Tom’s Cardio – Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)

One for the popcorn lovers.  So the IMF agency has been disgraced and terminated by the CIA.  Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is still in the field.  With no cavalry coming, it’s up to him to take down the shadowy group of people known as the Syndicate, a band of criminals that to this day, has not even been proved to have even existed.  Speaking from a personal standpoint, I am only familiar with the most recent movies in this series.  I missed 3, and I watched 1 and 2 at some point long ago, but I really can’t recall anything as far as specific details go from either of them, except the theme music.  Now you would think that that my lack of familiarity may cause me to view these movies more distantly, but it’s quite the opposite, really.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Ghost Protocol, the fourth film, is one of the best action films of the last 5 years, and I stand by that statement.  So how does Rogue Nation stack up against it?  It’s good, but not as great.

cruiseI do have to give big kudos for Cruise doing the majority of his own stunt-work.

This is still fun, don’t get me wrong.  This is a series that is all about the set piece, and when Rogue Nation is being a straight action movie, that’s when it shines the brightest, keeping you entirely in the moment.  The action is all well thought out and makes sense (for the most part, but I’ll get to that in a bit), but where this installment runs into issues is in the story department.  Rogue Nation pulls of the difficult feat in that it is simple and convoluted at the same time.  They make this so much more complicated than it needs to be, and I would be lying if I said that it didn’t drag the film down as a whole quite a bit.  When it slows down and stops being action-y, you can’t help but notice the number of flaws in the storytelling.

villainThe villains have never been this series’ strong suit, and there is no discernible difference between Sean Harris and Michael Nyqvist.

The fifth Mission: Impossible movie is much less about the team and much more about Tom Cruise, which is unfortunate, because they had just fixed that in Ghost Protocol.  They give Jeremy Renner much less to do, which is also a shame, because the series was primed to have the reigns handed over to him.  The villain is kind of bland, and there are a couple of instances where the suspension of your disbelief is pushed past the limit.  For example, there’s a car crash where all parties should have died, and even if you can blur your eyes and get past that, it is followed by a high speed motorcycle wipe-out where there is barely a scratch on Ethan Hunt.  I know that it seems like I’m being harder on this than I actually ended up feeling about it, but these are things that I couldn’t in my right mind go without mentioning.  If you can overlook all these flaws, there’s enough good featured here to have a fun time, and my rating reflects that.

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015) ***1/2

– Critic for Hire

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