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Monday, August 3, 2015
I have no real opinion about the Mission Impossible movies, which makes them easier for me to review. I will say that it looks to me like Scientology has discovered the secret to the Fountain of Youth because Tom Cruise does not look like he has aged in around 10 years or so.

The things I liked about Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation far outnumber the things I didn’t like about it. One of the main things I liked was that all of the loose ends were tied up at the end of the movie. The super bad guy lets Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) live when it looks like he could have taken Hunt out of the picture for good. But as the movie goes on, we realize that the super bad guy needed Hunt and that is why he allowed him to live.

The action in this movie, as is the case with all Mission Impossible movies, is pretty awesome. Tom Cruise does his own car stunts and it is pretty impressive what the guy can do. I am a believer in Simon Pegg and now think that a supporting role played by Pegg in just about any movie can save that movie. Luckily, Pegg was merely one in a troupe of well-cast actors that helped the plot move along.

The only thing that bugged me throughout this entire movie is how much better it would have been if Benedict Cumberbatch had played the super bad guy. When I found out that Cumberbatch was considered for the role but could not do it, that just made it worse. He would have been an ideal completion to what was really a nearly perfect cast for a movie like this. I even like Alec Baldwin’s performance and I find it almost impossible to take anything Alec Baldwin does seriously anymore.

Ethan Hunt is called on to save the world and his own skin by finally exposing the elusive Syndicate. For fans of the television show, the Syndicate is a pretty well-known Mission Impossible plot element. Fans of the movies have heard of the Syndicate, but this is the first time that we are really introduced to what the Syndicate is and how bad it could be. Of course, this 2015 version of the Syndicate is much, much worse than the version that was on the television show, which is something we would expect.

Another really positive thing about this movie is that it takes the time to explain what is going on. Too many action movies this summer just plow ahead with the action and do not take the time to establish the backstory. This movie proves that you can put together a great action movie and still take the time to let the audience know what is going on.

Yet another positive aspect to this movie is the immense number of characters that are really hard to figure out. After a while, I really had no idea who was Hunt’s friend and who wanted him dead. When the movie was over, I was still a little unsure about some of those characters, but the complete resolution of the story made it easy to deal with the ambivalent characters.

Does this movie get self-absorbed and lost in its own grandeur? Of course it does. That is what summer blockbusters do. But director Christopher McQuarrie made a point of making sure that the story was not lost in all of the grand action and high-octane explosions. Within the context of watching things that we know just cannot happen in real life, we are kept engaged by a story that never gets lost into the background.

This is really good movie fun that looked and sounded great at the drive-in. It is a fast action flick that is fine for the family as there are a lot of explosions and violence, but no gore or nudity. If your kids like fireworks, then they will probably like this movie.

Rogue Nation does not break any new ground, but it does have the common decency to care about being a good movie. It has a strong story, good effects, and actors that pull off their roles just fine. It is harmless fun that makes you glad you spent the evening at the movies.

Rating: 2 out of 5

+George N Root III is a Lockport resident that loves the drive-in. Follow him on Twitter @georgenroot3 or send him a message at Follow the conversation on this movie and others at  

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