Wednesday, 5 August 2015



For many years now, Hollywood movie studios have frequently produced sequels, movie remakes, film adaptations from books and also from popular television series. Even though they have been criticized for not producing more original stories, this trend is popular as it guarantees an already existing fan-base which translates to ticket sales. White book adaptations and sequels are the most popular and profitable, adaptations from television shows are not as favourable. However, only a few, or maybe a handful of films based on television shows have been successful. One of them being Mission: Impossible, based on the television series of the same name from the 1960s created by Bruce Geller. Aired on America’s CBS network from 1966 to 1973, the show tells of a secret team of government agents known as the Impossible Mission Force (IMF) and their many mission assignments. Their methods combine espionage and using the latest available hi-tech gadgets. The theme song from the show is recognizable worldwide and has become an iconic tune. The first film adaptation of the show came in 1996 starring global superstar Tom Cruise. In 2015, there have been five films released starring Cruise and is considered one of the very few successful adaptations having got this far.

The fifth film is titled Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation. The film marks Christopher McQuarrie’s second directorial effort after Jack Reacher in 2012 which starred Tom Cruise. Once again, Cruise leads an all-star cast with Jeremy Renner, Ving Rhames, and Simon Pegg. Joining the cast are Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris, Alec Baldwin. McQuarrie and Drew Pearce (Iron Man 3) are responsible for the writing. McQuarrie received an Academy Award for Best Orignal Screenplay having written The Usual Suspects (1995). As with the third and fourth film, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk return as producers while David Ellison joins the bunch. Cruise is and has been the producer of all five films.

How will the fifth installment of this popular film series fair up with its other incarnations? Do read on…

Mega superstar Tom Cruise as IMF agent and leader Ethan Hunt

After successfully foiling a nuclear hijacking by terrorists, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) discovers that his mission was orchestrated by a mysterious secret organization known as The Syndicate. As Hunt is about to take on his next mission, he is captured by The Syndicate and tortured. While in captivity, an operative of The Syndicate name Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) helps hunt escape. Meanwhile, the Impossible Mission Force (IMF) is disbanded by a senate committee resulting in Hunt being a fugitive of the government. Together with IMF agent William Brandt (Jeremy Renner), Hunt assembles his IMF team to track down The Syndicate and clear his name.

Jeremy Renner as Agent William Brandt and Ving Rhames as Luther Stickell
Smart and interesting. I think the script is the best among the five films. The storyline combines old school espionage drama and engaging thrills. By writing in such a style, it creates more story-driven plots rather than depending on staging action scenes to make the film interesting. I feel most espionage films over the years has focused more on star attraction and elaborate action-packed scenes while leaving plots thinly written. This film is quite the opposite. Although the film’s dialogue may be a little heavy to digest with lots of talk, it keeps the plot explanation quite easily, provided the audience listen attentively to it. Characterization of roles were not too bad. There is a good blend of mixing action, drama, and comedy.

The beautiful and talented Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust

Since Tom Cruise is the major star of the film series from the first film, it is pretty common that he would take up the most scenes and dialogue lines. However, the previous third and fourth film has seen more involvement of the supporting actors. As usual, Cruise excels in his performance and persona as an action movie star. Simon Pegg provided the just the right amount of comic relief. What impressed me was the film’s female lead, the relatively unknown Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson. Not only do I think she is very pretty, she was able to hold her own side by side with Cruise. She gave a great performance by balancing female action star, damsel in distress, and elegance pretty well. Sean Harris did really good as the villain.

One of my favourite actors Simon Pegg plays Benji Dunn

As I mentioned earlier, the film is more dialogue driven than action. However, a Mission: Impossible film is not complete if it did not have great action sequences and when they do, the scenes did not disappoint. Director Christopher McQuarrie managed to create action scenes that were not too elaborate and neither was it too boring. There were some great intense scenes that could make some heart-pounding moments. The cinematographer was pretty cool and the editing was quite good. Just like the previous films, the stunts are always fresh and interesting from movie to movie.

Quite slow in the beginning but it picks up well towards the end for a decent climax.

An motorcycle chase scene from the film

Too much talk might disappoint some if you are looking for lots of action scenes.
Fans of the film series and the television series it was based on will love it.

Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) in action

I think it is the best of all the films so far. Interesting storyline.
8.0 out of 10