Earlier this year the riotously entertaining Furious 7 took the Fast & Furious franchise to the next level. While Tom Cruise’s latest in the iconic spy movie franchise probably won’t do the same, it is a top-tier action movie in its own right, filled with one well-executed set-piece after the other and held together by a great cast and solid acting.
It starts off with a bang, the twist being the heart-pounding airplane scene from the trailer is actually the opening set-piece. More astonishing is the fact that nearly every other one of those in the 130-minute running time can stand toe to toe with any summer blockbuster you throw at it. It proudly takes its place among them, taking the audience along for the ride in a dose of escapism.
So as an action film, the latest Mission: Impossible succeeds through and through. This is helped by the expertly-picked cast of solid actors. You really feel the team has gone through a lot, and they gel right from the get go. The addition of Rebecca Ferguson’s character, a true female counterpart to Ethan Hunt, opens up tantalizing possibilities in the franchise’s inevitable future. And as usual, Tom Cruise is a tour de force when it comes to pure charisma. He is the ultimate action star in my opinion.
When epic action scene after epic action scene unfolds, you’d expect the last one to be the biggest of them all, but writer/director Christopher McQuarrie had other plans. Instead of ending with a scene as heart-pounding as the beginning, he chose to go out with a simple, small-scale chase with a smattering of bullets and knives, and honestly, it’s closer to a whimper. I get the intention, but could they had at least made it more interesting? More troubling is the character development; no one gets fleshed out to a satisfying degree. But thanks to the actors themselves, the film’s quality is held up, especially with the uncharacteristically imposing villain. Boy, did they choose the right actor.
Old-school action junkies will love what Mr. Cruise and company have served up this time, and families can take notice with the fact that the film earns its PG rating. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation moves at such a buttery smooth clip that you’ll barely notice the time that passed once the credits finally roll. It’s been a fun year for blockbuster movies so far, and this continues the streak that Furious 7 started.