Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015)

Ethan and team take on their most impossible mission yet, eradicating the Syndicate – an International rogue organization as highly skilled as they are, committed to destroying the IMF.

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
Directed by Christopher McQuarrie
Starring Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson

Hands up if you didn’t think Tom Cruise could pull this off one more time? (Steve gingerly puts up a hand, hoping no-one will notice). This time around it’s Christopher McQuarrie’s turn to put Ethan Hunt through a new batch of familiarly improbable and ridiculous heroics. There is big jumping, breath (and plane) holding, speeding motorcycles (yes, been done, we know), a bit of parkour, light bondage and thankfully, some good old fashioned bunches of fives.

To be fair, the plot is as nonsensical as any MI movie has ever been and the script does sound laughable at times when it really shouldn’t. Jeremy Renner proves, one more time, that he has been involved in at least two action franchises that honestly would probably do better without him and that he should just bloody well keep his nose out of it and concentrate on his archery.

Here, the IMF (what’s left of it) is about to take on its most impossible mission so far (allegedly). There is a pattern here, folks. Every mission so far hasn’t actually been impossible, right? So, can we see the end of this even before we take our seats? Anyway, I’ll leave you with that thought for a moment.

So at no point expecting Ethan Hunt to do anything but be victorious (despite the fact that he actually dies at one point, spoiler haters), this does make the whole project little more than an excuse for Tom Cruise to be a hero and for us to revel in the excitement. If proof were needed that this was the case, I cite the plot as evidence, seeing as it spends most of its time sulking around the back of the cinema, hands in pockets, scuffing the gravel with its dusty trainers, complaining that nobody really understands it. And it’s not far wrong.

Nevertheless, when was the lack of an addition of a discernible plot any obstacle when making an action blockbuster? Let’s remember our target audience. Everyone. Most people aren’t too critical of movies on the whole so, ipso facto, if most people go and see it, the response will naturally be mostly positive, as most audience members who go to see this will not be queuing up for either the complicated plot or the rounded characters, both of which are notable by their absence.

Still, when that familiar theme tune kicks in, you cannot help but get a little bit giddy; that ‘oooh, here we go again’ anticipation takes you by the short and curlies and says, “c’mon, get over yourself, let’s have a stupidly fun time.” And fun it admittedly is, dammit.

MI may not have the sophistication of a James Bond adventure, but Ethan Hunt’s exploits were never that way inclined and this is just more of the same unbridled mayhem and expensive destruction that we’re both used to and have a fond affection for. Okay, so the script may have us wincing at times and Simon Pegg still seems like an Englishman abroad more suited to Drop Dead Fred movies than action adventure, but still, this is definitely part of its now enduring charm.

To explain the plot this time around may be inadvisable as telling you much about it would probably display my complete lack of understanding and my disinterest in it by its conclusion. Rebecca Ferguson’s debut here is more impressive than we may have rightly expected and the expanded role for Simon Pegg is beneficial not only for his continually burgeoning Hollywood career, but also for the laughs, which is good for everyone, it seems.

Ving Rhames is back, thankfully and as I mentioned, despite Jeremy Renner being present, it still manages to avoid becoming a complete disaster.

Overall, a very satisfying blockbuster with a nice role for Alec Baldwin thrown in to boot. Granted, it’s not big on common-sense, but the visuals are sumptuous, the action scenes riveting and the jokes all hit their mark. Not alot to be offended by here, really, but plenty to enjoy.

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