Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation is the fifth installment of the silver screen series (that's impressive considering the original film came out in 1996 and even more so seeing is we're living in the golden age of reboots). What's funny to me (as well as disappointing) is that the latest entry seems a bit too protocol, especially coming off the hot heels of a great film called Ghost Protocol.
Don't misunderstand me. Christopher McQuarrie's (Jack Reacher) Rogue Nation is a solid installment: it's got the action, the humor, the gadgets, and the wit we've come to expect from the tenured tent-pole. It just doesn't have the new spy car smell like most of its predecessors, especially after a sequel that was brimming with new ideas: Benji passing his field test; introducing Jeremy Renner, dissolving the IMF; and not to mention the largest, most visually striking set pieces in the series to date.
Tom Cruise returns as renowned IMF agent Ethan Hunt, proving once again why he is the definitive action star of the past two decades (and that age really is just a number!). This time Ethan and the disbanded IMF are the only thing standing between global anarchy and a specially-trained shadow organization, lead by Sean Harris' delightfully devious Lane.
Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, and Ving Rhames return as Ethan's trusty crew and all do solid work. The always enjoyable Alec Baldwin gives his "likeable jerk" routine as head of the CIA, Alan Hunley. However, the real intrigue of the story comes in the form of the mysterious Isla Faust, portrayed by the talented actress Rebecca Ferguson (of BBC's The White Queen).
For most of the film we're not sure of her true motives. Is she a double agent? Triple agent? Quadruple agent (are those even a thing?)? Although we've seen this mystery play out many times in a lot of movies like this, once Faust's true motives are revealed, you can't help but feel a little empathy and understand why she feels such a strong bond with Cruise's Hunt.
With not a whole lot of new ideas to offer and a runtime totaling over two hours, Rogue Nation does tend to overstay its welcome. However, we only get one impossible mission every few years or so, so I can't complain too much.
Ethan Hunt himself, Tom Cruise, has confirmed that Mission Impossible 6 (I'm Getting Too Old For This Shit) begins production next summer. With a relatively short turnaround, here's hoping that J.J. and company have enough time to pull together a reinvigorating script.