by A.C. Hall
Mission Impossible 3 ranks as one of the all time great action movies, but the film that followed it was a huge letdown. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol had a paper thin plot, yanking the audience from action sequence to action sequence. Sure, the action was impressive, but it didn’t really matter. Thankfully, Rogue Nation solves almost every issue, returning this franchise to a slick, fun summer blockbuster franchise that delivers on every level.
Two things jumped out as to why Rogue Nation was so good. First was the renewed focus on the plot. These movies have never been that deep, but by setting up an interesting plot to guide the action they give the film purpose. As Tom Cruise and his closest spy pals try to get to the bottom of a shadowy super spy organization, the movie keeps you guessing and keeps you interested not only in the action, but in the motivations behind the action.
The other thing that makes this movie so good is the love it shows for its set pieces. Ghost Protocol gave you whiplash as it jerked from one action set to another. Rogue Nation painstakingly sets these stages and then really lets the action develop on them. These action sequences are inventive and are just a ton of fun to experience. Action has always been the hallmark of Mission Impossible, and it really shines brightly in this fifth installment in the franchise.
My only real complaint with this film is the cast. Tom Cruise remains the perfect person to star in these films, and his was the performance I really enjoyed. But I have to be honest, the supporting cast is really wearing thin. Simon Pegg once again exists just to shriek and prattle off one liners, Ving Rhames looks like he would rather be anywhere else but acting in these films, and Jeremy Renner still feels completely out of place in this franchise. Renner just stands around looking bewildered and occasionally saying a line or two. He was bad in Ghost Protocol, and Renner is just completely unnecessary in Rogue Nation.
Thankfully, a few newcomers help pick things up. Rebecca Ferguson does a great job as a spy with questionable loyalty as she joins the franchise. Her character plays off of Cruise’s quite nicely and gives the movie a needed spark. Villain Sean Harris isn’t all that memorable but he is a step up over the generic villain of the previous film.
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation is the exact movie you think of when you think of summer blockbusters that you can watch with friends while a bucket of popcorn sits between you. It’s got laughs, thrills, and action, all mixed together to a perfect level that’s not too light but not too heavy. The supporting cast might be getting a little bit crusty, but there’s nothing wrong with the awesome action sequences that serve as this movie’s high points.
FOUR OUT OF FIVE STARS
This movie is rated PG-13 for sequences of action and violence, and brief partial nudity