Director Christoper McQuarrie Starring Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris, Ving Rhames, Alec Baldwin

So this was an interesting experience; my first Mission: Impossible film. It’s one of those series I’ve been meaning to watch, I think I’ve got the films lying around here somewhere, but I’ve always been hesitant to submit myself to them out of fear of hating what I see (I skipped the last instalment for this reason, and admittedly still haven’t seen it). It’s a fickle excuse but it’s mainly because I’m not the biggest fan of Mr. Cruise. Sorry Tom. But since this is now my officially unpaid job I laid down the challenge to myself: throw caution into the wind, and much like the series protagonist, despite the odds, I came out on top.

Rogue Nation goes rogue itself as the fifth film in a series that should be producing straight-to-DVD ridiculous garbage but is delivering its strongest offerings yet. What struck a chord with me was how easily I picked up where we were within the plot of the series. In an instant I was informed of The Syndicate, what it was and how it operated, and where the IMF was in regards to its battle against the shadow organisation. I still don’t know why it was called Rogue Nation, but it’s a good title and it’s not exactly going to ruin the film for me.

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In fact nothing here does. The choreography in the action sequences is perfect and each one is distinct from the other; only the final shoot-out left me wanting more as it didn’t rise to the occasion of the finale. There’s also an amount of unrealism as IMF’s top agent Ethan Hunt (Cruise) not only survives the impossible to survive but comes out without a scratch. Sorry Ethan, but when you rolled the bike at high speeds across red sand and dirt you were flayed alive.

But that’s just nitpicking from yours truly. In the end I can look past this and enjoy a spy / action / thriller that takes all the elements of a spy film, an action film and a thriller and makes great use of them. If you want gadgets, infiltration, fist-fights, guns, car-chases, a bike ride on a winding road with a view or maybe just a night at the Vienna opera it’s all here.

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This has all come about because Rogue Nation is a film that enables me to commit to an actor I’ve, up until recently, had no faith in. Cruise is not my cup of tea, he’s got this one role that he plays in pretty much every film. But it’s perfect for the role of Ethan in Mission: Impossible. He’s right at home here, and he gets great support from his back-up bad arse Jeremy Renner, the comic relief in Simon Pegg and the slightly overly-sexualised but still tough Rebecca Ferguson. Hell, even Alec Baldwin, to whom I hold no allegiance, impressed me with the job he did.

So I’ve discovered a new established film series to play catch up with, even though it shouldn’t hold any appeal to me whatsoever. Coming into a series on its fifth outing is risky business, especially when you don’t have any high hopes to begin with, but I guess when you take greater risks the reward is all the more satisfying, and the spoils you receive are more than worth it. Just ask Ethan Hunt.

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I’ve chosen to accept Hunt’s four previous missions. But I just have one question on my mind:

How many more missions is this guy going to prove possible before the IMF changes its title?

MRD 8 of 10

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