MIssion:Impossible -- Rogue Nation

Screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie won an Oscar for The Usual Suspects nearly 20 years ago. Needless to say, he knows his way around a double-cross. As the director and writer of Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation (a film title with a bit more punctuation than I'm accustomed to), McQuarrie has concocted a convoluted caper that is as thrilling and globetrotting (London, Vienna, Morocco) as the previous installments in the M:I franchise. Tom Cruise and company (Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner and Ving Rhames) are all back, even though the Impossible Mission Force has been discredited and dismantled (ostensibly) by CIA director Hunley (Alec Baldwin), who believes the body count (and general mayhem that follows M:I field work) is too high. Cruise's Ethan Hunt has been tracking the leader of a terror organization (Sean Harris) who is MI6-trained but, alas, disillusioned by the chaos that the world's superpowers have wrought. When Hunt gets word of M:I's fate, he, of course, ignores it and sticks to the trail, pulling his cohorts in with him. Harris's Lane wants to wreak a little havoc of his own and enlists the assistance of British double-agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) to steal and deliver a file that contains information on accessing billions squirreled away by MI6 for a rainy day.  It appears at first that McQuarrie has front-loaded his picture with Cruise hanging onto the side of a jet that's taxiing and then taking off but there is plenty more derring-do in this flick, and in Cruise. Whether he's battling an opponent in the fly space above the stage of the Vienna Opera House or zipping through Moroccan markets on a motorcycle, it's clear that Cruise (and his popular franchise) still has a lot of life in him. Recommended.


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