The fifth and likely not final installment of the “Mission: Impossible” franchise is another smart and thrilling action movie filled to the brim with crazy stunts, high concept spy action, and pulse pounding excitement. I doubt we’ll ever see an end to these as long as Tom Cruise’s body holds out, but judging by the stunts in this, that shouldn’t happen for a good long time.
This time around, the secret and ludicrously titled IMF organization (Impossible Missions Force) has been called for complete dismantling by the CIA and its director, Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin). The committee approves this and the IMF is effectively destroyed, leaving Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) alone and hunted as he tries to unravel an evil organization known only as “The Syndicate”, which has intents to commit global terror involving many high ranking government officials. The head of the syndicate is the devious Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), who seems to be able to match wits with Ethan in their global game of cat and mouse.
The story is basic and kept relatively simple; a skeleton crew of IMF agents against the world, basically. What keeps it interesting is the constant barrage of twists and turns that keep every mission up in the air as to whether or not it will succeed. Characters question loyalties and anything that can go wrong on a mission always seems to. No matter how much they prep and plan for a job, something is bound to happen that will make them win only by the skin of their teeth. Ethan actually dies for a little while this time, but it takes more than that for him to fail a mission.
Many of the actors from previous entries return, including Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, and even Ving Rhames. The new addition is the questionably noble Ilsa Faust, played by the beautiful Rebecca Ferguson. Much like the last two films in the “Mission: Impossible” franchise, “Rogue Nation” is a blast to watch and never lets up with its frantic pace and exciting stunt work. Right out the gate we get to see Tom Cruise dangling off the side of a plane as it takes off, a real stunt that Tom Cruise actually did himself without the aid of CGI.
Christopher McQuarrie is the director this time and he manages to keep pace with the likes of J.J. Abrams and Brad Bird, the directors of the last two installments. The action scenes bleed into one another and keep the momentum of the story alive and screaming. The desperate underwater infiltration is immediately followed up with a chaotic motorcycle chase through the busy streets of Morocco.
Tom Cruise is both star and a producer on this and many of the “Mission: Impossible” films, and whether it’s for his own love of the series or just to appease his likely insane ego (maybe both), he seems intent on topping whatever was done in the previous movie. Each time the stunts get bigger, the action becomes more desperate, the stakes that much higher. In the case of this particular series, that makes for some incredibly fun spy movies.