Friday, July 31, 2015

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation Review

July of 2015 is the month of fifths. We got a fifth Terminator movie at the beginning of the month. Two days ago we were given the fifth Vacation movie. Now we have the fifth Mission: Impossible movie. That's quite the month. Speaking of Terminator, if you read my review on that you will know that before I wrote my review for that, I made sure to see all the previous Terminator movies. Knowing that Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation was coming out at the end of the month, I had a similar plan with the Mission: Impossible franchise. Unlike the Terminator franchise, I have actually seen at least most of the Mission: Impossible movies. I even wrote a review on this blog after I saw Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol back in early 2012 after its release in December 2011. It was the fourth review that I wrote for this blog. But it's been a while even since that movie and much longer for the other three. So I was going to do a refresher course on the franchise and the reward for that would be me informing you how this chapter fits in with the previous four. Sadly I failed that mission. Sorry. July 30th came a lot faster than I anticipated. As such, I had two choices. I could postpone seeing this movie until I watched the other four, much like I did with Terminator Genisys. Or I could just screw it and see this movie on opening night. I chose the second option. So unfortunately you won't be hearing right now how I liked this movie compared to the other Mission: Impossible movies, but you are getting this review a lot earlier, so that's good right?

Speaking of my Ghost Protocol review, I went back and read that just now and apparently I wasn't super enthralled with the movie when I first saw it. Interesting. I wonder how that would change on a re-watch because I had a blast with Rogue Nation. Either that means that Rogue Nation is a much better movie or I was in a weird mood when I saw Ghost Protocol. I'm thinking the latter, but we'll see. As you would expect with a Mission: Impossible movie, Tom Cruise has found himself in quite the conundrum. As he is out moseying around the world, he sees some evil dude do a very evil thing and then a bunch of that evil dude's cohorts start beating the living tar out of him and he only escapes because of one of my new favorite females. Then he decides he needs to hunt this evil dude down and so he calls his buddy Hawkeye, I mean Jeremy Renner (who was in Ghost Protocol, which was released before The Avengers), for some help but then he learns that the CIA has shut down his little organization and are out to kill him, so he can only get help from his buddies if they agree to put their lives on the line and help him. You know, typical day in the life of Tom Cruise. I could be more specific with the details and terminology here, but sometimes I like to give as little plot as possible in my reviews, thus preserving the experience for my readers who haven't seen the movie. But you get the point. Basically Tom Cruise is on yet another mission that seems, dare I say... impossible?

The thing that made this movie so great is that it was a huge, wild ride from beginning to end. Often an action movie will spend a little time setting the stage for our adventure and thus we have to wait a bit before we get to the action. That's definitely not the case here. This is like a horse race. Right out of the gate the movie just starts sprinting and it doesn't let up until it crosses the finish line. Brainless action movie? Heck to the no. This is a very smart movie with a fairly intricate plot and amazing characters. Every corner of the movie there is a new twist and turn that keeps you on your toes the whole time. You don't know what's going to happen next. You don't know what crazy stunt Tom Cruise is going to have to pull off next. You don't even know the loyalty of all the characters. Yes, you know that somehow Tom Cruise is going to pull it off, but this is definitely not a predictable movie as you have no idea how he's going to get to that point. During some parts of the movie you hear the conversations of the team as they discuss the plan. Those moments put a big smile on your face as you realize what's going to happen next. Other times the team plans off-screen and we as an audience have no idea what they have up their sleeve. Every single time that happened I had an even bigger smile because of how genius the plan was.

You heard me say team at the end of that last sentence. Without giving anything away, this mission becomes more than just Tom Cruise doing awesome stunts and coming up with ideas on his own. All four of our main protagonists get equal time to shine in this movie, which I really liked. They might not be the brilliant-minded, action star that Tom Cruise is in this movie, but they're all good in their own individual ways. First, I need to talk about Tom Cruise. If you are one of those people that still boycott this man's movies and hate on him because of his personal life, just stop already. I won't go on this rant again, but the man is an absolute genius on the screen. He's getting old now, but he sure as heck doesn't act like it. He's still acting and doing crazy stunts like he's forever in his 20's. The fact that he does his own stunts gives him even more kudos in my book. I don't expect this out of actors. I have zero problem with the inclusion of stunt doubles. But when you can do your own stunts, I give you major props. And there's some crazy things that happen in this movie that make me want to go watch a documentary on the making of this movie to see exactly what Tom Cruise put himself through. The man is a genius, a boss, and a super good actor. Stop being a hater already and accept this man's awesomeness.

The other three now. We have a great trio of support for Tom Cruise in Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, and Ving Rhames. First off, Jeremy Renner is awesome and the casting people for Ghost Protocol should really give themselves a gold star for getting this guy on board before he exploded on the scene as Hawkeye. Yes it's true that he was Hawkeye in the first Thor, which was released before Ghost Protocol. But it wasn't until The Avengers where he really caught people's eyes, mine included. Now he's in everything and is loved by everyone. Rogue Nation definitely takes advantage of this and ups his role in a big way. Smart move. Simon Pegg does a great job of being the comic relief, especially because he is able to do so in a way that doesn't disrupt the flow of the movie as this movie is very intense at times. He's also able to be equally as good at being serious and I really appreciated that versatility in his performance. Finally, as far as our main group of protagonists goes, we have Ving Rhames, who is the guy you don't want to meet in a dark alley, if you know what I mean. This guy has been in all five Mission: Impossible movies, so huge fans of the franchise will be happy to know that his role in this is pretty big, which wasn't the case in Ghost Protocol if I'm remembering correctly.

I'm now done talking about our main group of protagonists, but I'm not through with talking about these actors in this movie. Alec Baldwin is new to the franchise in this movie and I don't want to say much about his character, so I will just tell you that I really enjoyed him. This was one of the better Alec Baldwin roles. Who I do want to spend time on is the girl who I said in the second paragraph was one of my new favorite females. Her name is Rebecca Ferguson and there's a good chance you've never heard of her because the only notable thing she's done before this was last year's Dwayne Johnson Hercules movie. But holy cow, what a find. She might be the best part of this movie, which is saying a lot because there are a lot of great characters in this movie. I don't want to say too much about what she does because she is a fairly mysterious girl, but she is on par with Tom Cruise in the movie in terms of both intelligence and action. Half of the time she is actually outsmarting and out-maneuvering him and it works. I hope this movie ends up being a stepping stone for more big roles, because I really want to see more of this girl in the future. This also makes for quite the strong year for female action stars.

If there's one flaw that I find in this movie, it's the actual master-mind behind all of this villainy. While the scheme itself was brilliant, as a main villain I didn't find him very convincing. When he finally got his screen-time, I didn't buy the fact that he was the one to come up with all of this. But that's really the only issue I had with this movie and that's quite the minor issue when compared to the awesomeness that was the rest of this movie. Best action movie of the summer, like the recent TV spots have been saying? Well, no. I'd still give that title to Mad Max: Fury Road. But this ain't too far behind that. If you don't like action movies, then this isn't for you of course. But if you love action movies, which will probably be the case for most of the people reading this review, then you need to make movie a high priority because it's an absolute blast from beginning to end. I really wish I could give you my ranking for this movie in compared to the other Mission: Impossible movies. Sorry again for that. But I don't imagine things getting much better than this. It's everything you would expect from a movie called Mission: Impossible and perhaps even more. I'm going to give this movie a very strong 9/10. I even considered going a bit higher with this, but that's a strong grade for me as is, so I feel comfortable with it.

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