Mission Impossible Rogue Nation
Starring Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris
Unless you have been living under a rock, you have heard that 53-year-old Tom Cruise did almost all of his own stunts for the fifth installment of “Mission Impossible.” That’s evidently supposed to make “Rogue Nation” cooler than all the previous sequels.
It’s true “Rogue Nation” seems to prove the franchise still has some life left since starting things back in 1996 and evolving through technology, stiff competition and a lead star who seems to stay the same age. However, if you didn’t know that was actually Cruise himself clinging to the side of the airplane in the opening sequence, the suspense of the scene would remain the same. Sure, it’s bragging points for the controversial actor, but it neither adds nor detracts from the movie magic or plot.
Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his IMF crew are in danger of being shut down by CIA director Hunley (Baldwin) for recent covert operations that went publicly wrong. Abandoned in the field, Hunt continues to seek the mysterious syndicate that he believes is the largest possible terror threat. Whether ally or enemy, Isla (Ferguson) is caught between helping Hunt and helping the syndicate, but to what end. The mysterious and beautiful woman is the only way Hunt can accomplish his reckless goal and complete the impossible mission, as he becomes one of the most wanted men in the field, alive or dead.
"While rather solid and entertaining for a genre film, never rises above something to train your eyes on for two hours"
Tom Cruise has sustained a generational career, not as an actor, but as a movie star or celebrity. He maximizes that notion with “Mission Impossible,” showcasing impressive stamina at his age, he is probably in better shape now than in his “Top Gun” days. Separating what you know about the man off screen versus the character isn’t as hard as you might think, since nearly all of Cruise’s scenes has the performer jumping out of planes, speeding on a motorcycle or underwater, there isn’t a whole lot of acting involved with this action-figure character.
Like most spy films we get to trot the globe from Morocco to Paris and from London to Austria which makes for interesting action sequence locales.
Two years from now will you be able to remember which stunts Cruise did in “Rogue Nation” versus the former “Ghost Protocol?” The answer will be no, because “Mission Impossible 5,” while rather solid and entertaining for a genre film, never rises above something to train your eyes on for two hours. The fact that the script allows a woman (Ferguson) to save our hero in more than one scene certainly earns it respect points; Ironically, Pegg (“Star Trek”) is both the comedic relief and the “damsel in distress” character. It’s smart and daring enough to be impressive just not memorable or as brave as what the Bond series has been doing in its last installments.
Jack of all trades but a master of nothing new.