You see. The thing about action movies is that, some directors tend to forget that the execution of the action sequences is of utmost importance. When you know too damn well what the film is going to be about, the plot and the characters’ development don’t really matter anymore, despite how crucial they are. Some unexpected plot twists may surprise you, but a great action movie is born when the director throws in stunning car chases, shootouts, explosions, action heroes, and death-defying stunts into the mix.
Director Christopher McQuarrie has taken every crucial action movie element into account for “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation”, making his recent directing stint worthwhile to watch. Without going over-the-top, the 5th instalment of the espionage film series is possibly the best “Mission Impossible” film to date.
The movie reunited McQuarrie with Hollywood A-lister Tom Cruise as they previously worked together on 2012’s “Jack Reacher”. Cruise returned to the famed franchise to reprise his role as Ethan Hunt, an Impossible Missions Force (IMF) agent who finds himself doing yet another blisteringly impossible mission in the 5th film.
The plot mainly revolves around Hunt, who has to take down a mysterious “anti-IMF” group of super terrorists by himself after the CIA disbanded the IMF. Nicknamed “the Syndicate”, the rogue nation was believed to be a myth and based pure out of Hunt’s imagination. However, Hunt discovers that not only it is real, it is also responsible for some of the terrorist attacks that had happened in the past. The group, which has been hiding in the shadow for years, is constantly growing as it recruits a group of exquisitely-trained renegade spies from every country for an agenda that will cause mayhem in the world.
While trying to track the mysterious group down, Hunt enlists the help of his accomplices Benji (played by Simon Pegg), William Brandt (played by Jeremy Renner), and Luther Stickell (played by Ving Rhames) so that the CIA will not be able to capture him.
The opening sequence certainly helped setting the tone of the movie because what follows after is just a slew of jaw-dropping action sequences that had us sitting on the edge of our seats. Cruise once again proved that he has not lost his charm as he does most of the dangerous stunts for his role as the daredevil Ethan Hunt. From dangling on the outside of a military aircraft to holding his breath underwater for a long time, Cruise went to every extreme to counter the greatest dangers his character faced in the film.
The rest of the cast members delivered groundbreaking performances through their respective roles in the movie as well. While it’s not surprising, Sean Harris definitely nailed his role as Solomon Lane, the viscious leader of the Syndicate. He delineates a mysterious villain, whose identity is so secretive that we only caught glimpses of him in the first half of “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation”.
The movie also introduced us to Ilsa Faust, a British spy played by Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson. The dramatic soundtrack wasn’t the only thing that elevated the intensity of the film as Ferguson’s mysterious role has also kept us in suspense. Is she an ally or an enemy? That’s for you to find out as the movie progresses.
Also joining the film anew is 3-time Golden Globe winner Alec Baldwin, who portrays the CIA Director Alan Hunley. Though he only plays a supporting role, his interactions with Renner and Cruise are pretty memorable, especially when Renner delivers hilarious one-liners.
If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from watching all the action movies this year, it’s that some directors are no longer afraid of injecting comedic elements in their films. While it’s not filled with an abundance of jokes, the audiences including myself can’t stop chuckling at some scenes that featured surprising one-liners.
Pegg constantly provides some laughs through his role as tech-genius Benji, whose wit sometimes saves himself from danger. It’s a thoughtful addition to the movie so that the viewers won’t be bombarded with high-octane action sequences only.
Even without the presence of blood and guts, the movie succeeded in mapping out some carefully orchestrated action sequences, especially during a performance of Puccini’s “Turandot” where a total of 3 assassins lurked in the opera house wings. The car chasing scenes that took place in Morocco further ensured that the film revels in quality instead of quantity.
Without giving it away, we’d say “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation” has a rather ambitious ending, leaving some clues that there are more stories to be told in its sequel(s). And boy, am I glad that the trailer did not give away too much away. The editing and the overall cinematography are splendid as not a single moment was ruined by a bad cut.
We certainly hope that such qualities will continue to prevail in the future instalments of this franchise.
“Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation” is out in a cinema near you now!
For more information, visit the movie’s official website.