I’m probably in the minority when I disclose I really enjoyed the first Mission: Impossible film from the late-90s. The film seems to have critics on both sides whereas the sequel, directed by John Woo, is a fever nightmare from when we allowed John Woo to direct movies.
Here we are in 2015 though, and J.J. Abrams is producing his third M:I movie, the fifth in the overall series. When Abrams picked up the third bringing Philip Seymour Hoffman with him, it was a thrill. That sequel felt like a peak into what J.J.’s series, Alias, would have been with Lost’s budget.
Third/fifth time around, new director but same, firmly planted universe. Rouge Nation feels like the other films with some minor adjustments. First, the casting is tighter. While Jeremy Rener is back from the last film, the budget for casting seemed to end with adding Alec Baldwin for reasons unknown. While it’s good to see you the movie focus on story and plot over a bloated cast, Baldwin’s appearance seems unnecessary as he mainly runs around like Elmer Fudd, trying to catch those wascally agents.
Elsewhere, Tom Cruise seems older. He’s noticeably older in closeups but not to the point of Arnold Schwarzenegger playing an action hero still. It’s okay and understandable for a franchise that has now crossed more that 15 years.
Simon Pegg has a larger role this time around and its easy to understand why. He’s likeable and provides comic relief when necessary. While it could have been easy to accomplish, he’s not over used or exploited.
Rogue Nation is a fun ride with a focused villain, The Syndicate. With a good bad-guy to track down the movie follows the blueprint of the past two movies with organized missions, chase sequences and double-crossings. It’s all justified in the scheme of… It’s a Mission: Impossible movie.
Abrams has now built a trilogy and its connected, maintained and fun to watch. There’s silliness, déjà vu with sequences but above all else, it’s a Mission: Impossible movie and that’s okay.
- New additions to the cast
- Action sequences