Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation Released: 30 July 2015
HANGING off the side of a plane as it hurtles down the runway, speeding along the cliff side on a motorbike with no helmet and being sucked around a water cooler system for over three minutes without oxygen are just some of the breath taking and impressive stunts in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation – and it sure is fun!As the fifth instalment of the Mission Impossible franchise, it seemed almost impossible for first time series writer and director Christopher McQuarrie to top 2011’s Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. But, in the words of Ethan Hunt: Mission accomplished.
The film sees Tom Cruise return as IMF agent Ethan Hunt, who has been left out in the cold as a new threat called the Syndicate emerges – a network of highly trained operatives who are determined to establish a new world order through a series of terrorist attacks.
Familiar faces are back too as Ethan gathers his team and joins forces with disavowed British agent Ilsa Faust, played by Rebecca Ferguson – a refreshing heroine who would rather take off her shoes and fight than run in heels – but can she be trusted as the group faces their most impossible mission yet?
The opening sequence is enough to put you on the edge of your seat – an image that fans will recognise from the trailer, where Ethan is seen gripping the side of an aeroplane as it takes off – a moment made even the more thrilling knowing that Tom Cruise is a man who likes to do his own stunts.
From take off, the film sends us right around the world with scenes in Austria, Morocco and London. And it’s the references to Britain that got the most response from the cinema audience as William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) insists that the team must ‘warn the British’ of a potential attack on the Prime Minister – although don’t expect to see a David Cameron lookalike here.
Unfortunately the reference of the PM seemed more laughable than threatening, which may not have been the film’s intention. It’s difficult to take something seriously when it’s based on a well known figure so close to home, especially when the plot takes the character to the extreme.
Our evil mastermind, Solomon Lane is played exquisitely by Sean Harris, a quietly calculating and somewhat sinister villain whose raspy voice and eye-twitching will haunt you all the way home.
Comic relief is back in the form of Simon Pegg as the loveable Benji and there a few humorous nods from Ving Rhames as Luther. Alec Baldwin also enters the Mission Impossible world as the CIA head Alan Hunley, who tries to shut down the IMF team.
The spy gadgets are just as fun as ever with keys that can unlock any door, those memorable masks to give the team seamless disguises, car windows with ID pads and an arm band registering how much oxygen is left in your lungs – plus that signature Mission Impossible theme tune to set the mood.
But despite its fast pace, it doesn’t leave the audience behind, explaining every move and plan in simple terms, even opting to use visuals and comedy to lighten the mood in what should have been a very complicated sequence.
With twists and turns at every corner, this is a high action, immensely fun and incredibly clever addition to the Mission Impossible franchise. So buckle up, hold on tight and get ready to go rogue!
Festival Film Club Rating: ★★★★