Monday, August 10, 2015

Review: "Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation"

I took the day off to decompress after a family wedding. In-between various activities (some healthy, some decidedly less-so), I decided to catch a matinee of Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation.

Can't say I regretted it.

In terms of plot, the film is painfully-shy of any depth. It follows the formula of the previous films: Contrived situation takes place alienating Ethan Hunt and his loyal team (in this case, the entire IMF) and they have to cooperate to bring down BAD GUYS in ridiculous, overly-complex actions.

It would be an entirely-forgettable film save for the performances of Simon Pegg (playing techno-nerd Benji Dunn) and the outstanding Sarah Ferguson who plays the one female character of note: Ilsa Faust.

Cue the captures, escapes, insane fight scenes, chase scenes, gun fights, and tear-off masks (gotta have those). They brought back alumni from previous films in the form of Pegg (playing Dunn), Jeremy Renner (playing the whiny William Brandt who is a pointless character in the film), and Ving Rhames (playing Luther Stickell, the weirdly-loyal backup man to Cruse's Hunt).

Following what appears to be a tradition for this franchise, they didn't bring back any of the past female IMF team members. Not sure why. Paula Patton and Maggie Q would have had more impact than Renner's Brandt or Rhames's Luther.

Still, it really was Ferguson's Ilsa Faust who stole every scene she was in, hand's down. Whether it was kicking ass - barefoot - in a room full of thugs (to rescue Hunt), swimming in an underground vault (again, to rescue Hunt), owning a motorcycle chase, or playing a deep-cover spy, her character is really the main bit of fresh air in the film.

The only bit that felt forced (I hate to say "contrived" in a film that is nothing but...) was Faust's clear fondness for Ethan Hunt (who, I believe, is still married - albeit secretly - as of the last film).

I'd pay to see a film with Sarah Ferguson in the lead as an action heroine anytime.

Overall, I'd give Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation my stamp of approval. It was what I was expecting: mindless action fun and offered more than advertised with Sarah Ferguson's performance.

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