Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation — Best Film of the Franchise

tomcruise mission impossibleWith each Mission Impossible film, the writers dominate the delicate dance of changing times, audience expectations, and Tom Cruise’s unstoppable capabilities as Hollywood’s leading man. For the fifth film in the franchise, Cruise not only came to play, he came to prove something.

Mission: ImpossibleRogue Nation delivers a daring, edge-of-your-seat experience with planes, water, motorcycles, and more. And this time around there’s a fearless woman on board that puts Black Widow to shame (and steals some of her moves). That women is Rebecca Ferguson, and it’s refreshing to see Cruise in need of an assist, especially when that assist is beautifully choreographed in a kick-ass fashion. She doesn’t need a man to come to the rescue — because she does the rescuing.

The film opens with a sense of humor and a now famous scene with Cruise dangling outside of a plane during takeoff (yes, that happened). Cruise’s mission is to take down The Syndicate, a network of special agents engaging in terrorist attacks. Unfortunately for him and his cohorts, the IMF has been disbanded, courtesy of some very hilarious dialogue from Alec Baldwin, which means if they’re going to fight this rogue nation, they have to do it without the support of the United States. They join forces with a disavowed British Agent who may or may not be their enemy, and she keeps the audience guessing from start to finish.

What sets this installment apart from the former films in the franchise is the ease at which it’s executed. The stunts are jaw-dropping, but when injected with a sense of humor, they work in a non-cartoonish way. The characters must take a moment to laugh at themselves, or we will laugh at them, and in this case, the former takes hold. Plus, who doesn’t want to see Tom Cruise attempt to hold his breath for three minutes flat? It’s also worth noting that this movie is both bold AND elegant, with careful choreography unlike any I’ve seen before, and a stunning scene at the opera where brute force is balanced by a beautiful solo. This film is not just a movie, it’s a cinematic experience.