At the Skylight Festival’s ‘Film Year in Review’ (always a highlight), Gareth Higgins noted that he had watched Rogue Nation so that the rest of us wouldn’t have to. I was planning to accept that kind offer, but Katrina is a Mission Impossible fan, it was playing at the IMAX, it was on the way to the airport to pick up Kathy and I had enjoyed Ghost Protocol, so I took a chance.
Returning to the big screen for the fifth time, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) attempts to save the world from the evil Syndicate while the CIA tries to save the world from the reckless Ethan Hunt. There’s a beautiful British spy/double agent (Rebecca Ferguson) to provide some sexual tension, there’s Simon Pegg’s Benji to provide some laughs, there’s Alec Baldwin trying to be serious as the CIA director, there’s Jeremy Renner trying to be serious as Hunt’s IMF boss and there’s Sean Harris as Solomon Lane, the evil villain. It’s all pretty standard spy-thriller fare, with endless chase scenes, lots of violent action and various twists and turns that rarely surprised me. It’s all very well done but even Katrina wasn’t particularly impressed.
While Rogue Nation, directed by Christopher McQuarrie, cannot be taken too seriously, the one piece of dialogue that did impress me was a discussion about who the bad guys really are (i.e. is the CIA or the IMF any better than the evil Syndicate in the way they treat the average citizens of this planet?). Unfortunately, this discussion goes nowhere in the end and we are supposed to rejoice that the world is once again safely in the wise hands of the CIA (and IMF), which could hardly be further from the truth.