By Ea Nicole Madrigal
Since the global success of the last installment of the Mission Impossible series, Ghost Protocol, the world awaited what Ethan Hunt would be up to next and what far-off places he would travel to so that the IMF could again prevail and the bad guys would squirm their way off into oblivion. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation gives audiences their next glimpse of what Hunt is up to in the world of spies, treason, espionage, and adventure.
I decided to attend the film on a Friday afternoon (opening day) to see what audience turnout would be. I wanted to see whether so many films in a series begin to wear viewers down to the point that they wait to see Tom Cruise in his high-speed chases on their small screen TVs.
I found out two things. First, there were barely 25 people in the matinee for Mission Impossible, perhaps signaling a decline of interest in the film (or overall movie-going altogether); although I highly doubt the opening weekend numbers will resemble what I witnessed. Secondly, anyone who sits at home waiting for a Mission Impossible film to come on DVD is crazy. These films are meant to be watched with surround sound banging through your ear drums with a gigantic screen tantalizing your visual cortex.
Director and writer Christopher McQuarrie offers over two hours of thrills and thoughtful plot that allows Hunt to be rightly featured as the hero he is all whilst giving ample screen time to his set of unlikely and often flawed cast of protagonists. This time, Simon Pegg (who plays Benji Dunn) is a key participant in the dangerous mission that Hunt partakes in to find and stop “the Syndicate.” Pegg offers needed comical moments that pair perfectly with the often stoic attitude of Cruise’s character.
While Jeremy Renner rides in the back seat for most of this installment of the series, actress Rebecca Ferguson serves as a highly skilled, gorgeous, disavowed British agent looking to spy her way back into the good graces of MI6. Her character, Ilsa, also provides the useful story line that leaves the audiences guessing (at least throughout half of the film) if she wants to hurt or help Hunt and the IMF.
The film’s action scenes will thrill you – from the much talked about “plane scene” (which just happens to be the very first scene of the movie) to the high speed motorcycle chase an hour into the film (where both our good and bad guys/gals are donning fantastic, black leather outfits that provide a sleek and sexy appeal to the common “high speed chase”). As always, the visuals and sound effects of the film are flawless and intense.
The only gripe that I have comes with the make-up, because rarely did I ever see Hunt and his compatriots bleed. Instead, there is an acknowledgment toward the very end of the film that his and others’ faces have some minor scrapes. However, after falling in a motorcycle chase, rolling several times over in a car, and facing death at multiple moments via bullet or blade, you’re telling me Hunt wouldn’t have some gashes or legitimate scars?
Believe me, I will use my fantasy-adventure brain, but a little blood and sweat over the entirety of the film on Hunt’s face wouldn’t hurt (no pun intended); rather, it would remind audiences of Hunt’s inherent grit and bravery. It would also prove that although the mission is possible for Hunt, it is as difficult as it looks for the two-plus hours we watch him save the world, yet again.