Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

Year: 2015
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Starring: Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner
Written by Mark Blakeway

In the midst of moving house, I have taken all 250+ of my watched DVDs home, and decided to loan out all my rather left-field, unwatched foreign DVDs to a friend and head back into the mainstream. What better place to start than with Tom Cruise and the franchise that keeps on soldiering on with it’s latest installment – ‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’.

My expectation heading into this film was for something completely and utterly mindless, filled with double-crosses, stunts and nonsense. Above all else, it had to possess the slightest elements of realism, but be so ridiculous that every scene becomes an internal struggle between laughing and genuine awe. With the audible disappointment of James Bond doing the rounds at work, and the last Bourne installment failing to live up to expectations, I can safely say that ‘Mission Impossible’ has successfully stepped in to fill this void.

Cruise smashes throughout this film in an unbelievable combination of fighting, driving, motorbike riding, plane dangling, gunfights, deep water diving, and, well, more fighting. These stunts are made even more impressive by the fact that he insists on doing many, if not all, of his own stunts at the grand age of 53. Tom is anything but showing his age in this film, and from the opening scene alone I felt a huge sense of relief, familiarity and resounding trust in this series of films I have grown up enjoying.

Cruise stars once again as Ethan Hunt, the typical renegade top-secret spy guy who does things his way by any means necessary, while causing cataclysmic damage along the way. We travel across the globe, including London, Minsk and a strangely empty Casablanca, breaking faces and escaping from bad guys, all the while flaunting an infinite array of gadgets and abs. It’s within this film, that the past finally catches up to Hunt, as a surly Alec Baldwin heads the CIA’s attempts to shut down their super-secret spy organisation and issues a warrant for Mr. Hunt.

Despite being hunted, Hunt being Hunt has his own agenda and is also on the hunt for “The Syndicate” (that’s a lot of hunting); a rival super-secret organisation that is responsible for everything bad in the world. This entertaining game of cat and mouse naturally escalates to outright insanity, as it usually does in the world of ‘Mission: Impossible’. Meanwhile, Hunt forges a questionable allegiance with the excellent Rebecca Ferguson, playing a double-double agent, of whom we have absolutely no idea what side she is on for the entire film…. and it’s brilliant.

It isn’t all a smash-and-grab job, and between the action sequences there are some great, tension building scenes as the team do their spy schtick in public places, along with the help of lovable computer nerd Benji (Simon Pegg), who is responsible for hacking and comic relief. Similarly, appearances from Jeremy Renner and Ving Rhames help prop up the platform for Cruise and Ferguson to stand on.

It is every bit as ridiculous and nonsensical as I had hoped for, and it showed no signs of slowing down right until the end. I’m excited to see what else this franchise can produce next, as it has gone from strength to strength over the years, and despite fierce competition out there in Hollywood, still shows that it is a key player in the action movie genre. Benefiting from a great cast – including arguably Cruise’s best performance of the MI franchise – and some immensely impressive action sequences, the completely irrational plot and not very villainous villain can be totally overlooked.

Those looking for a break from the bleak world of today, one where the good guys actually stand a chance of winning, look no further than ‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’.

Mark’s rating: 8.1 out of 10