Thursday, July 30, 2015


Tom Cruise     Rebecca Ferguson     Jeremy Renner     Simon Pegg    
Alec Baldwin     Ving Rhames     Sean Harris     Simon McBurney

      With a complex plot and twists and turns, Mission Impossible:  Rogue Nation does indeed appear to be impossible time after time.  As usual in this series, there are suffocating moments when you wonder how on earth (or in the air) they’ll get out of a scrape, and clearly loyal friendships become paramount.  Intrigue is heightened by a central character who keeps you guessing as to where the loyalty lies. 
      In this feature, Ethan Hunt (Cruise) is part of the IMF, a U.S. secret service run by William Brandt (Renner) that is currently being threatened by CIA head Hunley (Baldwin), who believes the Syndicate IMF has been after is a figment of their imagination, particularly Hunt’s.  But because IMF is committed, they go rogue, and Hunt is aided by his old pals William Brandt (Renner), Benji Dunn (Pegg) and Luther Stickell (Rhames). 
      By the way, the movie is filled with humorous puns and references to other Missions, and in this feature, the IMF is not the only entity going rogue.  The frequent jokes and asides make the viewing fun, and offset the repeated high-wire acts (e.g., in an opera house during a performance of Puccini’s Turandot) and near escapes from fights, chases, and under-water challenges. 
      I think writer (with Drew Pearce) and director Christopher McQuarrie have successfully extended the franchise one more time, with intellectual complexity, political maneuverings, and derring-do.  The camera work of a master, Robert Elswit, increases the quality.
      Tom Cruise does his usual fine job in portraying an almost superhuman character whose hunches are infallible.  Adding an appealing, more naïve but still smart sidekick like Pegg adds another entertaining dimension.  A stunning addition is Ferguson’s Ilsa, a beautiful, intelligent, and forceful counterpart to Hunt, where there is chemistry mixed with refreshing ambiguity. 
      It’s impressive that this fifth version of the Mission Impossible series remains fresh and captivating after so many years.  McQuarrie has achieved just the right balance in all its entertaining components.

Fans of the Mission Impossible series are not likely to be disappointed.

Grade:  A-                        By Donna R. Copeland

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