Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015)
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There are a number of criticisms consistently leveled at Tom Cruise, but an undeniable fact is that despite his personal life, Cruise's level of commitment to every film he makes, good or bad, is astounding. His insistence to performing increasingly insane stunts is not only commendable but extremely rare among movie stars and CGI-saturated films.Rogue Nation features two even more insane stunts performed by Cruise and captured in-camera than Ghost Protocol , but this isn't the only highlight of the film.
Frequent Cruise collaborator Christopher McQuarrie proves surprinsingly adept at staging the numerous set-pieces, which feature minimal dialogue and swift editing by Eddie Hamilton. McQuarrie seems to have taken a pagebook out of George Miller's manual of action sequences, considering the minimal dialogue these contain. It proves refreshingly inmersive and a appreciated change of pace after more talky and noisy blockbusters like Furious 7 and Age of Ultron.
The opera sequence, a homage to Hitchcock and De Palma, is easily one of the greatest film sequences of the year so far. The underwater infiltration and a relentless motorcycle chase elevate the film to such action heights that as a result, the third act feels much more simple and despite its slight predictability, it simultaneously proves to be very suspensful at times.
Despite my consistent praise, the film isn't perfect. The editing in the fight scenes is occasionally choppy compared to McQuarrie's previous effort Jack Reacher and the frequent double-crosses prove to be somewhat confusing but neverthless interesting. However, these are minor problems in a film surprisingly engrossing and greatly entertaining that rarely slows down. If Cruise and company can keep this level of quality, more films please.
Lacking the wit, narrative charm and cleverness of its immediate predecessor, M:I:RN plays out as a series of action vignettes without a strong-enough thread to hold them together. While it is more interesting than most summer film fare, it lacks the personal touch of the recent Bond films and the fun of Ghost Protocol. It's as if the IQ level of the film dropped a good 25% as everything has to be re-explained for the audience in simple terms on several occasions when the scheme wasn't difficult to begin with. Forgettable and predictable, this is not the excellent action film you were hoping for, only pretty okay.
2.5 stars out of 4
Rogue Nation continues to build on the elements of comedy introduced in the previous installment of the series. At the same time it takes us back to the absolutely breathtaking action sequences of the first two films, and goes even further, taking advantage of 2015 technology. For a Mission Impossible nostalgic like myself, Rogue Nation is as pleasurable as guilty pleasures come. The dialogue is cheesy, but perfectly conscious about it. The irony is sharp. Tom Cruise is in shape. The plot is crazy. Rogue Nation is fun, fun, fun. And oh my, the motorbike scene... the motorbike scene...
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