Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
Cert: 12A / 131 mins / Dir. Christopher McQuarrie / Trailer
It's an odd thing, flipping back to the review of the previous M:I movie and realising that I evidently enjoyed it far more than my memory suggests. It was this perceived lukewarm reaction which had led to me being resolutely not-fussed about its successor.
When the Impossible Mission Force is simultaneously shut down by the CIA and compromised by a shadowy collective known as The Syndicate, Ethan Hunt has to regroup his trusted friends to try and discover the truth - if the truth can even be said to exist. Boundaries will be broken, bonds will be tested, cars will be exploded and The Girl One™ will go diving in her vest and pants; yes, it can only be Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation*1!
First things first: the film is a lot of fun. Utterly preposterous fun, but you know that's intentional and it's better for not taking itself too seriously, no matter how many frowns the characters pull. Tom Cruise is on great form playing Tom Cruise™, and is ably assisted by Jeremy Renner, Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg*2 doing likewise (playing themselves, not playing Tom Cruise. That would be weird). Rebecca Ferguson gets a relatively good spin of the wheel (for a film of this genre) as a double/triple agent, and Sean Harris is fantastic as ever but seems to have based his bad-guy persona almost entirely on Mr Lovebucket from Mr. Jolly Lives Next Door.
The film's editing (particularly in the action sequences) is marvellous, and director Christopher McQuarrie gets the cast to work together well. It also feels like Rogue Nation has the most coherent story in the series since John Woo's second installment; quite happy to be a self-contained espionage-thriller that hints obliquely at real-world politics, but is really just a delivery-method for bike chases and hanging off a plane. The film jets around the globe for its set-pieces spending, once again, a significant amount of time in London (although the plot dictates that, to be fair). Oh, and Piccadilly/Soho is never that quiet. Not ever.
Every bit as enjoyable as it is disposable, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation knows what it needs to deliver and has no difficulty in achieving it.
I've stepped in deeper puddles, but that's not the point here ;)
Oh, and I know that people variously refer to USB storage devices as 'memory sticks', 'thumb drives' and 'flash drives', but no-one calls them "disks" apart from old fogeys who don't know how their computers work.
Is that you, Ethan Hunt? Is it? Phoning your children on a Sunday afternoon because you went to 'clear out your cookies' and accidentally uninstalled Windows?
If you like 'em big and loud, it is.
It'll be one to buy, but once it's dropped in price a little.
With the best will in the world, there's really nothing new here on the performance-front.
The film stars Simon 'Dengar in The Clone Wars' Pegg.
*1 Oh, and fair play Paramount. You've made a fifth Mission: Impossible movie whose plot involves the British Secret Service, yet completely resisted the temptation to name the film 'MI:5 - Rogue Nation'. Well done on your restraint, I suppose?
*2 Although as a later-addition to the franchise's ever-expanding cast, whose primary role is to 'bring the humour and bumbling' in a voice different to everyone else's, it's ironic that Simon Pegg is essentially the Jar Jar Binks of the Mission: Impossible movies. Delightful, but ironic. I still like him as a comedic-actor, but I feel that's worth pointing out.
• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
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• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.