Film: Mission Impossible Rogue Nation
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Cast: Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Alec Baldwin
Tom Cruise is the engine that powers Mission Impossible franchise and nowhere is it more pronounced than in the first 10 minutes of Rogue Nation. The opening of the film is pure adrenalin as Cruise's Ethan Hunt literally manifests to save the world from yet another disaster. Enough nerve gas to destroy a major city is on a plane and the ridiculously-named Impossible Missions Force (IMF as we know it) is trying desperately to stop it.
The attempt is failing miserably till Hunt miraculously appears and hangs to the side of the plane as it soars. For those who have been living under a stone last six months, Cruise did the stunt himself. For those who have already watched the much-publicised sequence a number of times on TV, YouTube and billboards, it is still shockingly startling on the big screen. You hang to the edge of your seat as Cruise holds on to the plane.
Rebecca Ferguson more than matches upto Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible 5.
The moment over and Cruise still alive to do another stunt, you sit back in your seat to enjoy the lull after the storm. There isn't any -- Mission Impossible is that kind of a film. The plane stunt is followed by an assassination, an underwater thrill moment comes on its heels, trailed by a bike chase which culminates in an intense knife fight, an elaborate kidnapping and a stupendous final set piece.
The fans of Cruise and this franchise should know this by now - the man doesn't know when or how to stop. At 53, he looks like he is 35 and does stunts which nobody above the age of 18 should even think about. While others are known for their grace and method, Cruise works purely on will power. How else do you justify his death wish aka insane stunts he insists on doing himself?
Tom Cruise's hangs off the side of a plane as it flies, and that insane stunt comprises just the opening of Mission Impossible 5.
There's the airplane stunt which Cruise never tires of telling the paying audience he did himself. He also held his breath for an unbelievable six minutes while trying to crack a torus-shaped underwater data storage facility. In the film, it almost kills him. He also went high-speed bike racing in Morocco but the worst that happened was that he scuffed his knee. There is also a stylish assassination attempt at a Vienna opera which involved fighting on overhead lights.
Tom Cruise is the foremost action star of our generation and thank god for that. After all the CGI images and soft Hollywood actors, his insistence for rehearsal-based intense action scenes is pure popcorn-crunching fun. All we are left wondering is how he does it? Do we need to send him to a lab or just accept that there is something to scientology after all!
Mission Impossible 5 review | Tom Cruise hypnotises in this perfect blockbuster
Here's taking a look at the story which the Mission Impossible franchise has honed to a perfect formula - a nefarious organisation called Syndicate is taking over the world one well-planned terror act at a time. Its soft-spoken supremo-cum-strategist Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) is a copy of Hunt minus the stunts.
Faced with this ultimate threat, Hunt needs all the resources of IMF. Only IMF has been disbanded thanks to the attempts of CIA head Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin). Left to his own devices, Hunt gathers his loyal band of merry men - Benji (Simon Pegg), Brandt (Jeremy Runner) and Luther (Ving Rhames). There is also the tempting beauty Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) who may or may not be a part of the Syndicate.
While the returning actors are efficient as always, it is Ferguson who brings a certain gravitas to the project. There are scenes involving her which may seem directly out of James Bond but she is as un-Bond girl as it gets. A climatic scene where her half smile is more cutting than her knife is a treat to watch.
Tom Cruise's bike stunt just goes to show that John Woo really messed it up in M:I2.
Harris' Lane is a villain with a philosophy. He is not evil for evil's sake and his bespectacled, soft-spoken demeanour places him in the category of better villains in the MI franchise.
Director McQuarrie is clear that he is making a film around Cruise and offers us one grand set piece after another. Cruise and McQuarrie have worked together in the past (he directed Jack Reacher and wrote Valkyrie and Edge of Tomorrow) and share a common vision for the film. He picks up the best elements from the last four films and offers us a product which is part-homage, part-organic.
Read: Tom Cruise's 5 death defying stunts
Read: How Cruise did the plane stunt
All in all, this is a film which will keep you engrossed during its over two hour run. Like all other MI films, the story has some crater-sized holes but then, that's a discussion for a later date. We were never here for the script, were we? Instead, grab that popcorn and get ready to be hypnotised by Cruise and his perfect blockbuster with the perfect franchise formula.
Mission Impossible franchise has gathered momentum and there's just no stopping it. MI 6 is something of a cert. The only question on which we are ready to take a bet is how Cruise will try to get himself killed this time.
(Interact with author @JSB17)