I was recently discussing this movie in a chat channel. Okay, I will be honest - I was holding forth on this movie, regardless of whether anyone was listening. I do that a lot. Witness me here writing this. I mention this because I think my commentary, while irreverent and perhaps even slightly contemptuous beneath the awe at the commercial machine, is actually not too terribly far off base. So I will commit the most hideous sin possible and quote myself. Ready?
<custo> Mission: Impossible is like down to a slick fucking science
<custo> Ruthlessly stealing any and every fantasy espionage trope and lacing with exactly the proper amount of humor (thank you Mr. Pegg) and serving at just above room temperature
<custo> but if you like that flavor of sauce
<custo> it is the perfect serving of that flavor of sauce.
<custo> I guess Cruise is no stranger to plastic predictability
That's pretty much it. The fifth go-around for the cinematic IMF crew reaches for even sillier heights, and mostly attains them. The weakness, as usual, is the plot - and I use plot advisedly, with pun intended - but that's okay. It doesn't have to make a lot of sense. It's difficult to tell who's working for or with who, but again, that's the point. Our core set of friends are all there - Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt; Ving Rhames as Luther Stickell (back out of retirement, no less); Simon Pegg as Benjy Dunn, now a full Field Agent and proud of it, and finally Jeremy Renner rejoining as William Brandt.
The trailer will tell you everything you might want to know about the story. But who cares. This movie is about the stunts and the fantasy, with slightly less double entendre than the James Bond franchise, hewing back to its family TV origins. There's an MI girl, sure - but other than some pretty chaste acrobatics in the course of escaping, it'd be a mistake to call her a love interest.
The stunts? All that and a bag of (nitroglycerine) chips. Hanging off aircraft, jumping into bottomless pits, nose-to-tail cartwheeling a BMW, extremely balletic gunplay, and the classic trope of backstage hand-to-hand during an opera performance, all this and much much more. Motorcycles! Cars! Airplanes! Hm, actually, no trains in this one. Or high speed boats. But whatever.
The villain, played by Sean Harris, is...well, hard to figure out and sort of forgettable, but that's OK - he's a highly phony raspy whisper with a lot of hair gel.
Things explode. Things go fast and explode. Things are sneaked, bypassed, finessed, stolen and generally conned with Pure Fucking Magic that wears iPhone skins, loosely, and you'll believe that the entire world can be PwnZ0red, ENHANCED, or even plain old bought from an iPad screen running the current generation of Generic Movie Interfaces. You know - black background, lots of bright thin lines, lots of red, highlighting in eye-searing white? Yeah, that one. The one that lets superspies touchtype just below the speed of light on a tablet screen without ever hitting autocorrect. As I said, maaaaaagic.
But the upshot, of course, is that I didn't care. This movie was perfectly competent at making me ignore reality and giggle occasionally - sometimes with it, but mostly at it - for 2 hours and 11 minutes. And I'm OK with that.
Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015)
Director: Christopher McQuarrie (who also has a writing credit)
Cast is as above. Oh, also, Alec Baldwin shows up doing his current thing. Rebecca Ferguson gives us our requisite swimsuit and asskicking moments.