The fifth instalment of the adventures of the IMF, which is firstly a constant reminder that the creator couldn’t have come up with anything more creative than the Impossible Missions Force but we are definitely long since changing that. Tom Cruise is back, of course, as old dependable Ethan Hunt with Benji (Simon Pegg), Brandt (Jeremy Renner) and Luther (Ving Rhames) not far behind. This time it’s the turn of the Syndicate to tackle the IMF and by tackle they mean completely destroy and kill Hunt while they’re at it…and a lot of other people. The Syndicate are a highly skilled and organised terrorist outfit and a very worthy adversary.
It’s not long into the film that we discover our villain Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) and femme fatale Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) and the fun really begins, though by fun I mean extreme difficulty and risk. At every turn the Syndicate are a step ahead of the IMF and even the government doesn’t seem to want to help them prevent disasters of the Syndicate’s creation. The Mission Impossible series is dependable for one main thing, action. The stunts are still kicking it up a notch in Rogue Nation, Cruise is the constant daredevil who seems to want to do whatever it takes to make the film the best that it can be, at least when we’re talking about the action scenes. The film hits its requirements of what can make a good Mission Impossible outing, but the problem is it doesn’t go any further, which is a shame to say really with the amount of effort and time that goes into making them as exciting and relevant as possible but it’s still true. It just isn’t overwhelming, these films have been made to push the boundary of what is exactly ‘impossible’ and because we already expect it it’s sincerely difficult to add any element of surprise. Especially so when the biggest and most dangerous stunt of the film has been advertised and talked of so much by the time the film came out that it’s old news.
The redeeming factor is Ilsa played by Ferguson she is a brilliant choice for the film and it would be worse off without her, she makes the character seem vulnerable yet you wouldn’t want to cross her by any means. Having a real decent strong female character, that isn’t either immediately made a damsel in distress or left out for the really tough moments or even just killed off, definitely makes a difference; this time around you actually want to recruit Ilsa to join the IMF, instead of perhaps making you want to see her walk off into the sunset with Hunt, although I suppose that’s personal preference. The downfall however is our villain, Sean Harris comes across as that one boss you had that was unbelievably annoying and persistent but there was nothing you could really do about it. His voice seems to have been made even more nasal and whining than usual, if that’s even possible which also makes him not the least bit scary. It feels as though he’s the nerd with power that’s never really taken a punch, one smack in the face and he’ll back down before you can say that shows you.
All the main players do a good job as usual, but that’s the problem it is the usual and there’s nothing really hugely surprising going on this time. It’s a good film not to be tossed aside but it needs something else to make it really exceptional, it’s a collection of exceptional scenes making a decent but not amazingly brilliant film. It should knock your socks off, but it just doesn’t sadly.