MISSION IMPOSSIBLE - ROGUE NATION is a very entertaining summer movie. The actors are good; the stunts are exciting; the cinematography is top notch; and the whole production is highly professional.
It may be nearly impossible to follow all the twists and turns in the plot, but in this kind of movie, that doesn't matter much.
Tom Cruise stars for the fifth time, and even though he's 53 years old, he's still a believable action hero.
The movie begins with its most publicized stunt. Tom Cruise, as IMF'S Ethan Hunt, runs onto the wing of a plane belonging to the Rogue Nation, an evil international terrorist syndicate that is transporting poison gas. He clings to the cargo door, yelling for his computer expert to open it remotely. The actor did his own stunt work in this scene and says he couldn't sleep the night before it was filmed.
Only one invisible harness kept him attached to the outside of the plane as it climbed into the air. Pretty impressive.
When Ethan is captured by the Syndicate, a woman helps him beat up his captors and escape. Swedish actress Rebeca Ferguson is Ilsa, a very capable spy who may be a double agent.
Ethan: We've never met before, right?
Ilsa: Follow me.
Ilsa tries to convince both the Impossible Mission Force and the Syndicate that she's on their side when in fact her loyalties are shifting back and forth, depending on the situation. And though you may expect a little romance between her and Ethan, this movie doesn't have time for that.
More important are the fight scenes and the chases. My favorite is when Ethan and his side kick Benji (played by Simon Pegg) have to shake off a bunch of motorcycle toughs on the narrow streets of Casablanca.
(Ehan turns his car into sideways spin that smashes two motor cycles into the walls that closely border the street.)
Benji's main function in this film is to give us a few laughs.
Ethan: Do you have your seatbelt on?
Benji: You're asking me that now?
(The crash car they are in flies through the air backwards and crashes.)
As always, nearly everything these guys are required to do is impossible.
Ilsa: You have to get through 12 feet of concrete and 70,000 gallons of pressurized water without any metal.
Ethan: No oxygen tanks.
Benji: Important point. If you haven't opened the hatch in two and a half minutes, we're both dead.
(Ethan jumps into a maelstrom of pressurized water.)
I stopped trying to follow the complicated plot about halfway through. Instead, I just enjoyed the spectacular chases and well filmed action sequences.
Although there are more actors on the IMF team, they have minor roles. But Alec Baldwin is worth singling out for his over the-top-performance as the CIA boss who wants to dismantle the IMF team entirely.
But what I most enjoyed was the clean, well executed action, nearly all of which was done without the aid of computer generated imagery.
For my money, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION is a lot more fun than MAD MAX: FURY ROAD.