MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE ROGUE NATION
Action espionage sequel based very loosely on the 60s TV show. Starring Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Rebecca Ferguson and Simon Pegg. Oh, and that bloke from the sitcom, Rev, as the PM.
Simon Pegg, Lord of Hollywood.
How did that happen ?
Star Trek. Mission: Impossible. Star Wars (apparently he’s playing an imperial storm trooper, uncredited, just for larks).
I wonder if he and Ricky Gervais get on ?
Tom Cruise is back, fresh from not answering questions about Scientology and still doing his own stunts: hanging from a Hercules in one scene, holding his breath for six minutes in another. Or so the PR machine will have us believe .. he looks in good enough shape, so why not ?
I like Tom Cruise. You know what you get with Tom Cruise.
He’s a proper star.
These movies are fun, too. The first three were all faithful to the original show with grave plots and serious enemies. Then along comes Simon, camping it up, and the fourth was a lot more jolly and nothing like the TV series. But, hey, it’s Simon and Tom having fun !
What’s not to love ?
Well .. yeah, I guess.
This is already grossing more than any other film in the series and will be a massive success and you know what ? Fair play to them all, because this is a great popcorn movie with a wide audience and a bit of something for everyone.
There’s loads of great gadgets, some witty one-liners, some genuine “he’s not getting out of this one alive, is he?” sequences, an utterly mesmerising car and bike chase through the windy roads of Morocco – seriously, the cameras strapped to the side of the motorcycles give you more than enough of the sensation of speed. Think of a sick bag then multiply it by three and you’re there, too.
The plot is strong, well thought-out and naturally takes in some of the biggest cities in the world and features a proper rogues’ gallery of baddies and lots of double-agent nonsense to keep you guessing who is actually pulling the strings throughout.
The opera scenes are straight from Roger Moore-period Bond and leave Ethan Hunt (Cruise) with a real dilemma ..
The torture scene is well-crafted and highly original in terms of .. erm, execution.
There’s a terrific underwater sequence, too but I can’t go into too much detail for fear of spoilers.
Speaking of spoilers, the only thing that really didn’t work for me is the main baddy, played by the rather chinless Sean Harris, who you may know from The Borgias, Jamaica Inn or Prometheus. Not only is he physically rather non-descript, he also has a thin and reedy voice, which makes him sound more like Baron Greenback from Dangermouse than a maniacal mastermind always one step ahead of Hunt and the gang.
I’m sure the idea was to make him original and fresh and different, but he just didn’t command enough of a presence for me .. maybe it’ll work for you, but I couldn’t shake off the idea of Terry Scott parping up at any moment.
The story-line chunters along and is suitably ridiculous, involving USB sticks and layer upon layer of impregnable code to protect them, as well as more imposing physical barriers designed to keep all but the most persistent mitts off the damned things. There’s a database thingie that everyone is after but only one man can unlock, using a cunning combination of a retina scan, a handprint and voice recognition of a certain phrase.
Oh, and there’s a brilliant female agent whose signature move involves climbing up the legs of a man, straddling him round the neck and then breaking the afore-mentioned neck with the power of her thighs. Phwoar, eh ? But you don’t know whose side she’s really on …
All told, M:IRN is good spy movie fodder and well worth a watch if you’re a fan of the other movies in the series.
This review will self-destruct in five seconds …