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    Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015): Movie Review

    “A time- and money-worthy action film is not an impossible mission.” 

    Nineteen years have already passed since the original film and writer-director Christopher McQuarrie creates the fifth entry into the franchise. In Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, surviving members of the IMF rush to thwart a global threat while at the same time convincing the high ups about the existence of such menace. 

    After Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) jumps on the wing of a gigantic A400 plane to stop the transport of chemical weaponry, the IMF (Impossible Mission Force) faces an impending doom. CIA director Hunley (Alec Baldwin), after considering the destruction of the Kremlin and other damages brought about by Ghost Protocol, pries through the organization, intent on dismantling it. Agent William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) is its only line of defense in the government.

    Meanwhile, Hunt wakes up bounded in a torture chamber operated by Janik “Bone Doctor” Vinter (Jens Hulten). He manages to escape and enlisting the help of tech genius Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), he flies to Vienna State Opera, not to watch the performance of “Turandot” but to chase after Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), leader of Syndicate, a secret organization as deadly and skilled as IMF. Spreading worldwide terror like industrial accidents, disappearance of jetliners and assassination of world leaders, the Syndicate is also after the tails of IMF.

    The wild card in the hunt game is Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), a skilled and compassionate British intelligence agent.  Neither an ally nor an enemy, she knows how to possibly bring down the Syndicate. With Brandt slipping out of Langley and recruiting former agent Luther Strickwell (Ving Rhames), Hunt, Dunn and Ferguson find themselves in the streets and facilities of Morocco and London, chasing after Lane and playing his intricate mouse-and-cat game.

    Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation has all the ingredients of a highly-engaging and breathtaking action film.  It has hard-working and eye-pleasing good guys against some silent and loathsome baddies. It has attractive locations, pounding score, awesome gadgets and high-tech explosives. But the best thing about the film is its action set pieces. Relying deeply on action sequences, the film is precise, tidy and serious when it comes to stunts and movements. There is a perfect mix of actual physical works and digital enhancement that action sequences are tight, fast-paced, insane and intensely believable. The opening salvo, Ethan’s dive into a highly-pressurized underwater chamber, and the motorcycle chase in Moroccan lanes are some of these notable scenes.

    The film does not simply rest on its hard-boiled actions. It has plenty of twists and turns that spice up the already pleasant viewing experience. While its comical moments are unintentional but otherwise cool and witty, the romantic flares between agents Hunt and Faust are captivating and intriguing. They may be the wild types as their encounters come at such taut and violent moments. With its sharply-written script, the film is able to achieve complexity and yet remain consistent and cohesive. It has continued the story from its predecessors but can still stand on its own. With Hunt calling all odds to rescue the people he cares for, the movie have more tender moments and deeper dramatic connection that the previous films in the anthology. In effect, it gives a sense of liberation, rebirth and anticipation to future MI features.

    Undeniably, Cruise remains a bankable and consummate action star. His recent films like Jack Reacher, Edge of Tomorrow (both films involved McQuarrie), and Oblivion may not be a great addition to his resume but the present film certainly moves him back to the A-list tracks. At 53, Cruise is all sinewy and skilful. Unlike his counterparts in “Die Hard” and “Terminator” who appears to have past their prime, he proves he still has the guns to pull a successful action film. Performing the stunts himself is already unbelievable, but doing them with no hint of conceit or self-consciousness is immensely exemplary. All thumbs up for Cruise.

    While slow-talking Baldwin is a welcome punch to this film, Harris has a subtle evilness as the Syndicate leader who confuses mass murder with salvation. Renner remains refreshing and Pegg is indispensable, providing comic relief and drama with his matchless courage and friendship. Newcomer smoky-eyed Ferguson, a Swedish actress, puts a strong female presence to the series. She is legit and admirable as the ass-kicking agent Faust. 

    Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is an inarguably brilliant film in the franchise. All elements work well in bringing a solid and fast-paced action thriller with tinge of comedy, romance and drama. For Cruise, the film cements his stature as one of Hollywood’s best action stars.


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