Mission Impossible: Rogue Movie

mission12Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015) is different from the James Bond movies, but it is surprisingly good when delivering genre standards.  This movie is not James Bond.  It doesn’t have enough style to be James Bond.  The good things I liked about it are the action, the witty dialogue, the fights, and the interesting locations.  The bad things are small in comparison.

mission14Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt is on his game, and he’s just about the same guy for the entire length of the movie.  No wife.  No personal vendetta.  No past coming back to haunt him.  I believed every single stunt in the movie and Cruise delivers on all of them.  None of them looked bad.  On the negative side, there wasn’t any tension.  Tom Cruise didn’t seem in danger at any point, even when he lapsed into unconsciousness.  The original Mission Impossible had a slower burn during the impossible missions, and Mission Impossible III had a better villain.  However, Rogue Nation is more contemporary and I like the plot a lot more than the rest of the series.

mission10I’ll admit the plot to Rogue Nation is simple, but it has elements of terrorism and corrupt government, which are contemporary.  The government investigation into the spies doing their dirty work is not as heavy-handed as in Skyfall (2012), and Ethan Hunt works outside the law himself for most of the movie, a plot point which worked very well in the original Mission Impossible.  Alec Baldwin is there to represent the government side, because somebody needs to chase after Ethan.  Baldwin does a good job, and he isn’t a stereotype for very long.

There’s no doubt Rogue Nation takes a lot of things from earlier outings and delivers them again, but just slightly different.  The classic theme song is back, which I love.  The Mission Impossible “briefing” which self-destructs in five seconds is back, but with a twist.  Ethan gets captured again, so that’s back too.  In fact, Ethan takes quite a beating in this movie, and it stretches believability to the extreme.  In one scene, his care flips over four times.  It is a crumpled mess.  He’s fine though.  Ethan walks away.  He had his seatbelt on, so he’s good.

mission13Rogue Nation has other action staples, but starts to embody its title as it mischievously deviates from the James Bond formula.  It has a car chase, but it also has a motorcycle chase too.  I like both, and the camerawork is good during these parts.  It has exotic locations like Morocco and it has an underdeveloped villain, who would probably twirl his moustache if he had one.  On the negative side, Ethan Hunt is now less of a two-dimensional character than the recent Daniel Craig version of James Bond.  Where did Ethan’s wife go?  Is he still retired?  He is still training new agents?  Who knows.  The movie tries to distract us from character development with wall to wall action.

In the end, Rogue Nation works well as a summer  popcorn movie.  There’s really not much to complain about in this one, because it’s pretty fun.  On the other hand, I think it lacked something that might have made it really memorable, but I’m not sure what that could be.  It’s just so simplified, it feels like the plot is tailor-made for a summertime audience.  I think the best part of the movie is Simon Pegg and he gets a lot of screen time, so that’s good.  His dialogue and contributions don’t feel hammy or thrown in for comedy relief.  Pegg feels like a solid leader of the movie, this time around, instead of just a sidekick.  This takes a little pressure of Tom Cruise, who survives punches, kicks, blows to the head, and car accidents to bring us entertainment.

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