The fifth installment of a franchise has never been considered the best one. However, Mission Impossible continues to keep surprising by improving upon the foundation of the previous film and building something truly spectacular that combines all of the good parts of the franchise. It contains the perfect amount of action, intrigue, motivations, and momentum that action movies need to sustain themselves. Action movie franchises need to learn from this franchise because Rogue Nation may very well be not only the best Mission Impossible movie, but also one of my favorite movies of all time.
Ethan Hunt is on the run! After the government views the Impossible Mission Task Force as too dangerous due to collateral damage and lack of results, they begin to start bringing in agents to disband the task force. But Ethan has gotten wind of an evil organization known as the Syndicate that seeks to cause their own vein of terror lead by Solomon Lane. Ethan must desperately prove that the Syndicate exists to the government while also trying to take down what may be his greatest foe yet.
What makes this movie stand apart from the others is its interesting look at Ethan Hunt. He is being viewed by the government as a thrill seeker who is verging on the edge of delusions instead of being a logical risk taker. From the previous movies, we have always viewed Ethan as the smartest and most ambitious guy in the room willing to do whatever it takes but no one has ever stopped to ask why. What are his motivations behind his actions, why does he just jump into action so willingly? The questions are not fully answered, but they are given enough development to pique an interesting character study this go around.
This comes into play mainly whenever Ethan is faced with the leader of the Syndicate, Solomon Lane. This is a villain who likes to toy with Ethan. He is smart, cunning, and manipulative all in the right ways that aren’t too over the top. You see how much he is able to get inside Ethan’s head and cause inner conflict with him that we haven’t seen before. Some of the best villains are those that push our heroes to their breaking point, and Lane is great foil to Ethan’s mission.
The newcomer Ilsa Faust played excellently by Rebecca Ferguson also gives Ethan a run for his money. She’s completely badass and intriguing leaving the audience and Ethan questioning her motives. She’s given a compelling backstory and shady motivations to make her the franchise’s best female character and quite possibly the most interesting character to this point. Her chemistry with Cruise is great and when she throws down on the action, it is exhilarating to watch.
Like I said earlier, this movie takes the best parts from all the Mission Impossible movies and compiles them seamlessly. The espionage and mystery of the first three films, combined with the great action scenes of Ghost Protocol are all here to create a perfect spy movie.
And my goodness is the action the greatest it has ever been. From Tom Cruise hanging outside an airplane, to a tense motorcycle chase the action never lets up and never give you a moment to breathe. The hand to hand combat is filmed expertly and brutally making you feel in the action and a part of the adrenaline all the characters are feeling. But by far the best scene in the entire movie is the underwater data sweep in which everytime I watch it I am clenching my fists. It is expertly directed and is perhaps one of the most tense scenes in an action movie period.
The movie moves along at an extremely brisk pace and effortlessly blends the action with the larger plot at hand. It hurries along from set piece to set piece barely giving you a moment to breathe. When it does allow you to breathe, you are wrapped up in the characters and the strifes and pressure they are under. Every single aspect of this film works masterfully and delivers a perfect action movie. The characters, the adrenaline, the espionage, there are few films that accomplish such a glory to them that can provide enjoyment upon every single watch. I am ecstatic that they bringing back the same director for the next one, because I can’t wait to see where we go next!