MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION

“Good Morning, Mr. Phelps.  Your mission, should you choose to accept it is to infiltrate the enemy in any way possible.  If you should be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow all knowledge of your affairs.” Those words would open every episode of the original “Mission:  Impossible” series from 1966 – 1973.

In 1996, producers Tom Cruise, Paula Wagner, director Brian DePalma, and writers David Koepp, Steven Zaillian and Robert Towne introduced modern audiences to a new version of Bruce Geller’s classic series:  “M:I” was born and it was a success. Two sequels, 2000’s M:I 2 and 2006’s M:I 3, the latter of which was produced by JJ Abrams were not well received.  With its amazing locales, a stellar script and solid acting, 2011 saw Brad Bird’s MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL.

Now, we have a ROGUE NATION.

Continuing where PROTOCOL left off, disavowed IMF agent Ethan Hunt (Cruise) is seeking the head of a covert group called The Syndicate.  He is joined by PROTOCOL’s William Brandt (Jeremy Renner), Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) and newcomer, Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), while Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin), the new director of the CIA works to shut down IMF.  The movie’s villain, Lane (Sean Harris) is an effective foil for Hunt.  However, he seemed underwhelming.

Directed by Christopher McQuarrie (THE WAY OF THE GUN, JACK REACHER), ROGUE is dynamic and absolute fun.  Characters, some of which are now 19 years old, come alive again in this film, compliments of the witty screenplay written by McQuarrie and Drew Pearce (IRON MAN 3).

Cinematographer Robert Elswitt took advantage of locations which spanned the globe from DC to Havana, throughout Europe and North Africa.  And it shows.  The action never seemed over the top nor slowed down the pace of the story despite a 130 minute running time.  Stunts, some of which were performed by Cruise, are believable.

No “Mission” is complete without Lalo Schiffrin’s memorable theme.  Joe Kraemer deftly handles the theme and the riveting score for this movie, continuing the tradition of Michael Giacchino (PROTOCOL and M:I 3), Hans Zimmer (M:I – 2) and Danny Elfman (M:I).

“Hunt is a renegade, both arsonist and firefighter.”  Cruise and ROGUE continue to prove that no Mission is impossible.

“Good luck, Mr. Hunt.  This message will self-destruct in five seconds.”

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