By Britton Masback
WANT Original Content
I have seen every Mission Impossible movie, including the newest, Rogue Nation, which is by far my favorite. Even if you think the previous Mission Impossible movies were confusing, unsatisfying, or just plain bad, you will like the latest addition to the MI family, which is directed by Christopher McQuarrie and stars the always entertaining Tom Cruise as agent Ethan Hunt. This movie fuses heart-stopping, seat-gripping action with witty humor in places you wouldn’t expect it.
Faced with extinction, the IMF or Impossible Mission Force needs one last successful mission to keep the organization alive. While Alan Huntley, the Director of the CIA (played by Alec Baldwin), testifies in front of a Senate committee detailing why the IMF and its chief, William Brandt (played by Jeremy Renner), should be shut down, Ethan Hunt is in London trying to save the organization and the world. What ensues is a highly complex game of cat and mouse. Ethan, with the help of his most loyal friend and former IMF colleague, Benji Dunn (played by Simon Pegg), tries to prove that the “Syndicate,” a shadowy group of supposedly “dead” spies and agents that have gone rogue under the leadership of ex-British agent Solomon Lane (played by Sean Harris), is behind a series of global terrorist attacks. The action takes place in Belarus, London, Washington, Havana, Paris, Vienna, and Morocco, as Hunt seeks to expose the Syndicate and salvage the reputation of the IMF.
Although it sounds complicated, the plot of the movie is simple and relatively easy to follow, but it is always entertaining and keeps you guessing about what would come next. The idea of the IMF’s future being on the line creates drama and puts pressure on Ethan to succeed on his mission, as it may be his last. Ultimately, the search for the Syndicate is complex, involves constant action, and features many successes and failures for the IMF team on the way to the final outcome.
The movie has a great opening with Ethan hanging off a plane as it takes off. It gets you right into the action as you question what the “package” is he’s trying to steal and why the IMF wanted it. The action is nonstop and a car/motorcycle chase late in the movie is typical of the action – it’s absolutely riveting. The chase begins with Ethan coming shockingly back from the dead and staggering into the driver’s seat of his car, Benji at his side. They are in pursuit of Ilsa Faust (played by Rebecca Ferguson), an ex-British agent now apparently working for the Syndicate. Ilsa has bounced back-and-forth between helping Ethan and the IMF track down the Syndicate to selling them out and using them to accomplish the Syndicate’s aims. Having pursued Ilsa through central Casablanca in a car, Ethan jumps onto the back of a motorcycle and pursues her as she weaves in and out of traffic at hyper speed, finally catching up, but ultimately falling prey to her cunning yet again.
Ilsa’s shifting loyalties keeps you guessing, as you never know when or why she will betray Ethan next. Is she loyal to the Syndicate’s boss, Solomon Lane, or is she ultimately trying to bring him down? Lane is a strong, powerful, ruthless figure who seems willing to do almost anything to succeed. He is the essence of evil, though he seems to have a weakness for Ilsa and maybe too much of a focus on killing Ethan. Ethan feels the same way about him.
Like most Mission Impossible movies, the action starts about 30 seconds in and doesn’t end until the last 30 seconds.Death is always nearby for Ethan and his companions, and this keeps you wondering when he will meet his match or when, as Benji puts it, he will “take it too far” and meet his end. The great part of Rogue Nation is that inside all of this heart-throbbing action you find humor, usually in places where you would least expect it. Many times this humor breaks up a tense moment among Ethan and his IMF colleagues, especially when it comes from Benji, whose self-deprecating outlook keeps the movie from getting overwhelmed by the continuous danger and violence.
It’s hard to see what Tom Cruise and company will do to top Rogue Nation. The nonstop action and exciting plot will be tough to beat. Director of MI:5, Christopher McQuarrie, has already said that he believes a new director should come on board for the sixth edition, so the look and feel of the movie may change. But, suffice it to say that I’ll be first in line to buy a ticket when it comes out.