Jun 192018
 

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is another successful entry into the long-running franchise. There are some fun nods to the original series and previous films, yet makes a mark in its own right. Tom Cruise once again is incredible with his stunt work and the villain this time around was at least devious enough.

 

 

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
(2015)

Genre(s): Action, Suspense/Thriller
Paramount | PG13 – 131 min. – $31.99 | June 26, 2018

Date Published: 06/19/2018 | Author: The Movieman


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: Christopher McQuarrie
Writer(s): Bruce Geller (TV series); Christopher McQuarrie and Drew Pearce (story), Christopher McQuarrie (screenplay)
Cast: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris, Simon McBurney, Jingchu Zhang, Tom Hollander, Alec Baldwin
DISC INFO:
Features: Commentary, Featurettes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 3
Audio: English (Dolby Atmos), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 2160p/Widescreen 2.40
Dynamic Range: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Codecs: HEVC / H.265
Region(s): A, B, C

Paramount provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

NOTE: Portions of this were copied over from the 2015 Blu-ray review.


THE MOVIE — 4.5/5


With the exception of The Fast and the Furious franchise, it seems the Mission: Impossible movies have only gotten better. The fifth entry, based on (or inspired by at this point) the television series that aired from 1966-73 (and 1988-90), is once again a great action-adventure that melds the espionage subgenre with Hollywood action set pieces that rivals any of the more recent James Bond films and in some respects, are far more thrilling.

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation picks up some time after Ghost Protocol with Ethan Hunt (TOM CRUISE) hunting down the elusive and mysterious organization known as The Syndicate. The opening scene, which is the centerpiece of every trailer, has Hunt hanging off of a flying cargo plane attempting to stop canisters of saran gas from getting into the hands of terrorists. Hunt succeeds in epic fashion but not without ruffling some feathers.

It’s not the best timing as back home in Washington D.C., Alan Hunley (ALEC BALDWIN), head of the CIA, is testifying before a Senate committee about the activities of the IMF from the crashing warhead (from Ghost Protocol) and going back to breaking into CIA headquarters nearly 20 years ago and more currently, Hunt on a personal mission to find the head of the Syndicate which Hunley believes does not exist, and implores the committee to disband the agency and fold its agents under the direction of the CIA and uses all of its resources to track down and capture Hunt.

But Hunley isn’t the only one after Hunt. When Hunt goes to receive his latest mission, it was instead a ruse by the leader of the Syndicate, named Soloman Lane (SEAN HARRIS), and he’s trapped in a booth and gassed. He awakes in a dungeon about to be interrogated by disavowed MI6 agent Ilsa Faust (REBECCA FERGUSON) but she saves his life from a brutal thug working for Lane. He manages to escape and goes underground while Faust returns to Lane as she’s working undercover… or is she?

We fast forward six months and Hunt continues his global tracking and conspiratorial connections with various events involving the murders of thousands of innocent civilians. He reluctantly recruits the aid of Benji Dunn (SIMON PEGG), unbeknownst to Benji himself, to help in his quest to find Lane, flying him to Vienna for an opera where Hunt believes Lane will be attending. There, it’s apparent the Syndicate has something planned involving the Austrian Chancellor with several assassins attending including Faust herself. After some literal high-wire acts, and barely escaping, the Chancellor is still killed and Hunt, being seen in the area, is blamed.

Hunley for his part hasn’t stopped looking and William Brandt (JEREMY RENNER) does what he can to help Hunt. Working with Luther Stickell (VING RHAMES), they attempt to stop the CIA now intent on just killing Hunt utilizing their “Special Activities Division.” The worldwide adventure begins going from Vienna to Paris to London with double crosses, shadow agents, conspiracies and all the good stuff of any reputable spy flick.

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is probably the most complete of the M:I series, though from a fun factor I thought Ghost Protocol was better. However, Rogue Nation had a better plot, a slightly more devious and memorable villain thanks to the casting of Sean Harris, though not surprisingly he doesn’t hold a candle to Phillip Seymour Hoffman in Mission: Impossible 3. What I also enjoyed was seeing the core group, sans Paula Patton unfortunately, back together including Ving Rhames who makes more than a cameo has he had in GP.

And of course, Tom Cruise, now pushing 50, looks as good as ever and still performing his own stunts which were also the standouts in this entry. Although visual effects were still used, seeing Cruise actually hanging onto a plane is amazing add to that the underwater sequence, it would’ve been easy to used effects as a crutch but instead it amps up the thrills to epic levels. The film also features chase sequences that the Fast and Furious franchise could only imagine to conjure up.

The supporting cast is also strong. Obviously returning are Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg and, as mentioned, Ving Rhames. The team dynamic was one of the stronger suits of the series and kind of missing with the sequels and Rhames presence was missed in Ghost Protocol. But now with three returning to the fold, it seems to be gelling a bit more and hopefully Rebecca Ferguson (reportedly the studio has an option on her contract), makes a return for the already announced Mission: Impossible 6 set for release in 2017.

One of the highlights beyond the actors and gadgets, which are limited this go around it felt, is the stunt work. Yeah, you do have the plane sequence but I was impressed with the chase sequences. We’ve seen Cruise on a motorbike many times but how McQuarrie filmed the scene was amazing taking audiences into a first-hand view as the bikers race in and out of traffic (CGI’d as I learned in the BTS featurette), it’s thrilling and a new way to shoot something that has been done countless times be it Mission: Impossible or any number of the James Bond films.

Tom Cruise reunites with Christopher McQuarrie following Jack Reacher and Edge of Tomorrow and it’s apparent the pair have a connection, each knowing how to up the ante without going to absurd levels of disbelief (as much as I love the latest Fast and Furious movies, they are getting ridiculous) or making Hunt into a super-human being and instead a determined secret agent. Does it get close to the edge of believability? Sure, but the series hasn’t quite jumped the shark, though that is a concern.

In the end, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is a great entry into the long-enduring series that continues to get better with each entry and Tom Cruise keeps chugging along not showing his age and takes the series up another notch both in terms of story but stunts. If you’ve lost track of the franchise, it is well worth checking out.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 4.5/5


This release comes with a glossy slip cover and inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. The third disc in this set was originally a Target Exclusive where there is some overlap with a few of the featurettes.

Disc 1 (4K UHD):
Audio Commentary – Tom Cruise and Director Christopher McQuarrie sit down for an entertaining but informative track. If you haven’t listened to any of the other commentaries with Cruise (MI3, MI:GP, Jerry Maguire) you should do so as he does bring a lot to the table.

Disc 2 (BD):
Audio Commentary – Tom Cruise and Director Christopher McQuarrie

Lighting the Fuse (5:57; HD) is background on the origin of the story and Cruise bringing McQuarrie onboard for this installment.

Cruise Control (6:33; HD) – Here is an interview with Tom Cruise, as well as others, as producer, and his enjoyment making the Mission: Impossible films and his involvement with the production.

Heroes…(8:06; HD) examines the comradery of the team and their friendship and features interviews with the cast (including Cruise, Pegg, Ferguson, etc) and crew.

Cruising Altitude (8:23; HD) breaks down the signature scene and how it was shot.

Mission: Immersible (6:45; HD) looks at how the underwater sequence was accomplished.

Sand Theft Auto (5:35; HD) delves into the chase scene, giving a behind-the-scenes footage on how certain angles were accomplished.\

The Missions Continue (7:08; HD) talks about the duration of the franchise and the connectivity with one another and points out some cool easter eggs thrown in Rogue Nation.

Disc 3 (BD):
Lighting the Fuse (5:57; HD) is background on the origin of the story and Cruise bringing McQuarrie onboard for this installment.

…And Rogues (5:53; HD) looks at the antagonists featured in the film from Alec Baldwin’s CIA Director Alan Hunley and the primary villain, Soloman Lane, leader of the Syndicate.

Top Crews (6:40; HD) is a look at the high level of expertise that worked on the project from production design to camera department (lighting, etc).

Travel Agents (5:47; HD) covers the variety of exotic and sometimes unseen on film locales.

Opera-tion Turandot (4:16; HD) takes a closer look at the opera sequence and breaks down the various elements of what made that scene work.

Practically Impossible (5:59; HD) examines the amount of practical effects.

Stunts (30:20; HD):

  • Cruising Altitude (8:23)
  • A Fight at the Opera (5:26)
  • Mission: Immersible (6:45)
  • Sand Theft Auto (5:35)
  • Run-Don (4:09)

Cut! (7:17; HD) is a look at the process of editing the film.

Variations on a Theme (4:50; HD) – Featurette on the recognizable theme as used in a variety of ways.

The Missions Continue (7:08; HD) talks about the duration of the franchise and the connectivity with one another and points out some cool easter eggs thrown in Rogue Nation.

 


VIDEO – 5.0/5


Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation comes to 4K Ultra HD presented with a 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and given a great looking 2160p high-definition transfer (HEVC/H.265 codec). Like Ghost Protocol, this is an incredible looking transfer showing off sharp detail and vivid colors permeate while dark levels are stark without losing any of the elements in the scene.

AUDIO – 5.0/5


Not to be outdone, and thankfully, we get a Mission: Impossible movie with the new Dolby Atmos track which converts to TrueHD 7.1 for those receivers unable to decode. Either way, the sound is amazing with great depth and incredibly dynamic during the numerous action sequences to the lower levels for those quieter moments with dialogue making use of the center channel. Also well done, and utilizing each channel, is the score by Joe Kraemer (Jack Reacher) taking on the theme this go around.

 


OVERALL – 4.5/5


Overall, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is another successful entry into the long-running franchise. There are some fun nods to the original series and previous films, yet makes a mark in its own right. Tom Cruise once again is incredible with his stunt work and the villain this time around was at least devious enough whereas the others, sans PSH in MI3, were bland. The 4K release from Paramount is another excellent release in the series featuring fantastic video/audio transfers and a fine selection of bonus material.

 

 

 

 

The screen captures came from the Blu-ray copy and are here to add visuals to the review and do not represent the 4K video.

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