By Laurie Coker
Fifty something or not, Tom Cruise still has it and he flaunts it in the new Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. While limited in plot Rogue Nation is an action packed thrill ride, director Christopher McQuarrie misses no opportunity to impress with high-speed chases, stunning stunts and witty dialogue. Rounding out the IMF team with Cruise are Jeremy Renner, Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg. Other notable faces make an excellent ensemble of good and bad forces as the franchise takes this next bold step.
Rogue Nation opens with a somewhat superfluous scene that has Hunt (Cruise) leaping on and clinging to an airbus soon to be airborne and when it is, colleague and comic relief Benji (Pegg) must frantically work some technology magic to open a door enabling Hunt to enter the plane and escape with its explosive cargo. It is all pretty exciting, especially since Cruise does many of his own stunts. Call him crazy or crafty; Cruise still has the ability to capture audiences.
Regardless of this close call success, the team faces disbandment at the hands of the CIA chief (Alec Baldwin), who brings up the teams’ infamous case that left the Kremlin in complete rubble, depicted at the end of in the previous Mission Impossible movie Ghost Protocol. Team leader William Brandt (Renner) goes to bat for the team, but loses the fight. Hunt goes into hiding while other team members either disappear too, or go to work for the CIA. Hunt and crew’s only hope lies in discovering and destroying a ominous organization of rebel former spies called The Syndicate. Lead by a heartless sinister man and Sean Harris plays him perfect – creepy, seething with evilness and heartless. Playing CIA Operative Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) brings the feminine mystic to the story and the love-ish interest for Hunt. She is temptress, ally and tease.
McQuarrie’s story resembles most spy thrillers, good versus evil, rogue agents, good guys, bad guys, sometimes a fine line between and all the basic formula stuff, but is action sequences are exhilarating. He knows how to pace things and balance story with action, but he misses opportunities to utilize his actors. Pegg, a notable funny man, does offers some quirky, comic relief, and Cruise has that charm and charisma fans have followed since his first film. McQuarrie, however, misses many chances for some quality banter. Except for Cruise and Ferguson, most of the cast is underutilized, which is disappointing when we consider the caliber and talent available.
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation is worth a look as a rousing addition to summer movie offerings. Tom Cruise may be in his fifties now, but he can still pull off the impossible in Mission Impossible and that trademark head nod, smile and twinkle make us connect. Ultimately, limited storyline or not, the over all experience is exciting, enthralling and entertaining. The PG-13 rating keeps it clean language and sex wise and the violence is limited too. I am placing a B- in my grade book. Bring it on Cruise, let’s see another!