By Gary Murray

Starring Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg and Jeremy Renner

Written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie

Running time 131 min

MPAA Rating PG-13

Selig Film Rating FULL PRICE

By the time a film gets to the fifth installment, a franchise is usually done.  The makers have used just about every trick to get the audience into the theater.  Unless the film is a re-boot or a re-imaging, the makers seem to throw a bunch of scenes together and hope it will make a decent whole.  Mission Impossible is one of those series that has bucked the trend.  The makers have found a way to give the audience one of the biggest cinematic thrill rides of the year.

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation opens with a Bond style action sequence. Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and the crew have to stop a group of terrorists who have giant palate of bio-hazard weapons.  As Benji (Simon Pegg) tries to hack into the plane, Ethan hangs on for dear life.  It is thrilling sequence that ends a bit faster than one would hope. 

Then there is a jump to the main story.  Brandt (Jeremy Renner) is in front of the government trying to justify his division called the IMF.  Huntley (Alec Baldwin) runs the CIA and wants to de-fund the organization and bring in all the agents.  That sends Ethan way under cover.

Ethan and the rest of the IMF crew believe that there is a group called the Syndicate that has been causing mayhem over the years.  The terror group has become bolder and taken larger targets but leaves no traces. It seems that the Syndicate is the exact opposite of the IMF and they are just as trained as the IMF.  The two are equal in instruction and skills. 

Added to the mix is a mysterious assassin who makes a fascinating entrance the Vienna Opera House.  Her first scene is all legs.  In an action sequence that reminds of Quantum of Solace there is a giant cat and mouse game in catacombs back stage

The commercials for Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation keeps pushing the stunt where Tom Cruise hangs off the side of the plane.  The scene happens at the beginning and is over before most of the audience is settled in their seats.   It is a very impressive feat and yes, there is no doubt that Tom Cruise is on the side of the fuselage. 

But, the film is much more than an impressive stunt.  Without giving much away, it is a giant game of espionage and Cold War terror wrapped in action sequence after action sequence.

The only problem with film is with some of the action sequences.  The camera work by Robert Elswit was a bit too busy and the editing by Eddie Hamilton is a bit too swift for my taste.  I’d like to see them slow it down just a bit to bet a fuller sense of action.

The film is another showcase for Tom Cruise and as always, he does not disappoint. Being the biggest movie star in the world is a hard burden to carry but Tom Cruise makesit look easy.  He is intense in the action sequences and light hearted the calmer moments.     

He has to kick and punch with the best of them while still keeping his composure Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation is directed by Christopher McQuarrie.  He’s thewriter of The Usual Suspects and the director or The Way of the Gun and Jack Reacher.  The latter is rumored to be the next series of Tom Cruise films.  Here, he models his work after the greatest of all genres, the James Bond film.  And with that formula one can do little wrong.

There are those who will complain that Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation is nothing more than a derivative of 007.   Those people are missing the point.  The idea behind this film is to deliver thrills and spills. It is a pure entertainment and on that level it succeeds  Just go and have a good time with this mission.  .    



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