Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015) Movie Review Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015) Movie Review
5
"This is a state-of-the-art showcase of what the human physique is capable of. A four-star Michelin dish cooked perfectly at just the right temperature,... Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015) Movie Review

It’s extremely hard not to like Tom Cruise, neither as a human being or as an actor. Just take a look at what the guy has accomplished over his 30 years in the business. He’s done everything from political dramas, erotic thrillers and hysterical comedies to exhilarating science-fiction and heart-pounding spy-action. Not only has he attempted all these difference genres, he’s also been nothing short of sensational in nearly every case. To be honest, I can’t think of a single terrible performance by the man. His reputation for being the last real movie star on our planet is hard to deny. No one can carry a movie like him these days. Even most of the big players pale in comparison to his endlessly youthful energy and captivating screen presence. Now at the age of 53, Cruise still insists on doing all of his stunts himself, even if it means hanging from an A400. And just as you thought it couldn’t get any wilder for the M:I franchise, you are pleasantly surprised, because ‘Rogue Nation’ thrills and excites in ways you can only imagine.

In the movie, Ethan Hunt is trying to uncover a secret organisation known as the syndicate, which operates off-grid to bring down leaders and governments around the world. Unfortunately, the MIF is disbanded due to the events in the last film, leaving Ethan alone and wanted for the damage he’s caused in the past. No one believes that a rogue nation actually exists, but Ethan is determined to find them and bring them to justice. So once again he must assemble his team, track down the enemy, and of course do one seemingly impossible mission after another.

Never had I thought that a fifth film in a series would also turn out to be the best of the bunch. I don’t know how they managed to top the excellence of the previous instalment, which was already a phenomenal piece of action entertainment all on its own. But as the title suggests, they did the impossible and brought us a dazzling vision of jaw-dropping spectacle and vast ambition, bigger and bolder than ever before. From the tightly choreographed stunt-sequences to the nail-biting tension, ‘Rogue Nation’ succeeds on all thinkable parameters. Cruise still moves at full throttle, Christopher McQuarrie’s direction is impeccable and swift, and the villain is finally up to par with our protagonist. I usually don’t sweat uncontrollably during a motion picture, but here I couldn’t stop it from dripping. I was literally on the edge of my seat for 2 hours and 20 minutes.

The most remarkable thing about the picture is how well it balances all the ingredients. With the other movies, the filmmakers either went for straight-up espionage or high-octane action. Here we get the best of both worlds. The intense pace of ‘Ghost Protocol’, mixed with the gripping but subtle tension of Brian De Palma’s 1996 film. One minute I was sore from laughing, the next I was soaked in suspense. Sometimes both at the same time. The screenplay, written by McQuarrie himself, seems so knowing of what makes the audience tick. It allows for just the right amount of humor to be induced whenever it’s needed to relieve and counteract the nerve-wracking thrills. Take the scene in the opera, which plays out like a ballet of visual action poetry. Without spoiling anything, the music here provides a sense of rhythm to the fight that is going on in the wings of the stage, dictating our feelings like we were instruments. It’s a prime example of how effective and essential a location can be to the situation that unfolds within it. Certainly a highlight of the film.

There are numerous scenes like this throughout the course of the movie , like an underwater mission so visceral that I almost thought my heart was going to fail. The fact that pretty much all of it is real makes it even more insane to watch. I still can’t believe they pulled it off, just like all the other crazy stunts they kept throwing at me with such confidence and skill. This is not just good action, or great for that matter. It’s more than that. This is a state-of-the-art showcase of what the human physique is capable of. A four-star Michelin dish cooked perfectly at just the right temperature, with just the right amount of salty self-awareness to keep it from becoming bloated or overly serious. After all, we’re talking about a film with the word “impossible” in it. McQuarrie understands that, just like he understands how to make a clever, kinetic and consistently engaging cinematic experience. That is exactly what he’s provided here; a spy-thriller masterpiece that never runs out of steam, never ceases to amaze, and never settles for less than bravura.

Author Image

Mathias Folsted Film/Music/TV critic, columnist, and news-writer

An aspiring filmmaker, film critic and YouTuber. Previous experience include extensive work for the largest danish film site, www.filmz.dk, where I served as junior editor, film critic, columnist, and news writer. Also a graduate from the European Film College, I've been a lover of motion pictures for as long as I can remember. My criticism is always honest, but above all emotional.

  • Well, that sounds promising! Real stuntwork is always appreciated.

  • It’s pretty easy to dislike Tom Cruise if you factor in Scientology, at least as a human being.

  • We have a non-believer here!

  • Hydrogen bombs for everyone!

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    That good, huh?

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Cruise has some admirable characteristics, but it’s hard to respect someone who’s fallen for such an obviously fraudulent cult. L. Ron Hubbard is actually on record as admitting he created the religion for financial gain, for fuck’s sake!

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    He’s clearly an RP (Repressive Person)! Attack him in the name of Xenu!

  • ErnestRister

    He left the Church…because his child was going to be considered some such and such unless she such and suched, he finally had enough. Tom Cruise is no longer a Scientologist. Yup. It’s true.

  • Abe

    I’m actually stoked to see this. The MI Franchise gets better and better.

  • Abe

    Is that confirmed? I remember hearing he was considering leaving.

  • ErnestRister

    Yup. Cruise left the Church.

  • Abe

    Nice! Well good for him.

  • ErnestRister

    I once helped light a stage for the Dalai Lama — we spent hours on it, but weren’t allowed to be anywhere near the place when he showed up. So we did the light hang and the focus, and built some cues, and then had to get the hell out of there when he showed up.

    Best part? Didn’t have to come back to strike the lights at 11:00 p.m. for some other event. Got paid in cash, went to the movies.

  • Abe

    haha! That’s fantastic!

  • As for the series, I love the first film, can’t stand parts 2 and 3. Haven’t seen 4. Problem with the sequels I’ve seen is they went far more action and less spy/thriller.

  • ErnestRister

    Yeah…but a little freaky. No one’s going to remember this but Steven Spielberg tried to start a chain of gourmet sub sandwhiches in buildings themed to be submarines. Think it was called Dive! And every half hour, all the lights would flash and some person would yell, “Dive! Dive! Dive!” on the intercom, and bubbles would go by the windows. Yeah, well, that’s how I spent some of my Dalai Lama money that night…went down the street in Century City, had a crazy overpriced sandwich, and then went to the movies.

  • Abe

    I’m sure I’ve spent money in much, much worse ways.

  • Abe

    This week.

  • Sagamanus

    Cruise is a Legend.

  • KilliK

    Lama is another charlatan, like Hubbard.

  • Tarmac492.1

    i know i have

  • Tarmac492.1

    dude never mails it in.

  • Probably gonna see this on the weekend.

  • Tarmac492.1

    I am thinking I may see this or Southpaw. I like mcQuarrie and thought Jack Reacher was quite entertaining. The two reviews I have read, Mathias’ and Ebert.com, both gave it four and five stars.

  • Tarmac492.1

    My main problem with religion is the earthly beings who designate themselves the mouthpiece of whatever god they pray to. people are flawed, easily corrupted, greedy, power hungry..the list of our faults go on and on. That is where I think the divide and deadly behavior kicks in. I am still ok with people believing in whatver they want. I just wish they didnt put such faith into their human church leaders. I am not a theologian and can be completely off base with this comment, but just my dirty two cents I picked out of a urinal.

  • Tarmac492.1

    A Spielberg directed submarine movie would be something I would line up first day to see. Not so sure about the sub-themed restaurant. Sounds like something the Simpsons would come up with.

  • Mathias

    True. But how incredible is the guy, when I completely forget that he’s a part of scientology. I never in my mind connect him with that, even though he’s a spokesman for it. His personality, ambition and energy totally overshadows that for me. Also, I wrote “hard”, not “impossible”. Of course you can dislike the guy if you really don’t like him 😉

  • Mathias

    Then check out “Rogue Nation”, because it takes the best elements of both Ghost Protocol and Brian De Palma’s film.

  • Haha, yeah it’s fresh in my mind due to the recent documentary. I like the guy as an actor though. He’s one of a kind in that regard.

  • Abe

    They all are in fraudulent cults when you break it down. Like the guy that wanted to reform the Jewish faith, then he died, and his followers were like no what he meant was create a new religion.

  • ErnestRister

    Believe it or not, Spielberg had a gourmet chef cooking for his people at Amblin on the Universal lot. One day, Spielberg’s asked what he wants for lunch, and he asks if he can get a sub sandwhich…so the gourmet chef whips up his version of a sub, sends it to Spielberg, and Spielberg’s so knocked out by it, he figures there might be a market for gourmet subs. And Spielberg being Spielberg, next thing you know, he’s built Dive! restaurants in Vegas and Los Angeles where the place actually looks vaguely like a Disneyland submarine and the employees are wearing themed uniforms…like having a gourmet sub on that submarine from SeaQuest.

    Apparently, people didn’t want to pay premium prices for a sub sandwhich, and Dive! didn’t last long.

  • It’s interesting that everybody is suddenly willing to accept that this guy blends religion and politics right before our eyes.

  • The Last Days of Zissou

    Giacchino?

  • Your ole friend.

  • The Last Days of Zissou

    Him and the slew of blockbuster composers usually give an indication of whether I’ll find the movie bland.

  • Keys to the Liquor Store

    Wow good stuff. Maybe I will check it out. Nay, I will check it out. Thanks

  • Keys to the Liquor Store

    So is whoever irons your shorts, in my opinion.

  • ErnestRister

    I thought the first film was a good mix of suspense and action. DePalma, Robert Towne and Steve Zaillian brought their a-game.

  • Tarmac492.1

    I tend to agree. LIke I mentioned below most of my problem with religions is the assholes on earth in charge of them. Why some put such faith in politicians and earthly religious figureheads is beyond me. I grow tired of this assault on us as individuals.I get being a good citizen and neighbor and all that, but shit… Rant over. Where is me Tullamore Dew????

  • Nope. Joe Kramer.

  • “It’s extremely hard not to like Tom Cruise, neither as a human being or as an actor. ”

    Actualy, it is. I have been avoiding watching most of his movies because i nearly can’t stand him.

  • Giacchino being one of the worst offenders.

  • Actually, yes he does, constantly. He has a type of character to play and does it repeatedly. He rarely breaks it, except for rare occasions like Eyes Wide Shut.

  • The world has too few of them.

  • Mathias

    Then I’m sure you’ll love this one as well, unless you totally despised Ghost Protocol.

  • Mathias

    What a shame. You’re only limiting yourself. He’s had a lot of really good films coming out lately. But fair enough 🙂

  • Mathias

    You’re welcome!

  • I decided to revisit all the previous films this weekend, before I see this one; the first is still a brilliant rubik’s cube of a popcorn-thriller, but the second one – argh.

  • Gonna watch 3 & 4 tonight.

  • ErnestRister

    Right! MI:2 was an acclaimed smash, I tried to watch it last year and couldn’t believe how poorly it’s held up.

  • ErnestRister

    I’ve liked all of them. The second is the weakest of the bunch.

  • I’m not denying the fact his recent filmmography is by far with most interesting choices. But the damage is done. I have found him nearly unbearable to endure since bloody Top Gun! There are exceptions, of course, but they are exceptions, if you know what i mean.

  • ErnestRister

    Top Gun was 86 — wasn’t that the same year as Ridley Scott’s Legend (really dig the extended and revised version by the way)? Then The Color of Money in 1987, Born on the Fourth of July in 1988. What I find so interesting about Cruise is how hard he pushed himself in his early career to work with different directors. To date, I think he’s only worked with the same director on very few projects. Two with Spielberg, two with McQuarrie, two with Tony Scott.

  • ErnestRister

    Three is solid, I had a blast with Ghost Protocol.

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    I am not a huge Cruise fan, actually, I think he is a douchebag with all his Scientology bullshit, but he never mails it in.

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    That’s one of the main reason I don not like him. He is a great actor, but when he opens his mouth for interviews and the such, spews out his voodoo Scientology crap, I want to punch him in the face.

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    False, he is still sucking the balls of Scientology

  • Tarmac492.1

    I had a really good time with this one. McQuarrie has his Golden Ticket now. The dialogue with Baldwin and the Senate was especially sharp and focused. Loved that this one had a sense of humor. And Rebecca Ferguson has entered special sock status. I really loved how the ending was handled–I thought a very nice departure from films of this type with a high-wattage star. Incidentally, heard Baldwin on Stern and he was quite entertaining and seems to have mellowed out. Fucking growing up in Massapequa can put alot of anger in a dude.

  • Tarmac492.1

    2 was a huge disappointment and Woo should have stayed the fuck away. I think he was out of his element. Spielberg would have been ideal for a film of this type.

  • Tarmac492.1

    Everything about 2 was wrong, beginning with them trying to shoehorn Woo into directing after the critical and box office success of the near perfect Face/Off. This wasnt a Woo type flick and by 2000, people had enough of the Wooisms as everyone had copied him to death by then. Dougray Scott was a lame villain as well. MI 5 was a blast.

  • Tarmac492.1

    I agree that he took more chances in his earlier career. However, he never sleepwalks through a flick, something that many other big name stars can’t say.I would bet that in another 5 or so years we will see him take different roles as he will be around 60.

  • Tarmac492.1

    Agreed. He took more chances earlier on. Rain Man–a complete piece of shit who managed to grow up, although not convincingly enough for all those around him.It is easy to overlook Cruise as Hoffman steals the show as RM, or at least draws all attention. Incidentally, whatever happened to Barry Levinson?

  • Tarmac492.1

    Dont forget Days of Thunder–a most insipid movie, except for Duvall and Rooker.

  • Tarmac492.1

    I would bet if we spent time with him, we would find him loathsome or at least coldly calculating and manipulative, but I would gather many in “the business” are like that. However, I may be completely off base. I admit that the two who seem the most phony to me in interviews are Cruise and Travolta(who someone I work with said isnt even believable being a human being)

  • Tarmac492.1

    ” Mr. McQuarrie Bryan SInger on the phone for you?”
    “Who??? Oh, tell him I am not available. “

  • Tarmac492.1

    I thought the sequence in Vienna was the best. Was Dee in the crowd?

  • Tarmac492.1

    Zaillian is a very good writer. I will take him over Towne any day.

  • ErnestRister

    Good question. Bugsy was great, Toys wasn’t.

  • ErnestRister

    Gotta give some love to Chinatown and Tequila Sunrise.

  • Tarmac492.1

    Yes, I heard Spielberg say he was going to direct, but he also said that Levinson made a drier film and that it may have been better than what he would have done. I think this was in the mid 90’s on Larry King so my memory is fuzzy also. I thought Levinson’s Sleepers was half a masterpiece, the revenge scene being one of my favorite scenes ever in a movie and perfectly acted by Bacon, Crudup and Ron Eldard(someone that needs to be seen more). As a NY’er Eldard(also a NY’er) says “just to watch you die” exactly like a NY’er would. The Bay was decent by Levinson.

  • Stalkeye

    No love for his performances on Minority Report or Collateral either?
    Damn you are stubborn, man!
    Sure you’re not a Taurus? 😛

  • Tarmac492.1

    Agreed. For me, Zaillian’s body of work surpasses Towne’s. I especially like Searching for Bobby Fischer. I would guess that successfully translating a novel to the screen is probably harder than writing something from scratch.

  • Stalkeye

    “You are correct sir!”

  • Tarmac492.1

    Collateral is excellent and, for me, a better Jamie Foxx performance than his turn in Ray. I thought Foxx was excellent in Collateral, as was Cruise.

  • Stalkeye

    Oh…..

  • Stalkeye

    Agreed, Brother!!!! That was a great Neo Noir thriller courtesy Michael Mann. (Better than his Miami Vice Remake.) Both Tom and Jamie didn’t phone their performances in like other so called “Thespians”.

  • Tarmac492.1

    That was classic Mann in the vein of Heat. The jazz club scene is fucking amazing as well.

  • ErnestRister

    It depends, I guess, on the book. Silence of the Lambs comes straight off the page, meanwhile stuff like Bambi, The Little Prince, Cloud Atlas, etc….brutal.

  • Tarmac492.1

    Yeah, SIlence of the Lambs was similar as were the Red Dragon flicks. JAWS the film bested the book.

  • Gemini. But i don’t believe in that voodoo crap.
    As i said, he has done some good work, those included, especially Collateral. But overall, i find him annoying like hell.

  • Sadly two great actors alone do not a good movie make. But those two are always gold.

  • I’d say he takes more chances now, now that he’s established. But earlier in his career he was ALWAYS playing variations of the same character time and again. Hell, even his movies had similar plots, no matter the setting.

  • He does. Or rather, he used to mail it, he was a veritable postman.

  • Legend is 1985. Scott deliberately made the movie to be like a filmed Disney movie like Snow White (one of his strongest inspirations for Legend) but done his style.

    Though Cruise has rarely worked with the same directors, he has collected an impressive number of great and important directors he has worked with.

  • ErnestRister

    I admire that a lot…he didn’t sink into a comfort zone, this is an actor who continues to challenge himself. I could not care less about his faith. It’s disturbing how often people bring it up. He’s a terrific actor, period.

  • A person’s faith says a lot about them, you have to agree.

  • ErnestRister

    Or lack thereof, no?

  • Yes.

  • Yes it does. Good things.

  • ErnestRister

    My family is Catholic. A friend of mine in law school was a Muslim, and we had some interesting discussions about faith (as in he said he believes Christ was a prophet, but that in the end times, Muhammad was going to destroy him). Anyway, from atheists to the most devout buddhists, I’ve never thought more or less of anyone because of their faith. I will say I think hope and service requires more work in some cases. Nothing wrong with that.

  • Muslin do not believe that Mohamed is going to destroy Jesus. Any muslin who knows his faith has a profound respect for Jesus and when mentioning him he always says “Peace Be Upon Him” as a sign of utter respect. For the muslin, Jesus is to Mohamed what for a christian the Baptist was to Jesus, a precursor of the prophet that brought the final word.

    If you are accurately describing his beliefs and words, the man did not knew much of the faith he professed to follow, i’m afraid to say. It’s one thing to say Jesus didn’t had the final word on the will of God, the same way christians say of Jesus compared to, say, Moses. It’s another to claim destruction. If anything, his words would be considered blasphemy by any right thinking follower of Islam.

    My problem with faith is not the message many religions profess. My problem is that people need to have faith to follow good tenants. If one can’t understand the reason why good tenants should be uphold by reason alone and without the need for the authority of an all powerful but illusive super-being, then i have to lament they have to feel strong-armed into doing good either by fear of hellish punishment or oblivion or the promise of everlasting bliss. Good done under pressure of punishment or reward is less then good done by goodness’ sake alone.

  • ErnestRister

    Sure — as for my friend in law-school, you have a point because he was a real hell-raiser. He got so out of control partying his second semester, he just stopped going to class. So…maybe not the best source for accurate theological information on the Muslim faith. But yeah, he said Christ was revered as a prophet, but that he would ultimately be destroyed by Mohammad at the end of the world.

  • The dude didn’t read the book very well, that is for sure. His comments are even blasphemous! Imagine a christian talking shit of Abraham or Moses, same thing, only worst.

  • KilliK

    no, not that good. very mediocre. I ll try to write a review if I am not bored. First letdown from Bad Robot this year, not a good sign for December’s main event..

  • KilliK

    You must have seen the Portuguese version, because I just came from the cinema and this movie is a HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT. Couldnt believe McQuarrie had wrote and directed the movie. Not as bad as MI3 but a big step down from MI4. And it’s a pity, because they really tried to tell a good story, something which was severely lacking from the previous entries, but the end result is very mediocre. I dont know what happened, the actors, the director, the story ideas, all the good ingredients were there but they somehow failed to produce a good movie.

  • KilliK

    a blast of boredom.

  • KilliK

    it was the best but still mediocre.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Is it? I knew the hype around this film was undeserved! The media tried to spin it into some gigantic hit when it is, in fact, the lowest grossing movie in the series bar Jar Jar’s, and I reckon the wildly enthusiastic critics’ reviews were bought-and-paid-for. This has always been a mediocre series, serving only as a cash cow to sustain Cruise’s career, and no movie featuring Simon Pegg can possibly be good.

  • KilliK

    I ll tell you this: when Simon Pegg, the despicable comic relief of your movie, has almost as much screen time as your a-list protagonist, then you got a serious problem. Pegg must be good at sucking JJ’s cock, it’s the only way I can explain how his character became so big and important in the film.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Glad I skipped this one, then.

  • KilliK

    you have chosen wisely.