The Mission: Impossible series is one that, if anything, has gone from strength to strength with each new mission – mainly due to the level of talent involved in each film.
Brian De Palma, John Woo, J.J Abrams and Brad Bird are all brilliant and different directors who have given the franchise their unique stylised stamps over the course of four films.
With Rogue Nation, the fifth instalment in the franchise, frequent Cruise-collaborater, Christopher McQuarrie, has taken the reigns and made what is the most stale Mission: Impossible to date.
It all starts off so well, with the much marketed sequence that sees Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt clinging to the side of an airplane as it takes off. It’s the type of thing we’ve come to expect from the franchise; a big and equally as silly set piece that’s made all the more jaw dropping due to Cruise’s really life stunt work.
The problem is that as good as this opening is, it doesn’t take long until Rogue Nation comes crashing back down to earth. It prematurely peaks within the first ten minutes and nothing else in the film is quite as good, or as exciting – although a twisty and tense scene at the Vienna State Opera, does come close.
The concept is a strong one: the IMF (Impossible Missions Force) is dissolved due to their apparently reckless approach to top secret operations, and Ethan Hunt must go on the run to bring down a covert terrorist organisation known only as ‘The Syndicate’.
This is when things start to become very familiar, almost to the point of self-parody. Our heroes travel to various exotic locations all over the world – and London – on the hunt for a villain so two dimensional that if he’d probably disappear if he were to turn on his side – maybe that’s why he’s so elusive.
The central female character, llsa Faust, is giving more of a story with her alligances in question throughout the story. Whilst you’re not quite sure whose side she may be on though, you never question the fact that by the end of the film, she will have melted at the sight of that Hollywood smile from Cruise.
The film’s biggest problem, however, is that it doesn’t maintain that same level of energy and fun as what’s previously come before. By the half way point it was struggling to keep my attention and even Cruise himself seems to be bored most of the time.
There’s an unshakeable sense of going through the motions, with the climax consisting of people running through the streets of London shooting at each other, proving ultimately disappointing.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t require lots of spectacle and destruction to keep me entertained, but when you cast your mind back to last year’s Edge of Tomorrow – another, much more successful collaboration between McQuarrie and Cruise – which felt fresh, original and exciting whilst being altogether familiar and generic; Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, feels a lot like a lacklustre built around one blockbusting moment.
It passes the time and is by no means dreadful, but it lacks any real tension, invention and the ridiculous action from the other films. It’s easily the worst of the franchise so far, and with Mission Impossible 6 due be imminently announced, I’m not sure that’s one mission I would chose to accept.
Image credit to http://www.forbes.com