Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
The IMF seems to be one of those bad-luck crime-fighting organisations that is constantly going off-piste and being sanctioned by the Powers That Be. Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his pals (Simon Pegg’s Benjy played for laughs, Ving Rhames just for old times’ sake) once again go rogue in their diligent efforts to stop The Syndicate – a band of former spies now intent on bringing the world to its knees. Cue the usual gadgets, chase scenes and a brand new female protagonist (a breakout role for Brit-Swede Rebecca Ferguson, who admirably did her own stunts and steals every fight scene) and you have all the elements of a solid, if unspectacular, spy game.
Writer-director Christopher McQuarrie made his name two decades ago writing the fantastically tricky The Usual Suspects, and despite some inconsistent quality in the years that followed, he has hauled himself back into Hollywood’s good books working with Cruise in Jack Reacher and Edge of Tomorrow. Here he writes and directs, both with thorough competence, though the plot suffers (as they all do nowadays) from a third act lull where four men must stand around and talk us up-to-speed before the inevitable face-off between Cruise and the baddy.
But the in-between is spiced up enough with a Bondesque jaunt around the world, a nail-biting motorcycle race, and a wonderful cameo from Tom Hollander (if only he were the British Prime Minister, I’d move back and vote Tory).
MI:RN offers welcome respite in a cinematic world overcrowded with comic book superheroes, and though its rendering of British Intelligence is a far cry from the “reality” of Spooks, it’s nevertheless all fun and games.