Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, directed by Christopher McQuarrie, continues the adventures of Ethan Hunt and his Impossible Mission Force. The movie stars Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris, Simon McBurley, Jingchu Zhang, Tom Hollander, Jens Hultén, and Alec Baldwin.
After the IMF's recent adventures have resulted in questionable results, CIA chief Alan Hunley (Baldwin) convinces the U.S. government to fold the organization into his own and mandates the return of Ethan Hunt (Cruise) for questioning. Hunt, with the help of his team (Renner, Pegg, and Rhames), refuses the order and continues his pursuit of the mysterious organization known as The Syndicate. As he goes deeper and deeper into uncovering the mystery that has eluded him for years, a woman named Ilsa Faust (Ferguson) enters the game and begins changing all the rules.
Holy chase scenes, this movie made me wish theater chairs came with seat belts as it was one heck of a ride from beginning to end. In a year filled with big action movies, I would have to say this is one of the biggest entries so far. Right off the bat McQuarrie and Cruise hit you with a scene involving an airplane that has already had people talking for months and then they just keep throwing more stuff at you until finally the credits roll and you can take a breath. My favorite sequence is a motorcycle chase that is easily the best I've ever seen on film thanks to some creative perspectives and camera angles. For a series that already has a reputation for big action sequences, it was really cool to see the stakes raised to another level while still maintaining a solid story that stands on its own and continues the over arcing threads from previous installments.
Cruise, Renner, Pegg, and Rhames are really establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with both in the movie and as a star powered team of actors and personalities. It was really fun seeing each of them returning to their roles although I did miss Paula Patton as I believe she was a real key to Ghost Protocol's success. Bringing in Alec Baldwin and Sean Harris as antagonists was a smart move although throwing Rebecca Ferguson (Hercules) right into the middle of all the action was a bold and inspired casting choice. Even without a resume filled with blockbuster hits like the rest of the cast, she easily held her own and often outdid everyone else by creating a character who is confident, sexy, and a total bad ass.
In a year where the action film is being redefined and the stakes are being raised to heights never seen before, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation easily holds its own and keeps Tom Cruise firmly entrenched as one of Hollywood's biggest stars. It's easy to see why he returns to this franchise time and time again and, oh wait! I haven't even mentioned that he does all his own stunts. All of them. Just think about that while watching this film.
I saw the movie in 2D at the Cinerama and was super impressed with the sound and video presentation. The IMAX version is a post converted transfer so you don't get the big box effect that is essential to the format. My recommendation would be to just see it in 2D and absolutely avoid the dumbed down IMAX theaters you find in mall multiplexes. For more info on that CLICK HERE.