johnlink ranks MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION (2015)

Like every summer, it sure feels like most every movie is a franchise sequel or prequel or off shoot. I should (and have) railed against the lack of originality in the cinema these days. But, know what? I really did want to see this MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE movie because, with the exception of the second one, these have all been really fun movies.

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I watched MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION (2015) on 8.3.15. It was my first viewing of the film.

Tom Cruise may be an odd human being. In fact, he is a bit of an odd human being. The wonderful sports/entertainment site Grantland recently did a whole series on him, and the most fascinating article was about how he came to be involved in TROPIC THUNDER. Suffice it to say, most stars don’t get such an extensive article written about how they came to be in an above-average comedy in which they stole every scene.

The MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE series is Cruise’s binky. Since the first one was released he has made another one every 4 to 6 years for a neat average of an M:I movie every fifth year. To watch these films is to watch a bit of mini Hollywood history from the mid 90s to present day. We had the excellently crafted – but perhaps too eccentric – first film (which may still be my favorite), the excess of the second film, the return to glory in the mid 90s in an under appreciated blockbuster in an oversaturated market, a ridiculously good fourth film from an unexpected filmmaker (Pixar’s Brad Bird), and then this fifth MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE entry.

Like so many other summer films of 2015, ROGUE NATION is fine entertainment without a huge need to exist. This is a film which hits all of its beats and adds some lore to the franchise. But like the JURASSIC WORLD and TERMINATOR films released earlier in the summer, the series would have been just fine without it.

I feel like I type this in too many articles these days, and I’ll do it anyway: But, with a film like MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION, it is all about entertainment so the substance doesn’t really matter.

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In this story Ethan (Cruise) and his team (Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, and Ving Rhames) are once again disavowed and acting in secret. The villainous Lane (Sean Harris) is collecting or killing master agents in the hopes of creating his own… something. Sometimes it’s not clear why he is so angry and villainous. We just know he is.

This is a film written with some solid humor and action sequences which are then executed by writer/director Christopher McQuarrie (who – sorry – I will never think of as anything but the guy who wrote THE USUAL SUSPECTS). This MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE shows Cruise’s age and has in jokes about his height and invincibility complex. But for all the awesome stuff, there are some real eye-roll moments such as Ethan surviving a roll of a car a dozen times and getting out to ride a motorcycle which he then bails off of at 100 miles per hour and emerges form unscathed (which is odd, because later jumping out of a first story window gives him a severe limp). But that chase is truly cool even as it dips into excess. That’s the nature of this film: It is so big and bold that it can be forgiven some of its absurdities.

I was glad to see that the female-way-too-young-for-Cruise (Rebecca Ferguson) was expertly utilized. She holds her own as an actress, as an action star, and as a sexy eye-catcher. It is interesting that she comes on to Ethan a bit, and Cruise always plays these moments as if he feels more like a father figure. I just hope her addition will be carrie don to the next inevitable movie in this series (sure to hit some time between 2019 and 2021). I went into this thinking she would be a generic female plot device, and came away very impressed with both how her role was written and with how it was pulled off.

So, overall, I liked this film, I love this series, and bring on number six.

SCORES

FILM: 6; MOVIE: 8; ACTING: 7; WRITING: 6

6+8+6+7+0=27

FINAL SCORE: 6.75 out of 10

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~ by johnlink00 on August 5, 2015.

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