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8/17/15

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - ROGUE NATION - REVIEW


The Mission: Impossible franchise is back with yet another larger-than-life adventure in which Tom Cruise is running topless somewhere exotic, kicking all sorts of butt.

This time, the main threat being a secret organisation known only as The Syndicate, which is essentially a villainous version of the IMF. They've been causing chaos all around the world and Ethan Hunt (Cruise) has always been one step behind. After Alec Baldwin's government official pretty much closes down the IMF, it'll be up to Hunt and his crack team to take down The Syndicate while acting under the radar. The team in question being composed of computer wizard Benji (Simon Pegg), field agent William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) and all-rounder Luther (Ving Rhames). They also get the help of Isla Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), a resourceful badass gal Ethan meets during several missions, though it's not always clear who she works for so trusting her is a gamble throughout.

The film opens with the much promoted plane scene in which Tom Cruise literally hangs off the door of a plane for real as it takes off, much to his team's horror. It's a very fast-paced, slick and effective opening which leads us to a cool, purposely retro opening credits sequence. Unfortunately, this beginning is so good, it is never matched after that. You do get more fun stuff in the film including some break-neck car chases, thrilling bike pursuits, suspenseful underwater exploits but, by the end, you'll be left thinking back to how the film started, which is a bit of a shame.

The film's anti-climactic third act and lack of crescendo being its biggest flaw, otherwise it's as well made as you'd expect a Mission: Impossible film to be. Packed with crazy gadgets (a gun flute?!), nail-biting action sequences and light-hearted in-team banter. Plus a creepy baddie played by Sean Harris. Somehow, however, with all that there doesn't seem to be a genuine threat in Rogue Nation, at no point in the film are you actually worried about its outcome. To be clear, there are some very worthy suspenseful moments including Ethan Hunt's aquatic struggle and Benji's kidnapping but seeing as no-one of note has died or even been truly hurt since the first movie, one was almost hoping Benji would kick the bucket by the end in an unexpected dramatic twist.

Ultimately, Rogue Nation is a solid film and you'll have a good time watching it but it lacks the big balanced thrills of Ghost Protocol, the danger of M:I III and the non-stop pacing of M:I 2. While the film is better than some in this franchise, it's probably also more forgettable than some, which is a pity because its plot was packed with potential.

All in all, I do recommend Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, it's definitely a good time. Just be aware that it doesn't so much crescendo as it does peak early then oscillate until the only so-so final act.

Mission: Watchable.

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