3.5 Very Good

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (English)

The Mission: Impossible films have been going since the 1990s, with mostly positive results, and this fifth instalment in the series certainly looked like it could be another enjoyable experience, directed by Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher). Basically IMF (Impossible Mission Force) agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is convinced he can prove the existence of international criminal organisation the Syndicate, but before he gets his next orders he gets captured by them, but with the help of disavowed MI6 agent and Syndicate operative Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) he escapes torture by Syndicate member Janik "Bone Doctor" Vinter (Jens Hultén). Meanwhile CIA director Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin), with IMF agent William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) before a Senate oversight committee, succeeds in having the IMF disbanded and absorbed into the CIA, meaning Ethan is cut off and is to be captured, but he is still following his only lead, a blond man in glasses, later identified as Solomon Lane (Creep's Sean Harris). Six months pass, Ethan is still on the run, he enlists the help of former colleague Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) to help find the Syndicate, the plan is to search for Lane at opera Turandot in Vienna, there Ethan spots two shooters, one being Isla, to stop both succeeding in an assassination of the Austrian Chancellor in the royal box, Ethan shoots and causes a flesh wound, but despite this the Chancellor is killed by a bomb. Brandt recruits former agent Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) to find Ethan and stop Hunley's team killing him, together they track Ethan, Benji and Isla to Morocco, where the three are infiltrating a secure underwater server beneath a power station, there is a complex security system that they need to crack in order to take out a ledger containing the names of all Syndicate agents, seemingly impossible. After successfully retrieving the drive Isla and a chase ensues in vehicles and on motorcycles, involving Ethan, his team, Syndicate members and Isla, but it is revealed Benji has already made a copy of all the data they require. Isla returns to London attempting to pass the file to her handler Atlee (Simon McBurney), he compels her to return to the Syndicate to complete her mission, she returns to Lane, but Atlee wiped the drive, in fact it contained an encrypted British-government "red box", there is now only person with the biometrics to unlock it, the British Prime Minister (Tom Hollander). The former IMF agents confront Isla, but she is abducted by Lane's men, he wants a decrypted copy of the drive, despite objection by the others, Ethan knows Lane will always have a plan to acquire the files, he is sure the only way to stop Lane is confronting him, Ethan agrees to the ultimatum. Brandt contacts Hunley to reveal their location, at a charity event they try to stop Ethan getting to the Prime Minister, the leader is taken to a secure room with Atlee, under scrutiny the Prime Minister confirms the existence of the Syndicate, as a classified project to perform missions without oversight, he said he had ordered the project to be cancelled before leaving the planning stages, as he considered it too extreme, following this confirmation, Ethan reveals himself, being disguised as Atlee. The real Atlee arrives, drugged he admits covering up the existence of the Syndicate, since Lane hijacked it the project and it went rogue (the Rogue Nation of the title), then the Prime Minister's DNA is used to unlock the file, Stickell confirms it is billions of dollars in currency. Ethan meets Isla in a public place, Benji is joining them with an explosive device strapped to his chest, Lane through Benji tells that he will kill Ethan's friend and many others unless he exchanges the file, but it has been destroyed, and Ethan has memorised the data to access the many accounts, he will give him all the codes if Benji and Isla are released. Benji is let go and escapes back to Stickell and Brandt, while Ethan and Isla are chased by Vinter and his men in the streets of London, in a knife fight Isla kills Vinter, while Ethan lures Lane to chase him into a tunnel system, in moments revealed a bulletproof cell where he is gassed and he is taken into custody. In the end Hunley and Brandt return to the oversight committee, the IMF is secured to be reinstated, Hunley makes claims that the efforts to have it disbanded were part of the undercover mission to help Ethan expose the Syndicate, the committee are sceptical, but this is approved, and Hunley refers to Brandt as a "secretary". Also starring Jingchu Zhang as Lauren and America Olivo as Turandot. Cruise proves himself as the action man once again, getting involved in many of his own stunts, best of all being when he hangs on the outside of a flying plane, Ferguson is likable as the two-sided agent, Pegg adds the needed comic relief to the right scenes, Harris makes a great menacing villain, and the supporting cast including Baldwin and Renner gets their moments too. The story is relatively easy to follow, there are very gripping scenes, especially the seemingly impossible mission in the process, there are exciting chase sequences and well executed special effects and stunts, it is a great enjoyable action spy thriller. Very good!