REVIEW: Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation

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Watched Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation a few weeks ago. Always had a fondness for the spy-fi series that Tom Cruise resurrected in 1996. I’ve seen 4 of the five movies now. And each one keeps getting better than the last, a rare feat in this cinematic world of of sequels and reboots.

So what’s the good word on MI5?

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SYNOPSIS:
We have no solid idea how much time has passed since Ghost Protocol. All we do know is that Ethan Hunt is on the hunt (pun intended) for The Syndicate since someone dropped him a tip about the group at the end of MI4. The Syndicate is basically an Anti-IMF, a group of spies from various nations all either disavowed or declared killed in action. Their leader has alwaays been one step ahead of Ethan, and has finally decided to take the fight to Hunt.

At the same time, the IMF has once again come under massive government scrutiny led by over-ambitious CIA Director Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin), who aims and succeeds in absorbing the IMF into the CIA. Now his next target is to bring Ethan Hunt to justice, dead or alive.

Ethan however, runs into the mysterious disgraced British spy Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), who helps him escape from the Syndicate’s clutches. The rest of the film is a breakneck chase from Washington D.C. to Vienna to Casablanca to London as Ethan and the remaining IMF try to stop The Syndicate from leveling the world as we know it.

I’m interested. But how was it?

REVIEW:
I love it when a film knows exactly what it is and embraces that genre. This is the case in MI5. Ever since MI3, which was extremely underrated, each film has gotten better and better.

MI5 didn’t feature the slick and imaginative directing of the fourth film, Ghost Protocol. However, it offers big action sequences, back and forth humor, a true antagonistic match for Ethan Hunt as well as all the fun edge of your seat spy shenanigans you’ve come to expect from these films.

The opening scene where Ethan is finding out his mission was done in a rather clever twist never before seen in Mission Impossible films. And say what you want about Tom Cruise, but the man gives 150% in every film he’s in. This one is no exception, with Cruise doing probably 90% of his own stunts. There was more humor for him to chew on, including a fight scene against a much bigger adversary that highlighted his shortness to great comedic effect.

The cast has a rather great chemistry, even Alec Baldwin, despite being an antagonistic force out to destroy the IMF, though Ethan gets most of the cool action and fight scenes, natch.

Jeremy Renner didn’t get as much to do this time out, playing more of a support role for Ethan than a more active heir apparent to the Mission Impossible franchise. Same can be said about Ving Rhames. However, Simon Pegg’s Benji gets to be on the field on this MI outing and not just as the comedic relief.

Solomon Lane, the leader of the Syndicate, is not interested in world domination or controlling some rare and valuable resource. Lane simply got sick of fighting to keep things the same. He wanted to tear down the old world order so that change actually occurred. Despite how good the film was, I really wish this philosophy got explored a bit more. This leads me to the other newbie in the film.

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Ilsa Faust was a great addition to the MI universe. She’s bold, complicated, resourceful, can go toe-to-toe with the men and provides a helpful ally to Ethan more than once in the film. I love the fact that her character is more than just a mysterious agent who can’t be trusted. Essentially, Faust is serving several agendas; the Syndicate, MI6, Ethan’s and her own. It makes her a fascinating character to watch. There was even this great scene where she uses that age old ‘spy vanishes in the crowd’ trick to escape Ethan’s allies. But how it was done in this movie came across very realistic and awesome. I could totally watch Faust in a spin-off film series.

All in all, I would wholeheartedly recommend this film to anyone looking for a fun action-packed summer spy flick. Can’t wait until the next Mission Impossible film.

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