In the opening scene of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Tom Cruise’s franchise spy Ethan Hunt is seen hanging from the side of a plane as it takes off of from a private runway in Minsk. On board is a massive amount of nerve gas able to take out a large city worth of people. Hunt grapples against the hull of the plane as tech expert Benji (Simon Pegg) struggles to open the door for him remotely from a nearby grass plain.
Finally, the door releases and Hunt is pitched into the cargo hold of the plane. Holding tightly to the pallet of nerve gas, he gives a guard a signature Hunt eyebrow life before pulling the parachute, sending the gas with himself in tow into the air.
Thus is the electric opening sequence to an action espionage film that doesn’t let up this lit-fuse pace for the majority of its two-hour runtime. This scene also accommodates for the logical leaps that these films require the audience member to take. All of the characters are in wildly different locations around the area of the plane for seemingly no reason. Jeremy Renner’s Impossible Missions Force (IMF) headmaster William Brandt has utterly no idea what anyone is doing or why. Hunt bursts out of nowhere and jumps onto the wing of the plane to everyone’s dismay.
It is a logically devoid scene. But that is easily overlooked when you are watching Tom Cruise hanging off of a plane for real. The plot of Christopher McQuarrie’s film blows up to preposterous lengths, but its an irrelevant point. What you sign up for when you walk into Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is not a taut action thriller guided by smart writing. What you get is a testament to the art of action choreography and stunt work.
Action sequences are paced perfectly, overlapping actions syncing up on and off screen wonderfully. Stunts are choreographed as good as one can imagine. Whether Cruise is hanging off of a plane or holding his breath underwater for a crazy length of time or crashing motorcycles, the stunts are mesmerizing. What it comes down to is that the stunts are what make a movie like Mission Impossible. As such, M:I – Rogue Nation succeeds in leaps and bounds.
I could use this review space to nit-pick the plot problems of this film. Or the logical ones. Or the clunky humor (except for Simon Pegg, who is wonderful reprising his role as the comedic relief techie Benji). There’s no reason for that, though, because walking into M:I – Rogue Nation and expecting anything more than what it gives you is a disservice to the first rate action sequences that it provides.
As always, thanks for reading!
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is currently available to stream on Amazon Video here.
Have you seen Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation? If so, what did you think? Let me know in the comments!
–Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)