Film Review: Mission Impossible Rogue Nation
Having just turned 53, Tom Cruise should be thanking his lucky stars that he's not yet being cast as Superman's Dad or Sarah Jessica Parker's love interest in some dodgy rom-com.
Instead, he's still going strong in the Action Hero mould, with Top Gun 2 on the horizon and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation keeping him busy. So, on going to see the latter, our first thought was "is he going to pull this off?" - not least because his love interest is the stunning (Rebecca Ferguson) and we really hoped their chemistry wasn't going to be, well, wrong. Being honest, there were a few scenes where Tom's face looked a little like one of the Scooby Doo style rubber masks that are used later in the film's the plot, but on the whole he's still got it.
First things first, Director Christopher McQuarrie has done the decent thing and taken the MI franchise back to its routes. The theme tune is the original one, and there's a proper old-school title sequence just like we used to get in all the movies and not just Bond movies.
Plot-wise, Ethan and his team take on the not so impossible mission to eradicate "the Syndicate" - not the shit BBC One drama, but an International rogue organization who are behind a series of not-so natural disasters including the mysterious disappearance of a passenger jet.
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation is essentially several set-pieces all woven together as Ethan sets out to find the mysterious Luther Stickell, the man who can cause more damage with a memory stick than the NHS (google it).
The first scenes are a brilliant piece of action centred around Ethan climbing on board a plane (and soon leaving it) in a fashion that only he can. Later, there's a great section of the film set at the opera, before things move on to Morocco and later London.
The section at the opera is inspired. Great action scenes unfold backstage as the opera plays out to the soundtrack of Nessun Dorma and the whole thing is perfectly paced with both tension and a little humour. The scenes are reminiscent of both Phantom of the Opera and Hitchcock and unfold brilliantly.
Simon Pegg is back as Benji and is perfect as ever as Ethan's sidekick. Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson is beautiful as "the bad girl with a thing for the hero", and Jeremy Renner, Sean Harris and Alec Baldwin provide a solid supporting cast.
In Morocco, the action turns to a fantastic car chase (and motorbike chase) that again, provide both action and laughs and the pace never lets up. Later, London is used brilliantly as a location as things reach a climax outside the Tower of London and in the backstreets of the West End. There's a slightly strange scene with the Prime Minister that perhaps wasn't needed, but all in all the plot is slick, the action is brilliant and the long-running franchise may just have released its finest picture to date.
Interestingly, there's nothing about the plot that's left open, so it makes us question whether or not the studio themselves were unsure if there was still life in the old dogs (their lead actor and the franchise) yet. The good news for them is, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation is a corker, and it absolutely does have the potential for more.
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation is one of those movies that HAS to be seen on the big screen, and we made sure we enjoyed it on the biggest and best screen available - the incredible XPLUS Screen at Showcase Cinema De Lux. The fantastic XPLUS auditorium is now at Showcase Leeds, Showcase Nottingham, Showcase Cardiff Nantgarw, Showcase Reading, Showcase Cinema de Lux Derby, Showcase Cinema de Lux Leicester and Showcase Cinema de Lux Bristol. To book your seats, click here to visit the Showcase Cinema website.