With the wild critical and commercial success of ‘Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol’, a sequel was sure to arrive. The sequel that we received is “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation”.
Our hero, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) has once again foiled an evil plan. His goal is to prove the existence of an evil organization known as The Syndicate. The CIA doesn’t believe that it exists. In fact, CIA Director Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) is able to have IMF (Impossible Mission Force) dissolved due to their highly destructive methods. This doesn’t stop Ethan and his crew as they seek to get to the bottom of what is going on, starting with a suspicious woman named Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) who helped him to escape an earlier situation.
Each of the preceding “MI” movies had a distinct feel: 1 – an overly complex spy thriller, 2 – an over-the-top action extravaganza 3 – a competent but forgettable action film 4 – a rejuvenated and bold entry that may have been the best yet. This one is hard to give an identity to. “Ghost Protocol” succeeded partly because of the focused and relatively limited scope of the action. This is back to globe-trekking and avoiding villains and the CIA, both of whom want to stop the IMP. That’s not a bad thing but now the franchise is shifting back toward echoing the James bond films.
There is a very exciting opera scene involving a fight between Ethan and a huge goon on scaffolding above a performance. Despite the people falling from great heights, people being shot, lights being shot out and flared up and all of that, nothing seems to phase the performers below until…it does. A clarinet is even fired. It all leads to a rooftop escape in which not a single person in the throng below notices two people haphazardly rappelling down a building.
The ending is a bit unsatisfying. There is some action and some chases at play but it all wraps up abruptly and without the kind of payoff you would expect. This seems like a rushed rewrite.
Speaking of the James Bond entries, Ethan Hunt is basically an omniscient and omnipotent super-agent at this point. He does display moments of mortality, but the ability to operate any vehicle, machine, computer, outfight and mimic the voice of anyone is a very convenient way to always keep the action moving and our hero alive.
Cruise is fine. He has this character down, that’s not a question and his stunt work is exceptional. Pegg is very involved this time around and Ferguson is the real revelation here as her slightly complicated character has more dimensions than anyone else here. Renner doesn’t really get his hands dirty and Baldwin’s CIA director is fairly predictable as the disapproving authority figure. Ving Rhames is literally given next to nothing to do.
Special features include: a few previews.
“Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation” doesn’t recapture the magic of the previous installment, but it generally continues some of the same quality, for stretches. Perhaps next time a slightly tighter story will be utilized. If so, this would surely make the viewing experience that much more enjoyable and back to the quality this franchise has shown to be able to achieve.
Rated PG-13 131 minutes 2016