Rogue Nation was written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, who keeps things going at a breakbrain pace. Now, I am not saying the movie doesn’t have some semblance of intelligence and wit. There are times it even borderlines on judicious. The base of the story is about an international group called the “Syndicate” trying to destroy Ethan Hunt and the IMF team for 131 minutes, where the cast are able to work in a number of changes on old tropes, even though a kiss is still a kiss and a chase is still a chase. Rebecca Ferguson plays Ethan’s main adversary, Ilsa Faust, who is also from time to time his ally. As the movie progressed, I found myself much more interested in her than with her co-star Tom Cruise. The level of chemistry between the two was less than 0, yet her action scenes were breathtaking and visually impressive.
I was also impressed with Tom Cruise in this film because at 53 years old he gave every ounce of his physical being to the film. The very opening scene shows him leaping onto the wing of an oversized cargo plane that takes off into the air with him attached to it trying to get into the plane. However, the level of physical activity he shows in the film as his character made me question the character and the plot a number of times. A man of his age being beaten, tossed from motorcycles, concussed brain matter, and more makes you want to root for the man and not the character. I found myself feeling sorry for Tom Cruise and not Ethan Hunt because of the ‘dazed and confused’ look on his face in half of the film. I guess this is a by-product of Cruise’s magnetism. He has no real inner life to speak of, just a charismatic veneer, and is the perfect action figure to headline a franchise that makes no bones about being escapist entertainment.
Rogue Nation is harrowing, fun, and by far the best of the Mission Impossible movies to date. However, Cruise is not in the ‘must-see’ period of his career any longer. Yet, he will always be in that Mission Impossible phase. There is no one who can play Ethan Hunt better than Tom Cruise. Cruise is a legend as a movie star, and fortunately for him that helps him spring board “Rogue Nation” to the head of the class. Yet, I have something to say to Mister Hunt. “Good Morning Mister Hunt, your mission should you accept to choose it is, become the Director of IMF, start training your new team, and lead the group. It is time to step behind the scenes of the Mission Impossible Saga and make room for younger more realistic IMF agents. This message will self-destruct in five seconds.”