Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation review: Tom Cruise has everything going for him except the story

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation movie review: The Tom Cruise movie thankfully never strays into chemical or nuclear territory again.

Rating: 3 out of 5
Written by Shalini Langer | New Delhi | Updated: August 8, 2015 3:31 pm
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“Ethan Hunt is the living manifestation of destiny.” Even the CIA director, a man none too fond of the agent with the many missions impossible under his belt, is forced to admit this in Rogue Nation.

But even living manifestations of destiny can do with a helping hand. How about a Swedish actress resembling Ingrid Bergman, bearing the name Ilsa, and emerging in a bikini from the pool of a sun-kissed mansion in Casablanca? Oh yes, Tom Cruise has everything going for him here — but for a story.

Rogue Nation kicks off with a bang, with the 53-year-old superstar once again doing his own stunts hanging precariously from a military plane carrying poison gas. It required eight takes for him to pull that off. The film thankfully never strays into chemical or nuclear territory again, but the evil here comes in the form of a vaguely defined ‘Syndicate’ raging against the “system” and then “trying to change it” through means that involve randomly selected attacks, ranging from assassinating the Malawi head of state to the World Bank secretary. When it upgrades, it is to targeting the chancellor of Austria.

Europe, specifically London, plays a big role in the scheme of things here, though the British are not likely to be too happy with what they do to their prime minister. And not that Hunt, after all we know about the man with the glasses, the masks and the upside-down hanging skills (all deployed here), needs to go from Point A to Point B in a Mission: Impossible. But when a film is trying so hard to give a context to its villain, it better not go around in circles — making it obvious someone didn’t have a clear idea where to call an end.

As the film starts, Hunt himself is looking for meaning as the CIA has managed to get his outfit IMF (Impossible Mission Force) disbanded for not being accountable to anyone. CIA Director Hunley (Baldwin) proceeds to make it his agency’s mission, and not in a comfortable way, to track down Hunt, whom IMF boss Brandt (Renner) has refused to “bring in”.

Out in the cold, Hunt is captured and badly tortured by the Syndicate’s men, led by the “bone doctor”, who totes impressive equipment in an officious suitcase, but never really gets to show his skills. Right on time, a mysterious Syndicate member, Ilsa (Ferguson), helps him escape, after carefully taking off her towering heels. The height joke, obviously directed at Cruise’s 5.57 ft, is played at least twice more in Rogue Nation, to admittedly good effect.

So obviously, we are confused to the true identity of Ilsa, which remains a mystery for the better part of the film. She even comes out and talks about the blurred lines defining “the right side”.

As Hunt is declared rogue, Benji (Pegg), Brandt and Luther (Ving Rhames) come to his rescue, bringing the old hands on the deck.

There is an impressive scene under water, requiring a manipulation with stored profiles and computers — that’s where Hunt plunges through a shaft head first — and some crazy driving through Morocco on motorbikes and cars. A Vienna opera shootout is almost too beautifully orchestrated, with curtains, thin screens, holes in walls and a beautiful, beautiful thigh.

However, McQuarrie, who has now been associated with Cruise in several films but is directing his first Mission: Impossible, keeps coming back to Syndicate head Lane (Harris) and his iffy motives.

It’s been 19 years since the first Mission: Impossible, and that scene of Cruise’s life hanging by a drop of sweat in it is still vivid in our memory. Or the first moment when a mask is pulled off and Cruise emerges from below it. Even the last film, Ghost Protocol, pulled off a near-impossible Burj Khalifa shot apart from giving us some heart-popping moments of suspense through certain tight negotiations.

You will miss that in Rogue Nation, though it ticks all the boxes, gives its woman a satisfyingly meaty presence, and has Cruise defying age again — apart from death of course.

So will there be a Mission: Impossible 6? Play it again, Hunt.

Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Star Cast: Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, Alec Baldwin

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  1. A
    Aisha Ashraf
    Aug 14, 2015 at 2:04 am
    Read ‘Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation’ review: ‘Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation’, the fifth movie in ‘Mission: Impossible’ series directed by Christopher McQuarrie, registers Tom Cruise as the insuperable action star of Hollywood. McQuarrie’s direction, a brilliant central cast, and breathtaking action sequences makes ‘Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation’ a commercial success. As always, Tom Cruise is the driving force of the movie. His performance allows us believe the impossible and keeps us astounding throughout the movie…
    Reply
  2. A
    Ann Nobles
    Aug 10, 2015 at 3:07 am
    This is yet another thrilling action packed movie !!...I think the plot was awesome and just when you think it will wind down from All the Action!...There's even More to Come!...I hope there will be another MI...Starring Tom Cruise of course!..He is without a doubt one of the Best actors ever!....His movies never disappoint!.So Shut up you with half reviews!...This movie is Top Notch!.....
    Reply
  3. S
    Speaker
    Aug 14, 2015 at 12:50 pm
    a refreshed approach can be seen here cause films involving spy agents rarely have a intriguing story to experiment with. First half keeps you at the edge of your seat with en-thrilling stunts which really looks real( off course they are actually done by tom cruise himself). the story really unfurls to create a plot and keeps the audience guessing. Mr. Leyn proves to an engaging villain although he lacks that alpha male touch. second half lags slightly to match the pace but has a very edgy climax. overall actors have pla their part fairly well which makes it a good movie to enjoy on Screen.
    Reply
  4. L
    Leonhard
    Aug 8, 2015 at 11:30 pm
    Bollywood is a copy of hollywood
    Reply
  5. L
    Leonhard
    Aug 8, 2015 at 11:26 pm
    Salman is cheap,tom cruise is international star
    Reply
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    Paula M3
    Aug 8, 2015 at 10:19 pm
    Missing from this MI-5 (which was very good) was intrigue and deception. The kind of deception like the first MI movie, where Hunt is trying to get information out of someone and (with mask on) became another person to get the needed info. Deception also in MI-2 when the doctor carrying a virus inside him was lured by a fake Hunt onto a plane and then the plane was ditched. In Mi-5, the intrigue deception that goes along with the ability to make masks and appear like someone else isn't there. Yes, Benji wears a mask, but it's different this time. So, 'action' takes precedence as the IMF team is more "defensive" than "offense". Still a great flick.
    Reply
  7. G
    Girish Rao
    Aug 8, 2015 at 7:37 am
    Salman khan of hollywood age no bar for this uncle. . .
    Reply
  8. S
    SandeepIsAnIdiot
    Aug 10, 2015 at 12:44 am
    Well , this article is stupid.Seeing the facts in the most twisted way . Plz stop writing such reviews.
    Reply
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