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Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation – A Spoiler-free Review

Aug 01, 2015

# | Rica Wiersema

Everyone wants to be lucky. People spend hundreds of millions of dollars on lottery tickets, slot machines, and card games every year in the hopes of beating the odds. However, “Lady Luck” is also infamously fickle… and what happens to her beneficiaries when she eventually walks out on them?

For super-spy Ethan Hunt and his friends in the I.M.F. (Impossible Missions Force), luck appears to be the only thing keeping them alive and successful at times. Their past missions have often come within a hairsbreadth of becoming global catastrophes… and now the C.I.A. is putting its foot down about it. While Ethan is abroad trying to uncover an international terrorist organization called “The Syndicate,” the U.S. government shuts down the I.M.F. and labels him as a rogue agent responsible for countless past incidents of wanton destruction. But there’s more to stopping Ethan Hunt than just declaring a warrant for his arrest.

Thus begins Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, the fifth movie in the Mission Impossible series. This comedy-ridden action-thriller follows Cruise and his wise-cracking team of agents (played by Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, and Ving Rhames) as they go undercover to escape the C.I.A. and expose the Syndicate at all costs. However, they are up against a mastermind who seems to know their every move even before they act. Could it be that Ethan Hunt’s luck has finally run out?

Sequel or not, Rogue Nation is without a doubt an impressive thriller. Director Christopher McQuarrie doesn't just hit audiences with back-to-back action sequences – he also paces them with intrigue, and then builds suspense with slow, methodical skill. The movie does display an impressive repertoire of risky stunts and choreographed fights, but some of the most powerful scenes feature long, horrifying moments of heart-pounding anticipation.

Most Mission Impossible movies are known for their intricate plots, and Rogue Nation is certainly no exception. However, the most convoluted part of this film is neither the storyline, nor even its excessive number of double and triple-agents darting between the I.M.F. and the Syndicate…rather, the strangest element of Rogue Nation is its chosen array of characters.

Aside from Ethan Hunt, the two central figures in the film are Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) and rogue MI6 agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson)…and the two of them cannot be more different. Benji, who originally begins as little more than Ethan Hunt’s witty sidekick, soon proves himself to be a stalwart friend in the face of death. His candid, comedic remarks keep the entire film down-to-earth, which gives even more weight to the life-threatening dangers faced by our heroes.

But on the other side of the coin, Ilsa is as cookie-cutter an action movie femme fatale can get (as if her name isn't already enough of a red flag)…a dime-a-dozen sex object in a slinky dress. Every time Benji draws the audience into the movie with his refreshing banter, Ilsa’s straight face and cliché personality immediately toss them back out again.

However, it doesn’t matter to the villain of Rogue Nation whether Ethan Hunt’s companions are likeable or not; they’ll each be extorted, threatened, and put in mortal danger in order to bring Hunt down. In the end, everything comes down to a battle of wits between Ethan and the Syndicate… and Ethan will find out once and for all whether his victories over the years have really been due to blind luck, or to his own genius.

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation is a high-speed roller coaster of a movie that will keep viewers on their toes. It may not be the most perfect action-adventure to hit the big screen this summer, but its breathtaking stunts and rib-splitting banter will provide plenty of entertainment, and that means this is one movie ticket that won’t be a gamble.

Category: film

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