Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation ★★★★

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Pros – The opening sequence is short but absolutely unforgettable. The fact that Tom Cruise is actually on a plane is stunt-action on another level. Director Christopher McQuarrie manages to pull back team members (Ving Rhames, Jeremy Renner and Simon Pegg) to make up the team, with only Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson) as an ambiguous undercover British spy. Nods to Mission Impossible and Ghost Protocol play a part, while a potential shut down of IMF lurks in the air raising the stakes. We’ve seen agents ‘go rogue’ before (arguably, this is the plot of Mission Impossible) but this is not just solving a crime but additionally keeping the entire network of IMF together.

Cons – Rogue Nation loses the teamwork selling point of the series. Ethan Hunt is, initially, a rogue agent for six months before Benji joins him. This creates a two-man show until Brandt and Luther turn up very late in the day. Granted, McQuarrie has acknowledged the previous players, but he has misunderstood the core quality of IMF. Teams. The introduction of ‘The Syndicate’ too – a British organisation – also seems to be ripped from the pages of 007. Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol actively continues the series with an extension of his marriage in M:I-3 and even an arms dealer who has the same henchman and introduction process as Max in Mission Impossible. Rogue Nation simply ‘has another mission’ rather than continue the story. Surely Alec Baldwin’s character should’ve been Kitteredge from the first film? And with all those disavowed agents and parallel teams lurking round the globe, the opportunity was ripe for a cameo from an ex-member of IMF. Sean Ambrose (Dougray Scott) could’ve popped up! Mission Impossible 5 is all missed opportunity and no pay off. Finally, we all know Puccini’s ‘Nessum Dorma’. Do we really need to hear it at the end of every set piece?

Read my ranking of all five Mission Impossible films here: www.flickeringmyth.com/2015/08/ranking-the-mission-impossible-franchise.html