The summer of franchises continued this week with the release of the highly anticipated fifth installment in the Mission: Impossible franchise, Rogue Nation. This franchise is one of the rare examples of one that improves with age. Tom Cruise has matured and improved as well as this franchise continues. The previous installment, Ghost Protocol, had the highest rating of all the films (93% on Rotten Tomatoes); however, Rogue Nation will likely overtake its predecessor due to its outstanding script, wonderful visuals, and ridiculous, but realistic, stunts. Tom Cruise is back in his comfort zone as IMF agent Ethan Hunt and the audience gladly sits back and enjoys every second of this thrilling film.
Rogue Nation picks up where Ghost Protocol left us, with Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) tracking a rogue organization called the Syndicate, designed to cause terror around the world. When the IMF is disbanded, Ethan must turn to his former team members William Brandt (Jeremy Renner), Benji (Simon Pegg), and longtime pal Luther Strickell (Ving Rhames) to help him destroy this terrorist group. Along the way, Ethan has to deal with the Syndicate’s agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) as well as the CIA’s Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin). Ilsa struggles with her involvement in the terrorist organization and changes allegiances constantly during the film; causing us to never truly know which side she is on. Alongside his team, Ethan must accomplish the impossible and defeat the face of the Syndicate, Solomon Lane (Sean Harris). The film speeds ahead as fast as the Airbus A400 that Cruise hung onto therefore leaving little moments of boredom. Cruise continues to prove he can accomplish the impossible making this one of his best films to date.
This installment of Mission: Impossible prides itself on practical effects and real stunts which is evident in their advertising campaign. They released a behind the scenes look at the Airbus A400 stunt featured in the first trailer, showing Cruise preparing and ultimately accomplishing this incredible feat, which lives up to the Burj Khalifa stunt from Ghost Protocol. The marketing team for this film should receive medals for their work. I have always had an enormous issue with the release of multiple trailers for a single film because I am always shocked with the amount of spoilers that are seen; however, after watching this film, I was extremely pleased with the footage that was shown in the trailers. The film opened with the Airbus A400 scene from the trailer, which caused me to smile from ear to ear. I was so pleased to see that almost no footage from the last half of the film was shown before the film’s release. Don’t get me wrong, that first scene was spectacular but there were plenty thereafter that impressed audiences. I believe more films need to adapt to this style of advertising (Star Wars: Episode VII already has) because it keeps the element of surprise but still provides the audience with great footage beforehand.
The incredible stunts would not be so incredible without the perfect backdrop that Rogue Nation brilliantly provides. This film is at a constant sprint, covering locations that include Malaysia, England, Morocco, and Austria. These breathtaking surroundings vastly improve many of the film’s scenes which include car chases, plane hanging, water diving, and of course, Tom Cruise running.
Overall this film delivers on everything a Mission: Impossible fan would want, right down to the classic theme. This is definitely the best spy thriller of the year so far but it will have the difficult task of trying to outshine James Bond’s Spectre but I am getting ahead of myself. Yet, Tom Cruise shows he is ready for that challenge and delivers a masterpiece with the fifth installment of this spectacular franchise.
Images courtesy of LA Times/MoviePilot