Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015)

Content by Tony Macklin. Originally published on August 5, 2015 @ tonymacklin.net.

So much entertainment in movies and television so far this year has been harrowing, crude, or clumsy.

It's time to escape.

Mr. Hunt, here's your assignment. Help me escape. If you accept, I'll be very grateful.

Do not tell Mr. Bay.

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation terrifically fulfills its assignment. It's a shot of summer adrenaline. With a brain.

It's the fifth installment, and by God - or Tom Cruise - it's still fresh.

Christopher McQuarrie can be a clever writer, as he has shown in his screenplay for The Usual Suspects (1995). His script for Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation is smart, sometimes unpredictable, and has suspense. Several scenes have unexpected moments.

McQuarrie is a solid director, although some of his action scenes have more motion than action.

Two sequences are drawn-out - a motorcycle chase, and a knife fight that should cut itself.

But most of the scenes have impact. The tours de force scene of Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) hanging onto a flying airplane is short and sweet.

McQuarrie relies on a pounding, pulsating soundtrack, highlighted by Lalo Schifrin's classic theme.

One knows that Tom Cruise is not going to let the action lag in his movies. His acting sometimes is just a gleam in his eye, but he comes through as an enduring - prevailing - franchise. You know Cruise is committed to his work.

Rebecca Ferguson holds up her end - and other body parts - as the mysterious woman who saves Ethan's life, and is a worthy partner in his many action exploits. She adds a credible, human dimension to the violence and intrigue.

Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames are back as members of the IMF -- Impossible Mission Force. Jeremy Renner and a jowlish Alec Baldwin are key authorities, whom Hunt provokes and baffles.

Sean Harris portrays the villainous leader of a secret "Syndicate" that is promoting terror and disruption across the world. He is a figure of low-key nastiness, and is a worthy opponent for Hunt and the IMF.

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation is engrossing summer fun.

Mr. Hunt, your lasting assignment is to keep the IMF in Cruise control.

© 2000-2018 Tony Macklin