<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Christopher McQuarrie. Staring Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Jeremy Renner, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Sean Harris, Simon McBurney, Jens Hulten, Alec Baldwin
I hated the last MI: Ghost Protocol but this new one seems to be a return to the formula fun thrills, chases and live action (i.e. not CGI) that is reminiscent of spy movies of the 80s and 90s.
If ever there was a challenger to the James Bond franchise it was Mission Impossible. Surely we’ve all imagined Tom Cruise as Bond. But he’s far better as Ethan Hunt, the IMF (Impossible Mission Force and not International Monetary Fund) field agent who has become a legend until the recent events of Ghost Protocol. Now the CIA and its director Hunley (Alec Baldwin) want to disband the IMF for its wanton disregard for everything except their mission. Ethan is in the field and is captured by his nemesis, Solomon Lane, the evil and raspy boss of The Syndicate. This ‘disavowed’ organisation wants to wreck havoc on the world, but Ethan Hunt has made it his mission to stop them.
Double agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) quickly joins the film’s hero as she saves his life and then almost kills him but then she saves him again! Her steely eyes coupled with her raw power make her a force to be reckoned with. At times she steals Ethan Hunt’s thunder and you’re happy there’s a balancing force there considering Sean Harris’s villain Lane isn’t that formidable. Oh he’s very creepy but lacks menace even though we are given to believe he knows how everything will end.
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation has some delightfully orchestrated scenes – one that’s actually laid out with an orchestra below at an opera – that titillate and thrill. What you’ll love about it all is the old-fashioned charm and lack of CGI. The stunts are all real. There’s humour interlaced in the action that’s sincere and not slapstick or hackneyed. Simon Pegg as Benji, Hunt’s colleague who can fool the lie detectors, is the perfect blend of spy and comedian and totally upstages both Jeremy Renner and Ving Rhames who are part of Hunt’s IMF team.
Most of the time you can guess what’s going to happen next in the film but that never detracts from the enjoyment of watching it unfold before your eyes because the camera work and direction are brilliant as is the dialogue and acting. Simple devices and plot points work so well to make you go ‘wow, that’s so cool’. And the fact that they have only used IMAX and not 3D makes the film work even better.
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation is solid, thrilling, funny, entertaining and a joy to watch probably because they’ve stuck to the old way of storytelling and filmmaking, which we’ve lost in today’s CGI, 3D cluttered universe of superheroes.