Big Screen :: Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

August 13th 2015

fbi tom cruise mission impossible

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation features more of Tom Cruise doing crazy shit and running really fast, and let’s face it — that’s what we really come to see these movies for.

Last time, he hung off the tallest building in the world and outran a ginormous dust storm and an exploding Kremlin. This time, he hangs off the side of a plane as it takes off and outruns Alec Baldwin, which is not as impressive, but then I guess he is getting old. Alec Baldwin is trying to dismantle the Impossible Mission Force in this movie which, to be fair to him, doesn’t seem like such a bad idea because apart from Tom Cruise and his buds their ranks are just riddled with traitors and turncoats and their force has been compromised and/or dissolved in every film in the series. Plus, they have a super dumb name.

I can’t remember the last time I saw one of these super spies actually go on a mission with the full knowledge and support of whoever they work for.

James Bond, Ethan Hunt and Jason Bourne are always going rogue and disobeying orders, to the extent that it’s like some screenwriting disease infecting spy movies. Anyway, what was I talking about? Ah, right, Rogue Nation, in which Tom Cruise goes rogue and tries to capture some bad guys. I honestly forget what these bad guys were trying to do, but I do know that they were not a rogue nation in the North Korean sense. They were just a bunch of ex-spies who’d become mercenaries. Someone must have just liked the title, but it doesn’t make any sense.

Then again, these movies are really all about action set pieces anyway, and this one totally delivers on that. There are some great stunts and chases, if that’s your thing.

fbi radio rebecca ferguson mission impossible

I can’t emphasise enough how much of a difference it makes when these stunts are actually staged and performed as opposed to generated by a computer.

I greatly enjoy the scarily intense way Tom Cruise approaches these movies, and applaud him for hanging off of different crazy shit for our amusement. The big surprise here is Rebecca Ferguson who is arguably the lead of the movie and gets to play an actual character with complex motivations. She plays a British spy deep undercover and her loyalties are always in question, and it worked really well. I bet we’ll be seeing much more of her in future. To my great relief she is not also saddled with the terrible burden of trying to be Tom Cruise’s love interest, since that is something very few actresses have ever been able to pull off.

Now, to the series’ credit the Mission: Impossible movies always hire a different and talented director. Not all of them work, but they’re usually interesting enough and the films genuinely reflect someone’s vision. This time around it’s Chris McQuarrie, who wrote The Usual Suspects plus a bunch of other stuff and is now transitioning into directing action movies. I thought he did a pretty good job.

I’m a sucker for spy movies and I thought this one was pretty good, so if this sort of thing is up your alley you might want to give it a look.


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Sam Clark is FBi’s answer to Margaret & David. Check out his Big Screen reviews.

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