- on Friday, 31 July 2015 15:58
- by Frank Wilkins
2012’s criminally underrated Jack Reacher featured the debut of the Christopher McQuarrie/Tom Cruise filmmaking team. Though that film was more of a laid back and gritty homage to the classic car-chase films of the ‘70s like Bullitt and The French Connection, McQuarrie and Cruise showed enough promise to get the call to collaborate again on last year’s Edge of Tomorrow which McQuarrie wrote but turned the helm over to Doug Liman.
Now, the dynamic duo of action thrillers is back at it again, this time with McQ returning to the chair with his own script and Cruise doing what he does best: running, jumping, fighting, and kicking ass like nobody’s business in Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, the fifth installment of the M:I franchise.
That’s right, the FIFTH installment. An even bigger feat than achieving any amount of big screen adaptation success with a 1960s TV show is continuing to find ways to hang around for more than a few episodes. Long after most action franchises have grown long in the tooth, Rogue Nation not only confirms the vitality of the M:I franchise, it virtually guarantees a sixth chapter. And with these two at the controls, the IMF is in good hands.
In Rogue Nation, the Impossible Mission Force (IMF), headed by Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is under heavy scrutiny and now faces total disbandment as hard-driving CIA director Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) hopes to decommission the deep-cover espionage agency and bring its agents into the jurisdiction of the CIA.
But just as Hunt learns of the CIA’s plans, he discovers a harrowing threat to the free world in the form of The Syndicate, an impenetrable, rigorously-trained group of renegade spies with an evil agenda of their own. Once believed to be nothing more than a myth and rumor, The Syndicate turns out to be real as Hunt expects and, in fact, represents a genuine danger to not only the IMF, but to the entire world under the leadership of Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) who is about to unleash a reign of terror…unless Hunt can stop him.
Not since Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Owen Davian in Mission: Impossible III has the series enjoyed a villain the likes of Lane. Harris nails the essence of an evil nemesis with no moral compass who challenges the IMF with his intellectual prowess and physical dexterity. He’s one of those bad guys that makes you ball up your fists and bite your lower lip as you restrain yourself from punching him in the face while he calmly mumbles his hate-filled lines. It’s great fun watching Lane and Hunt match wits as the stakes grow bigger with each passing encounter.
To stop The Syndicate’s evil plan, Hunt assembles his band of agents with Jeremy Renner returning as William Brandt, Simon Pegg as whiz computer expert Benji, and Ving Rhames as Luther. New to the game is Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson as the mysterious British agent Ilsa Faust, who reverses the tables on Hunt by seeming to play both sides as the brainy femme fatale with looks that could kill faster than her lightning-quick ninja skills.
Hats off to McQuarrie who makes this whole thing work. Between the dizzying combination of action, intrigue, suspense, and even humor that swirl around in a plot that is probably a bit too complex for its own good, there are a lot of balls to keep in the air at the same time. His hands are definitely full, but McQuarrie’s pacing always gives us just the right amount of time to collect ourselves between the expertly choreographed stunt pieces. And knowing that Cruise is actually holding his breath for that long, riding a sport bike through the streets of Morocco, and clinging to the side of a mid-flight airplane gives the action a feel that just can’t be duplicated on a green screen.
Sure, you’ll lose count of the “well, that’s not very realistic” moments, but that’s never mattered in a Mission: Impossible film and it certainly doesn’t in this one. We’re not here for the science. It’s the suspense and excitement of a summer action thriller with as much brains as brawn that brought us. And this one delivers exactly what we wanted.
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of action and violence, and brief partial nudity.
Runtime: 131 mins
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Writer: Christopher McQuarrie
Cast: Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Jeremy Renner
Genre: Action | Drama | Thriller
Tagline: Go rogue
Memorable Movie Quote: "Let me guess. Presumed dead?"
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Official Site: http://www.missionimpossible.com/
Release Date: July 31, 2015
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: December 15, 2015
Synopsis: Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation Ethan and team take on their most impossible mission yet, eradicating the Syndicate an International rogue organization as highly skilled as they are, committed to destroying the IMF.
Available on Blu-ray - December 15, 2015
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Audio: English: Dolby Atmos; English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps); French: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps); Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); UV digital copy; iTunes digital copy; Google Play digital copy; DVD copy
Region Encoding: A
There’s no disappointment in Paramount’s handling of the 1080p transfer of Crusie’s new mission. Like its predecessor, this is a visceral experience on blu-ray. The pristine images are bound to give a person vertigo as Cruise clings to the side of an airplane. Flesh tones are warm and engaging. Fabric is textured with minute details never noticed on the big screen and the thrills are even more realized in 1080p. The scenery is aptly sprinkled with location details; everything is peppered with great texture. Black levels are deep and defined as concrete with sharp edges that never bleed into the background. Picture-wise, this is a very detailed release even if a few of the shots tend to sway soft around the edges from time to time. The sound – presented in a ripe Dolby TrueHD 7.1 lossless soundtrack – explodes with a wonderful kick from its many bullets and explosions and crashes. Sound effects are keyed in and moments of soft dialogue are not lost either.
- Since Director Christopher McQuarrie previously worked with Cruise in Jack Reacher, he and Producer and star Tom Cruise have great rapport as they reminisce about filming the action blockbuster in the feature length commentary. They bounce back and forth effortlessly as they talk up the stunts and the work that went into making this film work as well as it does.
The Blu-Ray edition of the release comes with seven insightful featurettes, with behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with everyone involved. The featurettes – clocking in at just over 45 minutes – are scene specific and cover the stunts and the overall legacy of the series. There’s no disappointment in what is included here and fans should be appeased as they wait for number six in this ongoing action series.Lighting the Fuse (6 min)
- Cruise Control (6 min)
- Heroes... (8 min)
- Cruising Altitude (8 min)
- Mission: Immersible (7 min)
- Sand Theft Auto (6 min)
- The Missions Continue (7 min)