Sunday, December 13, 2015

Video review: "Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation"

"Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation" is one of the better installments in the TV-to-cinema series centered on superspy Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise). It can't hold a handle to the previous film, "Ghost Protocol," but that's more an indication of tht movie's strength than any lagging quality in its successor.

Story-wise, the plot bears a great deal of resemblance to the recent James Bond film "Spectre," or should I say the latter takes after the former. It seems a shadowy global criminal syndicate -- called, simply the Syndicate -- has been behind much of the troubles seen in the last few "MI" movies. Hunt is out to get them, with the help of loyal retainers Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), the gadget guy; Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames), comms and muscle; and William Brandt (Jeremy Renner), the man on the inside at Impossible Missions Force (IMF).

The CIA director (Alec Baldwin) wants to shut down IMF as an embarrassment and a waste of resources. So Ethan & Co. have to take the fight to the bad guys while also evading, or conscripting the unwitting assistance of, the good ones.

It's a smorgasbord of cool chases, clever reversals and fiendish villains. It doesn't really amount to much, but it's a whole lot of forgettable fun. And, as it turns out, Ethan Hunt does this story better than James Bond does.

Bonus features are good, though you'll have to ante up for the Blu-ray edition to get them: the DVD contains zilcho.

With the Blu-ray you get a feature length commentary track by writer/director Christopher McQuarrie and Tom Cruise; plus seven making-of featurettes.



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