“Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” is the fifth installment in a 20-year-old film franchise. Last time, for 2011’s “Ghost Protocol”, Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise risked his life (and pure sanity) by climbing the tallest building in the world. In the opening scene of “Rogue Nation”, he hangs onto an airplane for dear life. And, yes, Cruise actually did this stunt – eight times.
As a producer on “M:I5”, Cruise was clearly in control of what was in store for his character – Ethan Hunt. This latest mission, which Hunt eagerly chooses to accept, is to bring down the anti-IMF organization called the Syndicate. Problem is, the CIA has shut down the IMF, due to their reckless activities of the past. So Hunt and pals Benji (Simon Pegg) and Luther (Ving Rhames) have to go rogue.
Jeremy Renner is also back as Agent Brandt, who has to balance both working with Hunt and the IMF and keeping the agency’s mission a secret from the Feds, including CIA boss Hunley, played by Alec Baldwin. And new to the cast is Golden Globe nominated star of “The White Queen”, Rebecca Ferguson, who plays the mysterious Ilsa Faust, who’s working for the Syndicate, but may or may not be a double-agent – or a triple agent.
At one point Hunt says to Benji, “You want drama? Go to the opera.” Well, you want action? Go to M:I5. The action scenes in “Rogue Nation” are ambitious and extremely impressive, from an electrifying motorcycle chase through Morocco, to Cruise in a daring underwater tank sequence. They do keep your attention, even though they get pretty long. But then again, so does the entire movie. It seems (for some reason) to be almost “impossible” to bring one of these films in under two hours.
“Rogue Nation” is heavy on plot explanation and characters analyzing what they plan on doing next. And like “Ghost Protocol”, it takes the story and itself way too seriously. Sure, there are a couple of nice surprises, and all of the stunts are quite bold, but as a whole, “M-I” disappointed that it’s not consistently and genuinely ‘fun to watch’? Yes “I – M”.
On The Official LCJ Report Card, “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” gets a C+. No matter how successful this one is, there’s no doubt Cruise will be looking to continue the spy series, if for no other reason than so the sixth installment can be called “M:I6”.
Running Time: 131 min.