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Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation Review

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation is the fifth action spy sequel in the Mission Impossible franchise starring Tom Cruise.  It’s an outstanding follow up to the previous movie, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.

Ethan Hunt and the Impossible Mission Force gang are back to save the world from some secret anti-IMF organization called “The Syndicate,” but this time they’re disavowed. (“Again?” Yes, I know, but it’s, like, for a different reason or whatever.) To make matters worse, they’re being hunted by both the CIA and The Syndicate.  Ethan is hellbent on proving the existence of this super secret conglomeration, and stopping it from acquiring billions of dollars — money that would bankroll future diabolical plans for decades. It’s a super-spy thriller filled with high stakes, hi-tech gadgetry, and most importantly (something that makes this fourth sequel refreshing) a real sense of provocative mystery I haven’t seen in any MI movie in a while.
First and foremost: Tom Cruise does his own stunts. There’s a scene that shows off his handsome aging face while he’s holding onto dear life from a speeding cargo plane. The shot stays with him long enough to get the point across. Tom Cruise is crazy as all of the nine circles of Hell.

That’s terrifyingly entertaining to watch.  Also, he’s in great shape.  I’m convinced that there’s a mandatory no-shirt clause in his MI movie contracts, because there’s a scene that shows off his rippling 1950s old man abs.  He pulls off some type of inverted thrust crunches while tied to a torture pole — it’s all very physical and amazing. It really does make me want to hit the gym, and lose like a hundred pounds.  Anyway, the big action set pieces are intense, but the most notable one, in my humble opinion, is the motorcycle/car chase. It’s a standout scene. Some of the shots are in first-person perspective, making them very edge-of-your-seat intense, especially when they’re weaving through claustrophobic traffic (watching it in IMAX made it even better).
11266619_10153122819937730_9045367438836263730_oThe supremacy of the secret organization in this movie is apparent from the get-go. They always seem to be one step ahead, and the inclusion of the double triple agent, Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), added to the mystique of the organization.  This gives Rogue Nation a plot that kept me guessing, kept me involved, and very invested — all qualities of a good movie. These factors make Rogue Nation a spy thriller worth watching, and I found it way more dramatic than some of its predecessors; I realized that during some scenes between Tom Cruise and Simon Pegg (who’s hilarious).  Pegg plays Benji Dunn, a hacker-type field agent of the IMF, and he and his IMF squadmates continually bump heads with Ethan as things escalate. Their scenes together balanced out this action movie in more ways than one. They provided both comic relief and some unexpected character development, more so for Pegg’s character than Cruise’s. There was the added treat of Alec Baldwin, who plays Alan Hunley, the CIA director, and he delivers his trademark (and entertaining) 30 Rock gruff and smoky voice.  There are few franchises that are able to keep things fresh after passing the trilogy mark, and fortunately, Rogue Nation is one of them.
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation doesn’t suffer from franchise exhaustion. It rediscovers and utilizes the best qualities of its predecessors to create a refreshing film that gives old and new fans something worth watching. This might not be the top action film of the year (eh hem, Mad Max: Fury Road), but it certainly is one of the best movies in its franchise, and a definitive summer blockbuster.  Rogue Nation is praiseworthy, and a great excuse to get back in the movie theater before the summer’s over.
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation photos courtesy of moviepilot.com, facebook.com
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