Number 5 Keeping It Alive


            It’s the weekend and time once again to undertake a mission. That mission is to go to the local movie theater and review yet another film to be released upon the mass media. If you haven’t guessed from my lengthy introduction, our film today is Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, the fifth movie in the ever-popular spy series. Hi I’m Robbie K and it’s my job to give you the information and help you decide if you should pay a visit to the theater to catch the movie. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to read my review.

Mission Impossible is a series that has had its ups and downs, varying in the plot, delivery, and overall presentation of the movie. Yet there is usually one consistency in the series, an adventure filled with suspense and action to bring the excitement to the former television series. Well guess what, MI5 has all of that and fortunately presents it in a well-balanced manner. Director Christopher McQuarrie has led his team to develop a fantastic spy movie that holds all the elements one is looking for in a spy film without going too far down the dark side. Let’s start with the plot.

MI5’s plot starts out with gusto; an exciting opening that reintroduces our team before dropping Ethan (Tom Cruise) and company into their next mission. From there the plot only gets more suspenseful from there, becoming a conglomeration of manhunt, espionage, and uncovering the truth amidst the complicated organization known as the Syndicate. Now it is still the typical plot that we’ve seen in previous installments, but MI5 keeps the story exciting by the numerous twists thrown into the mix. The tale keeps you guessing at what is going to happen, surprising you with some unexpected angles you might not see coming. But the story isn’t just about the mission; it throws some other plot elements into the mix particularly around Ethan and the newcomer Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson) who take the center stage of this adventure. All these tales are well integrated into the main story, adding depth to what could be a one-dimension plot and anchoring you back to the team. By connecting with the team, I felt part of the squad trying to take down the ruthless, cunning, skilled terror that is the Syndicate.

The plot is greatly supported by the action, giving you some variety and keeping the plot moving. MI5 does have technical details, governmental jargon, and planning moments to help set things up, but the action helps bring the heat of the moment to life. The chase scenes in particular are the most exciting, rip roaring fun with over the top stunts lighting up the screen with explosive sound effects. The hand-to-hand combat even throws a few impressive moments, with Cruise in particular showing some dexterity and strength in his stunts. Unfortunately gunplay is a little lacking in this film, very simplistic and often short lived thanks to the near perfect accuracy of our team. Perhaps my favorite component of the action is the cleverness behind it, where the flashy moves are traded for a more strategic approach to which you expect of elite spies. Unfortunately for me, the ending scene was a little anticlimactic; the epic buildup kind of fizzled out with the rather boring, and somewhat drawn out chase in the end.

In addition to all of this, MI5’s true strength is the team of actors that bring the story to life. Cruise, despite all the weird crap he has done, still does well with his role as Ethan. All his personality quirks have bestowed him the ability to bring a wide array of qualities to his character that you look for in a protagonist. His character is smart and somewhat sociopathic, yet can be crazy, overemotional, and funny, which leads to an entertaining character. Ferguson doesn’t have quite the emotional spectrum, but the femme fatale edge she brings and mysterious disposition help keep suspense into the movie and offset some of the crazier moments. Simon Pegg as the ever-lovable Benji reprises his role, a character that is sort of a comical version of Q that relieves the tension with his klutziness and well-timed lines. Much of the comedy in fact is due to excellent timing and a clever script. Jeremy Renner and Pegg really had me laughing with their execution of very simple lines, just casually reacting to the heat of the moment like friends do. As for the villain, Sean Harris was an excellent choice, an actor who captures the true evil mastermind without overacting like many due. You get the creeps from his quiet disposition, his cold calculating tactics mirrored in his steely gaze and soft manner of speaking. The cast was super fantastic and I wish I could go into more detail, but let’s wrap this up.

Mission Impossible 5 is a great installment into the series, and may be my favorite of them all. While not the most action packed, this tale keeps moving and integrates a lot of great components into the tale. It is definitely not the most original tale, but they have kept it fresh, interesting, and funny throughout the movie and crafted a great spy tale. There are a few things that could have been cleaned up or let out, but overall it is a well-done movie. I encourage everyone to go see this movie into the theater, especially those looking for a good Thriller this summer. Just suspend reality a little and you will be able to accept some of the limitations of this tale.

My scores are:

Action/Adventure/Thriller: 8.5-9.0

Movie Overall: 8.0

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