Mission Impossible is reaching the point where it’s actually doing the impossible. It is debatable if they are getting better with each new iteration. It isn’t debatable that they have all been good movies. Mission Impossible just may be the grandfather of a rapidly more popular genre. Ridiculous movies that put forth a great amount of effort in maintaining a poker face. The key is not taking that ridiculous-ness for granted. These films still manage to fill themselves with enough suspense and tension to make that fun feeling you get watching it an emotional payoff. Mission Impossible sees the return of Tom Cruise’s super agent Ethan Hunt. Ethan is in pursue of a spy network called The Syndicate: an international crime organization that is inciting chaos and violence for reasons that remain unclear.
All the recent events of the IMF come into play immediately. We learn that the IMF has been running without official government oversight for some time and it has finally caught up to them. CIA director Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) successfully gets the government to disband the IMF as it is and absorbed into the CIA. The CIA is unconvinced of the threat level of the Syndicate and is more interested in putting the brakes on Ethan Hunt. This forces Ethan to essentially go rouge and attempt to expose and dismantle the syndicate on his own. Much like the previous installment, his resources are severely limited. He only has the help of a handful of former IMF agents: Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) and William Brandt (Jeremy Renner). What proceeds is cat and mouse movie of sorts of Ethan closing in on The Syndicate. Piecing together their organization’s structure and ultimately their goals.
I think part of the success of the Mission Impossible films comes from a sense of familiarity. There are a few things you can expect from a Mission Impossible film. The first and most obvious is some kind of impossible mission. Previous iterations of the film have even taken jabs at the titular character’s pension for the insane and this one is no different. You can also expect some well choreographed action scenes and set pieces. Ethan Hunt is a now a season professional, but instead of just pointing out to the audience that he is older now. The film instead presents Ethan in a large array of circumstances that just have him at a disadvantage. This gives the scenes a great deal of Improvisation and creativity , ultimately resulting in more fun over function. The action scenes are exactly what you expect from this franchise. A good blend of insane stunt work, car chases, shoot outs, and as Tom Cruise would always have it, him running somewhere or after something frantically. The film is really comfortable in the shoes that have gotten it this far.
I was hoping Mission Impossible would finally break its trend by featuring a returning starlet. I thought Paula Patton was excellent in the last film and was really hoping she would make it back. However, Rebecca Ferguson seriously delivers as well. Shes the closest thing to a female version of Ethan Hunt that we’ve ever come across. So ultimately, with a Mission Impossible 6 green lit, I get to once again hope the next one will feature either Paula Patton or Rebecca Ferguson.
Sean Harris as the antagonist is solid, but not very menacing. Though, I could just be still feeling the effects of Javier Bardem in Skyfall. Outside of Seymour Hoffman in Mission Impossible 3, none of the villains ever really stand out. It’s probably one of the few categories the series falls flat in. Hopefully its an area they try to address in the next installment.
Ultimately, Mission impossible is another solid installment in a series that doesn’t seem to be slowing down. We know that we’ll be getting at least one more installment, but if that also performs as well who knows how far it will go. The blueprint has been done with older action stars proving to be good investments in Hollywood ( Liam Neeson’s Taken ). All I know is, at the moment I am enjoying these movies. Nothing can stay this good forever, but we can enjoy it while it last.