, with Brandt mostly stuck in the office trying to outsmart Alec Baldwin's slimy CIA chief.

New to the series is Rebecca Ferguson in what could be a real star-making part. Playing a British double agent who's loyalties are always in question, the gorgeous Ferguson's virtually a lady 007. She gets to participate in tons of action sequences, has good chemistry with Cruise and also happens to look absolutely ravishing in an evening gown (or anything else, really).

If ROGUE NATION comes up short at all its – as usual for the series – in the villain department. The third film, which had Cruise square-off against Philip Seymour Hoffman, was really the only exception to this rule. Sean Harris is a terrific, intense actor but he's a subtle presence and can't really go toe-to-toe with the larger-than-life Cruise. Another slight issue is that following a remarkable motorcycle chase that – once again – has Cruise doing his own death-defying stunt riding, the movie slows down slightly opting for more intrigue as opposed to mayhem. There's nothing especially wrong with that but by setting the bar so high so early in the film they likely had a hard time figuring out how to top themselves, although it has a fairly creative conclusion.

Still, those are absolutely minor issues and throughout the 130 minute running time, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION never ceases to entertain. This is a roller-coaster ride from start-to-finish and a film that will likely please even the most jaded action fan.

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Source: JoBlo.com

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11:20AM on 07/31/2015

Was totally looking forward to this....

But man was the movie disappointing. Didn't even come close to Ghost Protocol. More along the lines of M:I2, which means it was pretty lame. The villian was terrible, the story wasn't all that engaging, and even the action set pieces looked pretty bad effects wise. That chase scene on the motorcycles looked particularly bad. Very disappointing overall. 6/10
But man was the movie disappointing. Didn't even come close to Ghost Protocol. More along the lines of M:I2, which means it was pretty lame. The villian was terrible, the story wasn't all that engaging, and even the action set pieces looked pretty bad effects wise. That chase scene on the motorcycles looked particularly bad. Very disappointing overall. 6/10
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11:27PM on 07/29/2015
No one in Hollywood nicer than Cruise. Glad to see this movie is entertaining and will (hopefully) make a ton.
No one in Hollywood nicer than Cruise. Glad to see this movie is entertaining and will (hopefully) make a ton.
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+0
10:50PM on 07/29/2015
Really excited for this one, and the fact that it stands up to Mad Max is great news, as that is my favorite film of the year so far. The previous two MI films have been excellent, and like Fast and Furious, this is a series that seems to be getting better late in the game, as opposed to getting worse. Hard to believe that the fifth film is likely the best, but it's even more unbelievable that Cruise can still do these big action things like he was half his age. Cruise really is one of those
Really excited for this one, and the fact that it stands up to Mad Max is great news, as that is my favorite film of the year so far. The previous two MI films have been excellent, and like Fast and Furious, this is a series that seems to be getting better late in the game, as opposed to getting worse. Hard to believe that the fifth film is likely the best, but it's even more unbelievable that Cruise can still do these big action things like he was half his age. Cruise really is one of those ageless actors.
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+0
1:31AM on 07/29/2015

Tom is and always will be a badass!

Tom Cruise, through all the bullshit backlash against him from the media and public, he is still a larger than life kind of actor who can thrill the shit out of us with a good action flick when he's not just giving us another great performance- Born On The Fourth of July, Interview With The Vampire, Collateral, Rain Man, Magnolia, Minority Report, Jerry Maguire, Edge of Tomorrow, and so on!
Can't wait to see Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation!
Tom Cruise, through all the bullshit backlash against him from the media and public, he is still a larger than life kind of actor who can thrill the shit out of us with a good action flick when he's not just giving us another great performance- Born On The Fourth of July, Interview With The Vampire, Collateral, Rain Man, Magnolia, Minority Report, Jerry Maguire, Edge of Tomorrow, and so on!
Can't wait to see Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation!
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6:34PM on 07/28/2015
Those so-called action stars can wear their superhero costumes and act in front of the damn green screen all day, I will always have Tom Cruise performing REAL stunts. Can't wait to see this movie.
Those so-called action stars can wear their superhero costumes and act in front of the damn green screen all day, I will always have Tom Cruise performing REAL stunts. Can't wait to see this movie.
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11:40AM on 07/28/2015
"Second only to MAD MAX: FURY ROAD as far as summer entertainment goes."

O yea! Can't wait to see this!!
"Second only to MAD MAX: FURY ROAD as far as summer entertainment goes."

O yea! Can't wait to see this!!
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11:12AM on 07/28/2015

Tom the man.

You know whats great about a Tom Cruise movies...you know he's on that Bike , you know his dangling from a plane..this guy is the action master of our time. Not like those playboy pussies that playSuper Heroes.
You know whats great about a Tom Cruise movies...you know he's on that Bike , you know his dangling from a plane..this guy is the action master of our time. Not like those playboy pussies that playSuper Heroes.
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9:50AM on 07/28/2015
Great to hear! Looking forward to this
Great to hear! Looking forward to this
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9:38AM on 07/28/2015

Bring on #6

Great news... this is currently my favorite spy franchise... above the current Bond and Bourne movies.
Great news... this is currently my favorite spy franchise... above the current Bond and Bourne movies.
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9:20AM on 07/28/2015
This and Fast and the Furious are two franchises that I thought the first one sucked so I never could get an interest to see any of the sequels, despite good reviews
This and Fast and the Furious are two franchises that I thought the first one sucked so I never could get an interest to see any of the sequels, despite good reviews
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6:21AM on 07/28/2015
Glad to read that this new entry is just as good as its predecessors and that Cruise is still kicking ass even at his age and after five films.
Glad to read that this new entry is just as good as its predecessors and that Cruise is still kicking ass even at his age and after five films.
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3:29AM on 07/28/2015
Glad to hear good review for this movie.
Glad to hear good review for this movie.
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+1
1:51AM on 07/28/2015
Great review. So excited for Rogue Nation. Love this franchise!
Great review. So excited for Rogue Nation. Love this franchise!
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1:20AM on 07/28/2015
good to hear! All the movies are good. I wish emilio estevez hadn't died in the first one. I'd like to have seen him in the other one's.
good to hear! All the movies are good. I wish emilio estevez hadn't died in the first one. I'd like to have seen him in the other one's.
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1:18AM on 07/28/2015
Glad to see it getting a positive review, I'll be checking it out for sure. Gotta respect Tom Cruise for the effort he puts in entertaining audiences, the Jackie Chan comparison is spot on.
Glad to see it getting a positive review, I'll be checking it out for sure. Gotta respect Tom Cruise for the effort he puts in entertaining audiences, the Jackie Chan comparison is spot on.
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