‘Mission: Impossible–Rogue Nation’ DVD Review: Tom Cruise Excites Once More
The fourth sequel to this storied franchise is super thrilling right from the jump. In the very first scene, in typical Ethan Hunt fashion, Tom Cruise sprints after an A-400 plane and jumps onto the side door. As it takes off, while Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) tries to open said door with his iPad, Hunt hangs on for dear life as he’s airborn. Once Benji unlocks it, Hunt sneaks onto the beheamoth transport plane and parachutes away with a huge stash of BX nerve gas from Chechen separatist fighters.
‘Mission: Impossible–Rogue Nation’ DVD Review
This is one of several stunts in the movie that would leave most people in a wheelchair, but not Cruise. Even at 53, he still has feline quickness, reflexes and poise. Other moments of action include the characters engaging in high octane activity, like diving into giant water turbines or ripping up the streets of Morocco on motorcycles. Later on, Hunt and Dunn are in a high speed car chase and at one point while Hunt is going in reverse, the car veers off and flips and tumbles almost cartoonishly many times, until eventually it lands upside down. The action-packed 131-minute movie also has its moments of slowing the story down, but still works to near perfection.
The film’s second major action sequence shows Hunt swimming his way into a highly pressurized underwater cavern in order to get his hands on a weapon that could decide the fate of the Syndicate. It’s an extraordinary scene, which was shot on the large-format Alexa 65 6k digital camera, and was literally breathless.
The movie begins with the Impossible Mission Force (IMF) in the process of being dismantled by the CIA, with the help of the U.S. Senate. CIA director, Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) scowls at William Brandt (Jeremy Rener) for most of the time that the two are on camera, which is seldom. Meanwhile, Hunt is on the verge of exposing the Syndicate, the anti-IMF organization, so Brandt and the rest of his team operate behind Hunley’s back.
The villian in this movie is Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) a creepy, misfit outcast who seeks revenge on the system that created him. Aiding him is Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), who is constantly double crossing him and Hunt. For example, Faust was ordered to kill the Chancelor of Austria in the Vienna State Opera, but her effort was thwarted by Hunt, of course.
The crew tried to film the fight scene between Hunt and one of Lane’s henchman in the opera house on level ground, but realized that there was no sense of anyone being in jeopardy. Hence, they elevated Cruise and Wolfgang Stegemann, 70 feet in the air on rafters. Stegemann explained that he and Cruise rehearsed so much that everything they did “was more intuitive.”
“We really wanted to have the most amount of depth that we possibly could. We wanted the audience to feel that height and to experience the opera house itself,” said Christopher McQuarrie, the director and writer of the film.
The scene channeled Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much. Much in the same way, the suspense is maintained throughout, especially in the moment of the shootout.
While there are a lot of changes in the series, continuity is not much of an issue. Cruise and Ving Rhames, who plays Luther, are the only two actors to appear in all five films. Staying with the tradition to keep things fresh, each movie also had a different director, up to now. Brian De Palma, John Woo, J.J. Abrams and Brad Bird were responsible for the first four movies, respectively. McQuarrie was at the helm for Rogue Nation and will do so again for the next picture. He and Cruise also collaborated on Valkyrie, Jack Reacher and Edge of Tomorrow.
Rogue Nation was a smashing success with critics and in the box office. It grossed $195 million domestically and $682 million worldwide, making the total for the series just shy of $935 million in the U.S. and slightly under $2.8 billion internationally.
The sixth MI has been confirmed, but there is no release date as of yet. Rumor has it that it will be out either next year or the following one. Cruise went on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and said that they will probably start filming this summer.