‘MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
The Syndicate and Ilsa Faust with Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt
It’s time for the really good ‘Mission: Impossible’ movies to begin! 🙂
Trust me on this! 😀 In December 2017, my Dad gave my Mum a Blu-ray edition of ‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’, the fifth film of the series, for Christmas. This wasn’t just any Blu-ray edition. This was the steelbook edition of ‘Rogue Nation’. That is a pretty exciting item to have here.
It was around that time that my parents and I were just starting to get into Blu-rays. We watched the film on Boxing Day in that year of 2017! I found the film pretty good and this was before we saw all the other ‘M:I’ movies from 1 to 4 as well as the sixth film ‘Fallout’ which we saw at cinemas in 2018.
‘Rogue Nation’, released in 2015, was written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, based on a story by McQuarrie himself and Drew Pearce. In many ways, McQuarrie redefined the ‘M:I’ film series from the get-go, since ‘Rogue Nation’ has all the action-packed elements of a plot that I could enjoy and easily follow.
McQuarrie had contributed to the ‘M:I’ film series before, having had an uncredited writing role in ‘M:I – Ghost Protocol’. This I did not know about when it came to revisiting the movie for my blog. McQuarrie is also an uncredited writer for the first ‘X-Men’ film and ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’.
The fifth ‘M:I’ movie is well-written in terms of its script, well-directed in terms of its director and has a great cast led by Tom Cruise as the hero. I could easily engage with the characters featured in the film and ‘Rogue Nation’ is definitely a film you can see without the need to watch previous films.
At the time, I wasn’t really a follower of the ‘M:I’ movies and had only seen the first ‘Mission: Impossible’ movie. That film put me off seeing the rest since, you know, I found it underwhelming. But seeing ‘Rogue Nation’ was a great experience. It’s full of drama, action, adventure and humour.
That’s one thing I can say about the Christopher McQuarrie ‘M:I’ movies that makes them better than the previous four films. There’s not really that much humour to be found in the first four ‘M:I’ films. Here in ‘Rogue Nation’ and later in ‘Fallout’, you can taste the humour emitting from the characters.
In the film, Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt attempts to prove the existence of the Syndicate, an international criminal consortium which is being denied by the CIA. He sets out on a search for the evil leader of the Syndicate called Solomon Lane with help from friends and this mysterious spy lady.
What I like about this film is that it starts off with Ethan about to be debriefed on a mission he’s going to accept before it turns out it’s the Syndicate who are manipulating events in the film. Ethan soon passes out in a glass container and it leads him about to be tortured by some pretty nasty thugs.
Gradually, the film becomes more than about Tom Cruise as Ethan’s journey. It also becomes the journey of sexy spy lady Ilsa Faust from British Intelligence. I like the parallel journeys that occur in the film as Ethan and Ilsa are evenly matched, yet Ilsa cannot be trusted while they expose the evil Syndicate.
There are plenty of twists and turns to be found in this film, especially with Ilsa being an ally to Ethan and his team as well as the Syndicate led by Solomon Lane outwitting our heroes at every turn. Solomon is pretty sinister and sadistic. He seems to know how to outwit Ethan at every opportunity.
It’s also tense when the Impossible Missions Force (IMF) gets disavowed and the CIA go to great lengths to hunt Ethan down and bring him in whilst he’s trying to stop the Syndicate. I like how the UK element gets brought in more in this film as well as the US element, creating a very nice balance.
Tom Cruise once again excels as Ethan Hunt in this movie. I know I’ve said this before in a previous ‘M:I’ review, but it is pretty amazing how Tom Cruise is the driving force behind these films in terms of acting, action, doing his own stunts and being a producer. I felt so engaged with Ethan’s character.
You wonder how Ethan’s going to succeed in the mission and whether he’s going to outwit Solomon Lane and the Syndicate. The tension levels in this movie increase every time Ethan does something dangerous. This includes being in a lot of water as well as motorcycling at very fast speeds in a chase.
As well as Tom Cruise, he’s joined by three team members. Simon Pegg is back again as Benji Dunn and I think he’s brilliant in this movie. He sparks off well with Tom Cruise’s character, getting more to do in terms of the missions they’re on. Also his balance of comedy and drama is well-executed here.
Jeremy Renner returns as William Brandt, after making his debut in ‘Ghost Protocol’. Many will know him for playing Hawkeye in the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’. I like how his character Brandt has to balance doing his job working for the CIA whilst covering for Ethan and help to expose the Syndicate.
Ving Rhames is also back as Luther Stickell. I enjoyed his appearance in this film compared to the cameo he did at the end of ‘Ghost Protocol’. Luther doesn’t have many scenes with Ethan in this film, but that’ll be made up for in ‘Fallout’. I found the banter between him and Brandt entertaining.
It was easy for me to identify with Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner and Ving Rhames as a unit in this film. If Ethan Hunt’s team players didn’t keep changing in every ‘M:I’ film he’s in, I would’ve been very happy to have seen the missions carried out by Ethan, Benji, Brandt and Luther throughout.
Rebecca Ferguson stars as Ilsa Faust, the mysterious sexy British spy lady who sometimes helps Ethan Hunt and his team and sometimes betrays him. I couldn’t get over how many twists and turns there were for Ilsa Faust’s character as you weren’t sure whether she was with the good guys or not.
I don’t think it’s clearly established that there’s a romance between Ethan and Ilsa’s characters, especially when one of them is backstabbing the other. Although, I wonder if that’s the direction this film and the next film were going for, especially as Ilsa gets to have a growing interest in Ethan’s character.
Alec Baldwin stars as Alan Hunley, the director of the CIA in this movie. I remember Alec Baldwin for being in ‘Thomas and the Magic Railroad’ many years ago. 😀 It was interesting to see how Hunley’s character developed from disliking Ethan and opposing the IMF before he eventually supports him. 🙂
Sean Harris stars as the villainous Solomon Lane, a former MI6 agent who went rogue and became the supreme leader of the Syndicate. Again, it’s intriguing how Lane gets to outwit Ethan at every turn in trying to expose the Syndicate. I like how Lane got tricked by Ethan in a trap by the film’s end.
The film’s cast also includes Tom Hollander (who I’ve seen in 2005’s ‘Pride & Prejudice’ and many other films and TV productions) as the Prime Minister of the UK in this film. There’s also Simon McBurney as Atlee, the Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service in Britain, although he’s rather dodgy.
As always, the action sequences are stupendous from the opening Tom Cruise clinging onto a plane sequence to the dramatic motorcycle chase to the climatic action sequence in London. There’s even a ‘Phantom of the Opera’ action scene. As well as London, we go to places like Morocco and Vienna.
The film’s music is composed by newcomer Joe Kraemer. I’ve not come across Joe Kraemer as a film music composer before, but the score he did for this film is very good. I like how he retains the ‘M:I’ theme music throughout as well as providing some dramatic music for some intense action scenes. 🙂
The Blu-ray special features are as follows. There’s ‘Lighting the Fuse’, ‘Cruise Control’, ‘Heroes…’, ‘Cruising Altitude’, ‘Mission: Immersible’, ‘Sand Theft Auto’, ‘The Missions Continue’ and an audio commentary by Tom Cruise and director Christopher McQuarrie.
‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’ is a very enjoyable film indeed. It was an interesting experience to see it on Blu-ray. I don’t know whether you can tell much difference if my parents and I saw the ‘M:I’ films on DVD. They do have good picture and sound quality on Blu-ray, which is what you want.
By 2018, my parents and I were really getting into the ‘M:I’ movies, especially after catching up with other films we saw after seeing ‘Rogue Nation’. We were really looking forward to what would happen next to Tom Cruise as Ethan in ‘M:I – Fallout’. Will our experience of the film be satisfying? 🙂
I heard from one of my friends that ‘M:I – Fallout’ was being filmed in an area close to where I live.
‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’ rating – 9/10
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