Mission: Impossible is tired. On TV eons ago, it was original. But it was only interesting and fun for a season. Like the current series and its carbon copies, it grew stale as the underwhelming sameness became overwhelming.
In 1996, Tom Cruise became IMF agent Ethan Hunt. He — and the series producers — managed to make the concept interesting for a movie or two. After that, like the TV series, it became same ol’, same ol’.
Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation has Hunt tracking down a rogue terrorist organization called the Syndicate. He’s also a target of the CIA’s new boss who wants the IMF to go away and convinces Congress to meld it into his agency.
Hunt refuses the order to disband and quit looking for the Syndicate’s dangerous leader Solomon Lane. Pushing forward, he connects with one of Lane’s minions, the beautiful Ilsa Faust, who saves him from certain death. She’s a double agent for British intelligence.
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Or is she? But that’s how the inevitable, pulse-pounding, one twist after another, who-do-you-trust formula works. In Rogue Nation the only character that works is Ilsa and much of that is because of Rebecca Ferguson. She reminds me a lot of Ingrid Bergman. With very few lines, Ferguson lets quiet do the talking. That lets her stay mysterious and intriguing.
It’s a very sexy performance in an unsexy movie. Rogue Nationis the fifth — and probably the worst — of the series. Yes, it is admittedly entertaining to a point. But like its four cousins, predictability is its undoing.
Part of the problem is Cruise. He quit acting years ago to, instead, pose, strut and overact and specialize in intensity. Just looking at a female co-star from across the room is a hemorrhoid-producing event. Cruise acts like he thinks Tom Cruise ought to act instead of taking on the characteristics of the person he’s playing.
He’s the same in every movie, and it has become boring.
While it is fun to watch him do his own stunts — especially the airplane bit at the movie’s opening — Cruise just tries too hard. And so does this movie. That’s probably because Mission: Impossible is on the same old — emphasis old — mission as the other incarnations of the series.