Tuesday, August 25, 2015

MIssion Impossible (5): Rogue Nation (2015)

Still Cruisin'

Listen. I enjoy Tom Cruise the actor. I'm ok with that. If you are not ok with that I understand. But seriously, this guy is going on decade 4 ... 4! and still having worldwide success. Pretty impressive. You know what else is impressive the MI franchise. Over the years each film has managed to be very unique and awesome, while continuing the series... does that trend continue?

Well, lets start with the MISSION IMPOSSIBLE ROGUE NATION story. A new super villain/organization has popped up and they seem primed to take down the IMF (Impossible mission force... yes thats silly, but this the 5th film so it doesn't need to be discussed), as well as possibly take over the world. Sigh, world conquering aspirations... you really do have to love you a good super villain. Anyway, while this is going on - Jeremy Renner's - William Brant has to deal with a political movement with the government to disband the IMF force... because wouldn't you know it, it seems people think the IMF is no longer relevant in the new PC world of espionage.

Mario cart - is real. 
So. Villain. Check. Sexy Heroine for Cruise to pine after... Check - Rebecca Ferguson is Ilsa Faust (hey its no Octopussy, but still a good hero chick name) drops into the franchise, and is one of the funnest parts of this film. She can handle the physical and looks great. The "is she bad is she good" angle has been done a 100 times - who cares. Still fun.

Listen I have to say it. And I am sure the argument can be made against me - I welcome your challenge! This is the weakest film in the franchise. There is no way around it. Yes part 2 had it's issues, and part 1 was a slow old school burn... but I think both of those films had something to offer. I think universally 3 or 4 are considered the best (with my own opinion being 3). The thing here is this movie offers absolutely nothing new to the series. Plus the opening hand to hand fight, was rather horrible cut. You gotta set that stage folks!

It felt like UNDERWORLD: AWAKENING where, sure it was a fun movie, but it was obviously filler until they could come up with a better film.

This film tries to feel like the last flick, GHOST PROTOCOL, and that is a problem for me as every film before it was it's own adventure. From the lush slow mo addiction of John Woo's direction, to the hyper intense lens of J.J. Abrams in part 3... and the scope of Brad Bird's part 4... this film just feels like a watered down version of 4. The action seen are good... but not great... the story is good... but not great... the one liners are good... but not great...

Basically ROGUE NATION is just another MI film. The one thing I felt really held this film back is that it is essentially a buddy flick between Cruise's Ethan Hunt and Simon Pegg's Benji Dunn with most of the film focused on them. And the whole Benji is a computer guy oh man look at him so uncomfortable in the middle of all this action, man that's so funny, how uncomfortable he is. Sure it's comical. But it's not that funny. I like both these actors... I like both these characters... but the ensemble needs to be there. Not including Jeremy Renner's character more, was a serious misjudgment.

That said.
That said. A sub par MI film is still above most other big budget action flicks. And the central heist in the flick is a blast. Easily the best part of the film for me. The other solid good point (beside the aforementioned Rebecca Ferguson and Cruise) is the villain. Although, after saying that he is also a fail.

The problem is they don't really get into his motivations. Sure we know the bad guy thinks he's saving the world, and we know he's super bad ass... but really, he gets maybe 6 lines of dialogue that don't involve bitching at or about Ethan Cruise. They really had a chance here, but choose to instead film the film with more Benji and Ethan. I could have done without the entire opening action sequence, to instead give some solid back story and build up for the Villain. As it is by the end he's just a paper cut out for cruise to burn down.

Listen, this good be a wee bit of me being spoiled. Right. You know. Like when you see that kid at the restaurant and he slaps the burger of his plate because he wants his Mom's steak. Ya. Maybe that ol' Boonsweet right now... just years of being spoiled by a Mission Impossible franchise that always delivered. So YES I HAD FUN! I ATE MY POPCORN, and dang-git I will try to be more simple and just enjoy cool exploding things.... and I mean the Cruise stunt riding is nuts in this film... can we call this guy the North American Jackie Chan? I say it's close enough to bring up. Oh and him hanging from a plan 5000 feet off the ground... real. NOT CGI. I repeat - Real.

That's right folks. Real. 

Still the weakest link. I waited a couple weeks to write this review... and I had to really think about any part of this film that stood out as special to me.

Movie scale 3 out of 5 stars
Action movie scale 3 out of 5 stars

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