No matter how you feel about Tom Cruise, there's no denying that the man is dedicated to his work, especially when it comes to the Mission: Impossible franchise. Whether he's climbing canyons or running across the tallest building in the world, Cruise is always willing to go the extra mile. No stunt doubles required. Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation opens with his most dangerous stunt yet, and it involves Cruise's character hanging onto dear life on the side of a plane that's currently taking off. If that doesn't sell you on this movie, maybe this one isn't for you. But why wouldn't you be sold? HE'S ON A FREAKING PLANE!
The film picks up a year or so after the events of Ghost Protocol. Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is busy chasing down the syndicate, all while attempting to lead the CIA off his trail, as he's currently one of the most wanted men in the world. The syndicate, by the way, is a rogue nation of enemies, their mission being to take down every member of the IMF, including our hero Ethan. To take them down, Ethan must recruit his old team, consisting of William Brandt (Jeremy Renner), Benji (Simon Pegg) and Luther (Ving Rhames), as well as newcomer Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson). With the IMF compromised and a possibility of this being their final mission, it's a race against the clock as they've got to take down the syndicate before things get out of hand. Well, more out of hand than they already are.
Before I begin to discuss this film's script, it's probably best to mention the action, and how freaking cool it is. The fact that Tom Cruise didn't die making this movie is proof that that man is immortal. His character goes through it all in this film, whether it's nearly falling off a plane to having to hold his breath for three straight minutes or else their entire mission fails. It's one of the few Mission: Impossible movies where I actually feared for his life, despite murmurs going around about a sixth installment.
The action in this film really took it up a notch, creating an environment of constant surprises. Watching this movie, I honestly didn't know where it was going, which is so unlike this franchise, excluding Ghost Protocol. The first three films are insanely predictable, but there's still so much fun to be had. With these last two movies, most of the realism is out of the door, but the intensity and the levels of fun have been dialled up to eleven. This film is constant blast. It's two hours of adrenaline with no downfall. It's edited tightly and directed smoothly, and the result is worthwhile.
The problem with having a first and second act as good as this one's is that once it's time for the third act, it has a lot to live up to. Unfortunately, this film's third act, while very very very far from being bad, just can't match the insanity of the first two. It's great and it's exciting and it's completely unpredictable, don't get me wrong, but it puts the film on a much smaller, yet more personal scale. This simultaneously works for and against the movie, and I think you can put two and two together and work out why.
But keeping the film going is the cast, most of them getting a chance to really show us what they've got. Tom Cruise is always charismatic and likeable, but I've talked about him so much in the past that I don't feel the need to discuss him any further. Let's talk about the rest of the cast. Simon Pegg really takes centre stage in this movie, having a more dominant role than he did in the previous two movies. This works to the film's advantage because that man is amazing and I've loved him in everything he's done. Then there's Jeremy Renner, who I also love in pretty much everything he's done, and in Rogue Nation, Renner does what he does best. He's sarcastic, witty and has the balls to try and outshine Tom Cruise. Good on you, Jeremy. Good on you.
An unexpected flaw that this movie has is how convoluted the plot can get. Maybe I'm just tired, but this plot occasionally got fairly hard to follow, more so in the second act, with characters changing sides so much that at one point in the movie I really had no idea who someone was working for and whether or not I could trust them. Things eventually cleared up, but it's not soon enough to stop the film from getting a bit too complex for its own good. And the reason this convolutedness is so unexpected is because we're dealing with a story we've seen a fair few times before. However, that doesn't make it any less entertaining than it was the last time.
To sum up, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation won't win any awards for being the most original of movies, and the third act definitely lowers the stakes slightly, but the film as a whole is action packed, unpredictable and just damn entertaining. Tom Cruise just can't be stopped.