“Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation”
Excellent (4 stars)
Rated PG-13 for action, violence and brief partial nudity
Running time: 132 minutes
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Rogue Nation is the fifth installment in the Mission: Impossible franchise featuring Tom Cruise as the dashing and daring Ethan Hunt. This episode has everything you’d expect from an action-oriented espionage thriller: international intrigue, irresistible eye candy and edge-of-your-seat fight and chase sequences.
Just past our unflappable protagonist’s death-defying airplane stunt in the picture’s opening scene, we find him put out to pasture and retiring to Europe where he soon disappears from the grid entirely. It seems that his Impossible Mission Force (IMF) is being disbanded by the U.S. Senate Oversight Committee at the behest of CIA Director Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin), an inept, if well-intentioned bureaucrat.
A governmental directive for IMF spies to come in from the proverbial cold gives evil a license to thrive, especially the Syndicate, a clandestine confederacy of assassins bent on what else but world domination. Ignoring the orders of his superiors, Ethan instead recruits former colleagues William (Jeremy Renner), Benji (Simon Pegg) and Luther (Ving Rhames) for help in toppling the power-hungry terrorist organization. And the team of veteran sleuths is ably assisted in that endeavor by Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson), an inscrutable double-agent with mysterious motives.
Directed by Christopher McQuarrie, MI5 is as cerebral and multi-layered as it is high-octane and visually-captivating. Overplotted to the point of incomprehension, this is one brainteaser you might be better off not bothering to decipher. I say, simply sink into your seat and soak in the sweeping panoramas, the IMF team’s infectious camaraderie, and wave after wave of their derring-do, whether by land, sea or air.
The epitome of a bona fide summer blockbuster!