Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, January 14, 2016


Rebecca Ferguson and Sean Harris
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE -- ROGUE NATION (2015). Writer/director: Christopher McQuarrie.

"Join the IMF. See the world. On a monitor. In a closet." -- Benjy

The Secretary of State (Alec Baldwin) disbands the IMF (Impossible Missions Force) because he feels that the success of its missions is mostly due to luck. In the meantime IMF leader Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is made aware of a sinister organization called the Syndicate that seems comprised of supposedly dead agents from around the world. [In an interesting touch the message Hunt gets that gives him his assignment is actually from the Syndicate and blows up!] Ethan repeatedly encounters a woman named Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson) who seems to be working for the Syndicate but saves Ethan's life on more than one occasion. An excellent scene occurs at the Vienna State Opera when a hit is planned on the Austrian chancellor during a performance of "Turandot" (Puccini's music is more effective as a backdrop for this than one might imagine). Later Ethan and his gang, including Benjy (Simon Pegg of Star Trek into Darkness) and Luther (Ving Rhames), invade a stronghold to acquire a ledger with important information -- in an underwater, underground vault where Hunt is rapidly running out of air -- and later must kidnap the prime minister of England to prevent disaster! The performances in this are good, although there's some overacting from Cruise and others at times, and it's interesting to note that the star seems to surround himself with better but less prepossessing actors. Ferguson, Pegg and Sean Harris as the evil Lane are all quite good. MI -- Rogue Nation has some outstanding and exciting sequences, but oddly, no real climax. As usual the movie respects the original TV series by more or less remaining true to its origins, which is more than you can say about The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and others.

Verdict: Memorable action thriller. ***.


angelman66 said...

I don't know why I skipped this one, but your review makes it a must-see. I thoroughly enjoyed all the other ones in the series. And yes, one of producer Cruise's talents is that he surrounds himself with wonderful actors...I was not aware Simon Pegg was in this one, and he is one of my favorites.
Thanks again, Bill, for reminding me about this one!!

William said...

It's a very enjoyable movie, and Pegg nearly steals the picture.