Friday, July 31, 2015

Review: Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015)

                      A 'Mission' I Would Happily Accept
      It's very refreshing to see that, in a year of great spy movies that have reinvented the genre, we still have one that retains the traditional tropes without it seeming too dated like a self-destructing device that constantly explodes and rebuilds itself.

     Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation follows the story of MI6 agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) who finds himself on the run after MI6 has been disavowed. Coupled with his team that includes tech wiz Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), William Brandt (Jeremy Renner), and Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames), they all must confront a new enemy that threatens to target the various world governments.

    Because this includes the typical tropes of a spy movie, like a mysterious villain trying to take over the world as well as a femme fatale thrown in the mix a la James Bond, what doesn't make the formula seem so tired, in my opinion, is how the villain is giving a plausible motive and fleshed out much more than the villain in the previous film. Plus, the female lead character, a rogue agent named Ilsa Faust played by Rebecca Ferguson, isn't displayed as eye candy that accompanies Hunt on his journey or reduced to being a damsel. Faust is very sly, cunning, and offers a well-balanced mix of brains and beauty, proving herself to be an equal to Ethan Hunt. That is thanks in large part to Rebecca Ferguson's performance. This sort of brings me to my next point.

    I really liked the ensemble of actors here. For such a big movie star, Tom Cruise is an absolute pro. Not just because of how he does his own stunts, but he is a true ensemble player that never tries to upstage or battle it out with his co-stars. I also loved Simon Pegg as Benji. He brings such great comedic relief, as well as small moments of humanistic drama, allowing him and Tom Cruise to have such good chemistry on screen While Jeremy Renner and Ving Rhames weren't given much to do, they still did a fine job with what they were given.

    While I loved the film and thought the climax was pretty intense, I still thought the climax was pretty drawn out and kind of dragged the film. The film itself is pretty fast-paced and cuts to the chase pretty early on, but towards the end, it got more slow.

    Overall, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation is a fun traditional popcorn spy flick that incorporates typical tropes without them seeming too tired. I love the action sequences, the ensemble cast, and how game Tom Cruise was, both with his stunt work and his co-stars. If there is one thing that this film and this franchise have proven about Cruise: The man has still got it!

Grade: B+

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