Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation
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Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation

You sure get your bang for the buck with this one.  Tom Cruise, as durable on screen as any movie star could be, and his team deliver an action packed espionage thriller that’s so eye popping you hardly notice you have no idea of why they’re really doing all that stuff.

Despite the fact that this fifth installment starts things off with Cruise (ok, Ethan Hunt) dangling from an airplane to prevent it from delivering its cargo of weaponry, it seems the CIA has no more use for the IMF unit. Defunded by Congress, Jeremy Renner’s Brandt and Simon Pegg’s Benji take desk jobs. Ving Rhames’ Luther retires and Hunt goes rogue. He knows there’s a merciless group of highly trained operatives out there, behind an international string of terrorist attacks and our hero is out to save the day. Boys being boys, eventually, the gang gets back together and takes us on a gorgeous tour of several locations where the bar keeps rising for can-you-top-this action sequences. They are aided (or is it handicapped?) by a beautiful and athletic British agent, Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson) who, unlike some other game gamines who’ve graced our action movies lately, has the sense to remove her high heels before kicking some guy’s butt.

There’s a basic thread of a story here but it feels as if far more time was spent on upping the action ante than on enhancing the plot. That’s probably okay for the majority of fans who will be lining up to see stuff blow up, awesome motorcycle races, underwater stunts and a snappy assassination attempt staged in the wings of the Vienna State Opera House, choreographed to Don Giovanni.

Cruise who once again performed most of his own stunts, still commands the screen. You can’t take your eyes off him. If you enjoy this collaboration between him and filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie, let me remind you of their even better effort, the really terrific Live, Die, Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow.

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