Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation Review

The Plot

Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is back in his most impossible mission yet. When the IMF is disbanded, Ethan goes rogue to take down the Syndicate – a secret organisation that is dedicated to creating a new world order through a series of terrorist attacks.

The Good

Now in its fifth instalment, the Mission Impossible franchise seems intent on becoming America’s answer to the Bond series. With a thrilling opening sequence which begs to be seen on the biggest screen possible, Rogue Nation moves swiftly onto a storyline which has so many twists and turns in it that it’s impossible to even try to figure it out early.

Sean Harris is exceptionally terrifying as the main villain this time, approaching the high standards of menacing villainy set by Philip Seymour Hoffman in M:I III. Also joining the franchise is Alec Baldwin as CIA head Alan Hunley, the man responsible for the downfall of the IMF and a villain in his own right.

While Tom Cruise is perpetually the main star of the franchise, Simon Pegg is slowly moving up the ranks and is almost equal billing with Cruise this time around. Benji is becoming more and more the Robin to Ethan Hunts Batman. It wouldn’t be surprising if he ends up taking over the headline act in the near future.

The Bad

While Sean Harris definitely has an aura of evil about him as the mysterious Soloman Lane, his voice somewhat diminishes this. The first glimpses of his character work well, but when his nasal British accent finally creeps in, his terrifying presence begins to wane.

Pegg meanwhile still struggles to completely move past his comic relief persona, making it hard at times to forget that implausibly the Shaun of the Dead actor is now a legitimate action star. After three Mission: Impossible films and two Star Trek adventures, his bemused face still feels an unlikely fit for an actual action hero.

Pegg isn’t the only comedy distraction this time. Though undoubtedly unintentional, Cruise and Harris have one particularly silly exchange which feels plucked from a spy movie spoof. Each continues to try and outwit the other with a ‘I knew you’d do that so I did THIS!’ back and forth. And back again. And forth again.

Perhaps it was also a bad idea to kick the film off with the much trailed set piece in which Cruise hangs off the outside of a plane. Starting off so strongly inevitably means that the set pieces that follow all feel somewhat underwhelming by comparison.

The Ugly Truth

The Mission: Impossible franchise isn’t going away any time soon, with plans already in place for a 6th film. A well-honed formula of show stopping stunts and spy games is gradually turning IMF Agent Ethan Hunt into an American James Bond, in spite of Cruise’s generally waning star power.

Rogue Nation is a worthy addition to the ever growing franchise, offering spectacular moments in spite of some general flaws. Room to improve next time…

Review by Johnny Ellis


Leave A Comment