I’ve said it before I will say it again; Tom Cruise is probably the biggest movie star in the world and has been for a long time. He puts more effort into his films than most people and genuinely cares that his audiences have a great time at the movies. His Mission: Impossible series that started in 1996 with Brian DePalma directing has become one of the most successful franchises in movie history and has managed to do something many film series cannot. They keep getting better. That high level of quality hit its peak in 2011 with Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, directed by Brad Bird, who was making his live action directing debut. His previous directorial efforts included the masterpieces The Iron Giant and The Incredibles. Ghost Protocol was about as perfect as an action movie can get. Now four years later we get a new installment, this time directed by Jack Reacher’s Christopher McQuarrie, called Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. But can it match the high bar set by the previous film?
Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his IMF force are on the verge of being dismantled at the insistence of CIA director Hunley (Alec Baldwin). Hunt is convinced a secret organization known as The Syndicate is planning something big but the CIA doesn’t even believe they exist, they think Hunt is making them up to justify the IMF. So Hunt and his IMF teammates must act on their own to stop The Syndicate before they get their hands on billions of government money to finance their operation and endanger the free world as we know it.
Let’s get one thing straight. Rogue Nation does not outperform Ghost Protocol in any aspect. Ghost Protocol was funnier, has better and more elaborate action sequences, was paced better and was more exciting. But that is also like saying Goodfellas is no Godfather. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is still a fantastic action film with stunning action set pieces, a great performance as usual by Cruise, both in acting and in his exceptional stunt work, a great supporting cast including the return of Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg (who is a brilliant addition to the series) and a fantastic turn by Rebecca Ferguson as the former MI6 agent who may or may not be part of the Syndicate. This is another spectacularly solid entry in an already phenomenal series. And a series that I think the James Bond franchise should take notes from as they seem to be doing Bond better than Bond. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is one of the best flicks of the year and highly recommended.