Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (Paramount Pictures, PG-13)

Rogue-Nation 75Rogue Nation is easily the best Mission: Impossible film yet.






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The IMF is disbanded, leaving Ethan (Tom Cruise) and his team without support as they work against the clock to take down the Syndicate, a network of operatives creating terrorist attacks, whom the CIA does not believe to exist.

In terms of improvement, Rogue Nation gives Mission: Impossible fans everything they are looking for. Our beloved team returns, obviously Ethan, but also Benji (Simon Pegg) and Luther (Ving Rhames). Agent Brandt (Jeremy Renner) returns as well, if you consider him an official part of Ethan’s team. Rogue Nation expands the team—sort of—with newcomer Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson, The White Queen) of British Intelligence, who will keep you guessing where her loyalties lie.

In addition to the team, Rogue Nation improves upon the stunts and the story, as this really is the most impossible mission yet.

Director Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher), who also wrote the film with Drew Pearce (Iron Man 3), deserves a great deal of credit in this film’s success. Not having written the previous films, he captures the characters perfectly, but the story is what really takes Rogue Nation above and beyond. This one really keeps you guessing, and every time you figure it out another twist is thrown into the mix. Each scene flows seamlessly into the next so while there are many facets to the mystery, it is still easy to follow.

As the audience, we are given all the information but they don’t spoon-feed it to us, which is great if you’re like me and want to feel you’re a part of the team as you uncover the mystery, but not great if you have a short attention span or get hung up staring at the cool explosions, because you really can’t miss a single line of dialogue or well-placed prop that is significant for later.

There is a perfect balance of solemnity and humor in this film—plenty of laughs, but we still feel the weight of what the characters are going through as they repeatedly risk their lives to save their countries.

I’ll admit I was skeptical during the opening sequence—while I love an epic stunt as much as the next action fan, the opening is a bit over the top. I like to see stunts I can at least pretend are possible, but the film quickly recovered from the ridiculousness of the opening. Action fans, Rogue Nation has your chases, fights, and explosions, and they are each different enough that you don’t feel like you’re watching the same fight scene over and over again.

Seeing this movie is definitely worth your money. See it on the mega-screen, see it in IMAX, you will not regret it. This film has so much detail. It’s beautiful to look at as well. It’s just an all-around well-made movie that tops its predecessors and is a lot of fun. | Samantha LaBat

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