In Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, you will find almost every single cliché that you've come to expect from an international super spy thriller, but the movie adheres to them so incredibly well, that you won't even care. Nay, you'll find yourself at the edge of your seat, shoveling popcorn into your mouth and realizing that this is everything that you want out of a Mission: Impossible flick. Nothing but pure, unadulterated, awesome.
The premise of Rogue Nation is somewhat complex but never truly becomes overbearing. At times, I felt that they dumbed it down a bit too much to ensure that no one in the audience was lost on what Ethan Hunt and his fellow Impossible Missions Force teammates were up to. Essentially the IMF is being hunted from two sides; as the CIA seeks to shut them down due to their unorthodox antics in past missions and a mysterious "Syndicate," which is a bad guy version of the IMF created to send the world into anarchy through acts of terrorism, wants to use Hunt to get their hands on something that will make world domination much easier. The plot hums along crisply in Rogue Nation as we move from spectacle to spectacle all across the globe while the story unravels one step at a time.
Which brings us to what is far and away the most enjoyable part of Rogue Nation, the stunt work. In a day and age where action movies are completely overridden with special effects, it is refreshing to see a major blockbuster that relies so heavily on real stunts and gritty shots to throw you head first into the action. Honestly, the movie is worth seeing just to watch Tom Cruise literally cling to the side of a military jet as it takes off into the sky. Sure, he's a weird dude, like really weird, but you can't help but admire Cruise's dedication to his craft and his desire to do all of his own stunts. I really don't believe there is an actor in Hollywood quite like him.
The cast of Rogue Nation really elevates it to the next level as well. Of course Tom Cruise is as comfortable as ever playing Ethan Hunt, but a majority of the screen time is shared with Simon Pegg as Benji Dunn and Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust. The three really work wonderfully together between Pegg's almost non-stop comic relief and Ferguson's determined and mysterious demeanor. A movie like this, with so many moving pieces, can become a chore to watch when you don't feel invested in the characters, but the entire cast makes it easy to hate the villains and love the heroes.
I'm finding it tough to come up with anything I really disliked about Rogue Nation. Everyone involved seems to be at the top of their game and the end result really is one of the most enjoyable experiences at the movies that I've had in quite a long time. It is so easy to let yourself be taken away into this world of spies and super villains and wait for the next exhilarating twist and turn that you always know is coming. Again, Rogue Nation doesn't really do anything particularly unique or different, but sometimes that's a good thing. It's a movie that knows exactly what it should be, it doesn't try to break any barriers or tread any new ground and it's all the better for playing it safe.
Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation will serve as the perfect capstone to what has already been a wonderful summer for movies. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to grab some popcorn, candy, a massive sugary soda, then sit back, relax, and enjoy the movie.
My Rating: A-