Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation – Movie Review

“Desperate times, desperate measures.”

I was planning on springing for the IMAX “experience” for seeing Rogue Nation, but after realizing two tickets plus the convenience fee was going to cost a whopping $42, I decided to spring for a matinee at the local Premium Large Format theater. That was only $14, and I felt like I made the right choice. That’s not to say that it’s a bad film, but it’s not $42 good.

I was a pretty big fan of Ghost Protocol, and as such I was definitely looking forward to the sequel. Now, it’s kind of hard to review a film like this since they stick so tightly to the formula that there’s almost nothing to spoil. Sadly, the same thing does apply to Rogue Nation, but that doesn’t stop it from being a very fun two hour excursion.

The first thing is what the film was heavily marketed as, the plane stunt (featured above). Sadly, it seems almost out of place. While the poster and teasers for Ghost Protocol showed the Dubai tower climbing stunt, that was actually an extended scene that was in the middle of the film. Here, it’s a seemingly inconsequential 30 second opening that’s over as soon as it begins. I actually really enjoyed the opening credit sequence, as they traded in the slick, cool, “modern” look of the previous few films for a blocky, 60’s, retro style that much better fits the tone of the film.

Seeing Jeremy Renner and Simon Pegg get more screen time was nice, and the chemistry between them worked well. Tom Cruise was, well, Tom Cruise. The villain, played by Sean Harris, did a decent job of outsmarting our main characters, but his voice was simply so ridiculous and over the top (as were his face twitches whenever he got angry) that he completely failed at being remotely intimidating. It was almost hard to not laugh at just how cartoonishly villainous he sounded. In that aspect, the film felt short. Unforunately, a villian is a pretty big aspect to fall short in with a story so reliant on it.

Of course,the main reason you go to a Mission Impossible is for the big action setpieces, and in that aspect, it sees mixed results. While the infamous plane stunt was somewhat of a letdown, I felt as though the motorcycle and water tank stunts were the most effective, as they captured the exciting, tense action that actually felt effective.

Overall, I can’t say that Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation was underwhelming, but it certainly felt close. It was a decent two hour romp but something that I think I’ll forget about rather soon. I was really hoping that I would be pleasantly surprised instead of getting a bit less than what I expected. If you’re interested in the series, you basically already know what to expect at this point, which is why I simply don’t have much to say about it. At a matinee price, I’d say it’s well worth your time. (Just don’t shell out $42 for IMAX).

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