As the fifth installment in the Mission Impossible franchise, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation refuses to bow down, keeping the stunts, production value, and narrative at the quality you’d expect to see in any of the previous installments – and then some.
Continuing the story of Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF team, they are hunted down after being recognized as a rogue agency – Ethan and his team must prove themselves innocent and reveal who is truly behind this all.
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation isn’t leagues ahead in story depth and certainly doesn’t offer the same tension as previous additions like Mission Impossible: III (2006) – but it manages to provide more draw dropping action, a more clever villain than usual, and a new role by Rebecca Ferguson that works well with Cruise. These films are in their very nature classic spy flicks, with all the theatrics that a veteran action star can provide. Rogue Nation feels sleeker and more controlled in its story than the previous installment, not only that it feels confident in its camera-work; with more theatrical shots and a darker aesthetic. Despite offering a more admirable villain, Rogue Nation misses a mark or two in providing something more to the mixture. One of the problems being that this film had trouble figuring out what direction it wanted to take the character of Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise), whether the film is a vengeance story or a survival story is troublesome to deduce, even by the characters themselves.
Despite the flaws the film is uncompromisingly entertaining. These films stand the test of time because they can provide something real, something few films nowadays struggle with. Whether you like it or not, Tom Cruise is one of the last remaining true action stars that can also pull out a fantastic emotional performance. His role with Rebecca Ferguson worked valiantly but it won’t take you to new avenues for the series.
Rogue Nation feels mature all the while keeping the goofy self-awareness and fun antics of the series, but struggles with bringing something truly interesting to the series. Rogue Nation trades up its extra stunts for a little more added substance, and while it certainly doesn’t cheap out on the craziness of its action there’s a lack of motive in the characters that felt existent in the previous installment.