With the release of a new instalment of the Mission Impossible franchise, it’s become blindingly obvious that the ‘impossible’ missions are more ‘highly unlikely’ tasks that the lead action hero inevitably pulls off. As Benji (Simon Pegg) talks our male lead Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) through the risky task of jumping into a spinning vortex of water/doom, Hunt predictably shouts ‘that’s impossible!’ Now, I’ve never tried to willingly chuck myself into a large pool of H2O but I don’t think it would be impossible. But then I guess it’s always easier said than done, especially for the person who isn’t performing that task. Like Benji, who quips that ‘it’s definitely not impossible’- and this is after explaining that Hunt will have to insert a key card into an underwater reader with a 3 minute oxygen supply and a bullet ridden Benji if the card does not read correctly. It’s starting to make the usual 9-5-office job sound quite heavenly, isn’t it?
The plot is established in the beginning with an anti-IMF gang called ‘The Syndicate’ a rogue nation that is trained to take down opponents in the manner of IMF. Sean Harris, most noticeable as the terrifying drug lord in the Michael Caine thriller Harry Brown, navigates as the movies central villain, Solomon Lane. He has the delusional view that killing foreign dignitary’s and starting civil wars are necessary for change. This is the only point of view I wish the movie explored a bit more, mainly because it didn’t make any sense. In fact, despite the constant muttering of ‘The Syndicate’, I left the cinema confused about what the film was even about. Basically, the plot was so simple that the movie felt slightly pointless. The convoluted idea that ex British intelligence agents created The Syndicate seemed a bit too Skyfall.
Rogue Nation does however; contain gorgeous locations such as Morocco, Vienna and London, flicking from dry and exotic to drab and dreary in a second. And although not the most experimental film out there, the use of canted and Dutch angles to indicate the presence of villain Solomon Lane gave the film stylistic brownie points.
The main attraction of the film takes the form of gorgeous newcomer Rebecca Ferguson, the Swedish actress portrays the films femme fatale, Ilsa Faust. She is manipulative, sexy and dangerous. Her character seems to be working for every agency out there and the audience often feel cautious of her flippant nature leading us to get frustrated when she favours Hunt one second and Lane the next. Her appearances throughout the film are as refreshing as they are entertaining as they adhere to the much needed femme fatale role in Hollywood.
Jeremy Renner returns as William Brandt but his role is so forgettable that if it was taken out, the audience would hardly even notice. Becoming one of Cruise’s highest debuts in years, Tom Cruise definitely isn’t going to be bringing in any Oscars as Ethan Hunt but if you observe all the entertaining action sequences and ‘impossible’ stunts, you overlook the fact that Cruise is a bit weird in real life.
Overall, a highly entertaining film that maintains its target audience and thrills its competitors; even if it does seem unnecessarily long.
Film and TV Editor