Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Review: "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation" a Nation onto Itself

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 8 (of 2016) by Leroy Douresseaux

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)
Running time: 131 minutes (2 hours, 11 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for sequences of action and violence, and brief partial nudity
DIRECTOR:  Christopher McQuarrie
WRITERS:  Christopher McQuarrie; from a story by Christopher McQuarrie and Drew Pearce (based upon the television series created by Bruce Geller)
PRODUCERS: Tom Cruise, J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, David Ellison, and Don Granger
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Robert Elswit (D.o.P.)
EDITOR: Eddie Hamilton
COMPOSER: Joe Kraemer


Starring: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Alec Baldwin, Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris, Simon McBurney, Jen Hultén, Hermoine Corfield, and Nigel Barber

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is a 2015 action-thriller and espionage film directed by Christopher McQuarrie and starring Tom Cruise.  It is the fifth film in the Mission: Impossible film franchise, which is based on the American television series, “Mission: Impossible,” that was created by Bruce Geller and that originally aired on CBS from 1966 to 1973.

Rogue Nation finds the Impossible Mission Force (IMF) taking on their most impossible mission yet, defeating an international rogue organization that is every bit as highly skilled as IMF.  A little over three year ago, I called Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol the best M:I film since the first one, 1996's Mission: Impossible.  Now, I think Rogue Nation is the best since the first film.

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation opens in Belarus.  Agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is on a mission with his IMF team – technical field agent, Benjamin “Benji” Dunn (Simon Pegg) and IMF agent Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames).  They have to intercept a shipment of VX nerve gas aboard an airplane before it is flown away to be sold to terrorists.

Later, CIA Director Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) and IMF Field Operations Director William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) testify before a U.S. Senate committee.  The IMF is currently without a secretary in charge, but Hunley believes that the Senate should not appoint new secretary.  He believes that the IMF is dangerous and destructive and that any successes its agents have are the result of luck.  Hunley wants the IMF disbanded and absorbed into the CIA.

Ethan Hunt has been trying to prove the existence of the Syndicate, an international criminal consortium.  He believes that the Syndicate is both the equal and the opposite of the IMF.  It is an anti-IMF that acts as a “rogue nation,” committing acts of terror and assassination.  Hunley believes that the Syndicate is a figment of Hunt's imagination and sends CIA agents and assets to capture Hunt.  Hunt believes that a mysterious operative, Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), is the person who can lead him to the Syndicate and its formidable leader, the mysterious Solomon Lane (Sean Harris).

I always want to be honest with you, dear readers, even when I'm being a fanboy who really loves a movie in spite of its faults.  I absolutely love Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, and I think that it is a genuinely good movie.  I don't know if it is possible that any other filmmakers could do a better job than director Christopher McQuarrie and film editor Eddie Hamilton did with Rogue Nation.  Maybe James Cameron could?

I think it is preposterous that this movie is so entertaining.  The action is so bracing and invigorating.  The ebb and flow of the thrills could cause you to ask for a cigarette after seeing this movie.  Rogue Nation is a way more entertaining action movie than Jurassic World, which made three times as much money at the box office as Rogue Nation did.  I kinda have to admit that I enjoyed watching Rogue Nation more than I did watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens three nights ago.  It hurts me to write this, cause I love me some Star Wars, but...

Seriously, Tom Cruise is as glorious as ever as Ethan Hunt.  This time, however, the mix of quality supporting cast as IMF agents and as allies, adversaries, and people somewhere in the middle is just right – like a stew or soup with that almost-perfect blend of ingredients, preparation, and cooking.  Yes, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is a golden gumbo of flavorful characters, settings, plot, and execution.  I plan on experiencing this cinematic dish many, many more times.

9 of 10

Friday, December 25, 2015

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