So I watched Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation…
I walked into this movie expecting a lot. Mission Impossible III was amazing and I LOVE Ghost Protocol so I was expecting this movie to blow me away in the same fashion as its predecessors. Unfortunately, this movie doesn’t quite live up to the standard set by its two older brothers.
Okay, basic plot: Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is back and for the umpteenth time he and The IMF have been disavowed. Ethan must now go rogue and act as an independent agent to not only protect the world from the growing threat of a secret organisation known as The Syndicate; but also to clear his own name. Plot sounds pretty interesting, doesn’t it? I think I liked it most when it was the plot of the first Mission Impossible movie and then Mission Impossible III and then Ghost Protocol. Seriously, this series has had five different directors but only one plot? I guess if it isn’t broken…*cue theme music*
Rogue Nation reminded me a lot of Fast & Furious 7, in that, there are a plethora of beautifully executed action and stunt sequences but the link between these pieces of action and the plot feel forced. It feels like the action sequences were shoehorned into the story instead of being created by it and, while they are wonderful to watch, they don’t feel organic. There are also, at times, large gaps between the action and the story in these moments is…well…boring. There’s a slickness and varnished quality lacking in the plot of this movie that’s been present in previous iterations. The stakes feel incredibly low because no. 1. you know Ethan is going to get through this and 2. because the challenge he’s facing is a bit too vague.
Ethan’s chasing down The Syndicate – a criminal consortium whose members have all the skills and training of The IMF and are, in fact, an ”Anti-IMF”; but there’s no immediate threat. There are no bombs that are counting down or missiles that need to be stopped so there’s no sense of urgency so the hunt for The Syndicate feels a bit pointless.The head of The Syndicate is played by Sean Harris and he does a wonderful job. He’s a composed and meticulous villain who challenged Ethan in ways we haven’t seen before and I would have loved to see more of this cat-and-mouse chase between them but the movie chooses to place its focus in other, less entertaining areas.
That being said, this movie still has incredibly entertaining moments. The action in this movie is such a step up from the action in the previous movie and when you think that Tom Cruise actually performed all of these stunts, it becomes even more impressive. The majority of it is real. Cruise is really hanging off the side of the plane, he’s really holding his breath for several minutes underwater. This authenticity adds something to the action that no amount of CGI will ever be able to create. CGI has become more advanced than ever but your brain can always tell the difference. Seeing something and knowing it’s real heightens the intensity and enjoyment of the scene. I’m not saying this movie has no CGI in it but moments were real shots could be used, they were used; and I have to tip my hat to Tom Cruise for the commitment and devotion he shows to our entertainment.
This movie is also really funny and a large part of this is due to Simon Pegg once again been handed a more prominent role in the story. Jeremy Renner and Ving Rhames also have some moments of great comedy between them and while I enjoyed laughing at Renner’s constant one-liners, I was hoping to see him kick some ass in this movie. We got a glimpse of his ability in Ghost Protocol and I was hoping to see this extended but alas, funny Renner will have to do.
Overall, this movie isn’t bad, it’s just wasted potential. The plot often lacks focus and this leads to action sequences that feel out of place and the whole movie lacks cohesion. Worth a watch at a cinema just because the scale of the action demands a big screen 6/10