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Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation

Released 30 July 2015
Director Christopher McQuarrie

Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris, Simon McBurney, Jingchu Zhang, Tom Hollander, Alec Baldwin
Writer(s) Christopher McQuarrie

J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Tom Cruise, David Ellison
Origin United States
Running Time 131 minutes
Genre Action, adventure, thriller
Rating 12A

I spy.

Tom Cruise is in the midst of an image problem. At a recent get together I asked a group of friends how they felt about our Thetan Overlord and was met with a chorus of “I hate that guy.” Only one person was willing to say they liked Cruise and even then it was in a tentative, embarrassed way, as if they were admitting to a serious crush on a first cousin. Strange isn’t it? It’s hardly a new phenomenon that an A list actor seems a bit smug and obnoxious in their personal life but they usually manage to leave that on the pages of the gossip magazines. For Cruise, the implications seem more far-reaching and potentially career-defining.

In the wake of Alex Gibney’s Scientology documentary Going Clear, Cruise is perhaps on damage control - a fact that makes Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation fascinating to watch. There may be a lot of guff in the script about double agents, the CIA and a nefarious group called The Syndicate (they should have just given up the pretence and called them McGuffin) but really this film is about Tom Cruise. Sure, Cruise may be playing likable rogue Ethan Hunt but really, this is Cruise as cinematic spectacle; charm turned up to 11, hair meticulously groomed, abs primed for action.

And you know what? It worked for me! Nobody does this kind of mainstream action like Cruise. The fact that he does his own stunts may add further fuel to the fire for those who already think he’s much too pleased with himself but even naysayers would have to admit that in the age of CGI, there is something genuinely exciting about seeing an A list actor hanging off the side of a cargo plane as it takes off. As a whole, the film may be hopelessly messy in terms of its plot but it speeds along in such a breathlessly fun way that it’s hard to be too bothered about who is double-crossing who.

Director Chris McQuarrie has a great eye for an action sequence and he delivers several that are beautifully shot and original enough to please any franchise fan. Simon Pegg steps up his role as comic foil Benji (I suspect that the terror on his face during the stunt driving scenes was entirely real), while Rebecca Ferguson kicks ass in a remarkably elegant way as a rogue MI5 agent. All in all, it’s a really fun watch; although the plot is occasionally muddy, the action never is.

- Linda O’Brien