Saturday, August 1, 2015

Mission Impossible -- Rogue Nation

Plot: Congress defunds the IMF, and the CIA director (Alec Baldwin) shuts down Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and fellow IMF spies Brandt (Jeremy Renner) and Benji (Simon Pegg). Ethan ignores congress and continues to track the shadowy Syndicate, a band of spies, the so-called "Rogue Nation" of the title. He meetings mystery woman Ilsa (Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson) on the way, and it is never clear what side she is on. 

Ethan chases them through colorful locations around the world. Double-crosses, high tech burglary, rubber masks, and motorcycle chases lead to the happy ending. [imdb]    [photos]

Review: Rogue Nation has exciting action sequences, and good chemistry between Ethan and Ilsa keep things interesting. Unfortunately, the plot is thin and the villain is weak: tough to get interested in more good spy/bad spy drama. Movie spies don't for fight real reasons, just other spies.

There is top notch motorcycle chase sequence that is fun and gripping. I loved it.

The publicity for the movie plugs the open sequence with Tom Cruise hanging on the side of a plane. It is an exciting scene, and now I think better of Cruise than actors in more CGI oriented roles. The action scenes are martial-arts fighting done fast and generally bloodless. Unlike the recent Bond films which are low tech, there is plenty of computer-hacking.

In the middle, I wondered what this was all about. Yes, the IMF is abolished, but that had nothing to do with the adventure that Nathan & Benji were on. The villain Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) didn't seem like a mastermind, and the motivation for the Syndicate is mushy.

I liked Tom Cruise -- he pulls out the charm and carries the role. He has a little romantic chemistry with tough-girl Rebecca Fergusson, who does a nice job with her character who is on both sides at once. Simon Pegg is also fun. He gets some of the more humorous roles.

Cast: Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner

Directed by: Christopher McQuarrie

The Music: The soundtrack of blood-stirring orchestral music by Joe Kraemer is great, and sounds fresh -- unlike all the other action flicks. He weaves in a few familiar notes from the franchise theme, but mainly it is new melodies.

The Visuals: Great special effects. Some fun chase scenes. The fights may be pointless sometimes, but they are fast and fun to watch. How does Rebecca keep jumping on the shoulders of the bad guys?

Rating: 2.5 stars: Recommended because it is fun to watch. On the other hand, it isn't about anything except killing bad-guy spies. It got a little repetitive too. Good performances. After the movie, all you can talk about is the stunts since the story is thin.

More: Not as good as Ghost Protocol, even though I gave them both 2.5 stars.

Even More: Does anyone use the word "disavowed," besides Mission Impossible?

Impossible? Ethan Hunt is planning to be back for Mission Impossible #6.