Film Review: Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
In July 2015, Christopher McQuarrie released the fifth installment in the Mission: Impossible series, titled Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, based on the television series of the same name. Starring Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris, Alec Baldwin, Jens Hulten, Simon McBurney and America Olivo, the film has grossed $379.7 million at the box office as of August 19. There has also been a sixth greenlit sequel, which Cruise said he would return for which was confirmed by Paramount.
Following the disastrous events of Ghost Protocol, CIA director Alan Hunley convinces the United States Senate that the IMF is a public threat and forces them to disband. In the field, Ethan Hunt must go rogue and shake the CIA while proving the existence of an organization of assassins and criminals known as The Syndicate.
A well-made film, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is a great addition into the franchise and very good as a sequel. The film, staying true its name, contains some impossibly crazy plots employed by both Hunt’s side and The Syndicate, colliding into a cohesive and well-done action film. And part of what makes them crazy is that it shows how Lane and Ethan aren’t so different in preparing complicated plans that center on them knowing the other will do just what’s expected. For the former, he decides to keep Ethan alive following his witness of the murdering of an IMF agent because he’s done his homework and knows that Ethan will make it personal. And doing so will allow Lane to manipulate him into doing anything he wants him to do. Lane expects Ethan to make things personal because he’s been following him and knows about the events of the third film where Ethan’s protégé, who was disguised as his wife, was killed in front of him, causing Ethan to come out of retirement and exact revenge.
As for Ethan, he’s well aware that Lane will want the funds in the data drive that he won’t risk losing it when Ethan shows him that only he can give him access due to him wiping it all. Ethan knows Lane really wants him and the money, which allows Ethan to manipulate and set a trap for Lane.
Said trap is also worth noting as it’s a long foot chase through the streets of London where Lane is convinced he’s just trying to kill Ethan and instead, Ethan is luring him into a bulletproof cell where he’s gassed and turned over to the police. But what’s more is that Lane is the first major villain in the series to be taken in alive. And the way the film portrays how Lane feels about his capture is near perfect: him continually shooting the bulletproof glass, convinced he can get through while the main theme blares away on trumpets triumphantly.
But in playing out all these plots, there’s quite a bit of impressive stunt work combined with practical effects. With it being so well known that Cruise does his own stunts, seeing all the things that Ethan does attests to how seriously the man takes his work. And all this is seen in the very first scene of the film where Ethan is holding onto the door of a military airplane commencing takeoff. However, that’s not CGI at all and Cruise was really clinging to the side of a plane as it took off, with the only computer generated effects being the digital removal of a harness he was strapped into. What’s more is that it was the beginning of the film, which set the tone for just what kind of action and impressive work that would be following for the rest of the film. A notable example is the scene where Ethan is making it so that Benji can bypass security measures and has to hold his breath underwater. Said sequence is an unbroken six minutes where Cruise actually did hold his breath for all of it. It’s quite possible that the man isn’t human.
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