Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation gets right into the action with the first scene involving Tom Cruise hanging on to the side of a plane (a stunt that, of course, Tom Cruise performed himself). Although it may seem hard to top that, the movie keeps you at the edge of your seat, with a femme fatale double agent (or is she a double agent?), a dive into a huge underwater data storage center with no oxygen tank, an over the top motorcycle chase, etc., etc. Not only does the movie stretch new film technology to its limits, with truly incredible cinematography and action sequences, it remains true to past movies, with appearances from the famous Mission Impossible masks and some fan favorites such as Benji (played by Simon Pegg), Luther (Ving Rhames), and William Brandt (Jeremy Renner). Although the homages feel a little forced at times, especially when it seems too many characters are used at the same time, in general it works well to have these different characters playing different roles in the actual mission. One other criticism is that the plot can be over-complicated at times, especially for an action movie, sometimes becoming hard to follow. However, the scope of the film itself in many ways makes up for the brief moments of confusion.
In the movie, Ethan Hunt is being pursued by the FBI after the Impossible Missions Force is disbanded (way to destroy the Kremlin, guys), all the while hunting for the mysterious terrorist group called the Syndicate. Again and again, he encounters the mysterious femme fatale Ilsa, and every time, it is impossible to tell whose side she is truly on. After she saves him from torture, he finds her about to assassinate the Austrian Prime Minister, but she explains that away as a test to remain in good standing with the Syndicate. With Benji on on the run with him, and Brandt and Luther on the tail, the group makes its way to Morocco, where Hunt almost dies trying to access an underwater security center. After he succeeds, Benji is able to access what they think is a list of Syndicate agents, but is actually funding for the group; it is promptly stolen by Ilsa, and she brings it to her true boss…Chases ensue, and leaving the edge of your seat can’t be done over the course of the film. From beginning to end, the viewer is kept entertained.
The truly impossible mission for any film series is keeping the quality of the films at a high level as more films are made, but somehow this series has accomplished that as well, with each installment better realized and more enticing than the one before it. With each new director (in this case, Christopher McQuarrie), new talent and new perspective are brought to the series, with increasing rather than diminishing returns. If you’re looking for a good action flick, are just a fan of the series, or just want to be truly entertained, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation is a movie worth seeing. 4.5/5