“Better Than Ghost Protocol? Impossible!” (Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation)

Hey, subscribers! Thanks, guys! But, I messed up. In the post where I announced that I was back, I hit “publish” around a paragraph early instead of “save”. So, I think it’d be pretty cool if you would go and check out what I said earlier, even if it happens to just be telling you about this post.

Best poster yet! So... There's that.
Best poster yet! So… There’s that.

Just yesterday, I went to see the new Mission Impossible movie, Rogue Nation. I’m a pretty big fan of the Mission Impossible movies, so I was fairly stoked to see the new one. Was it good? Was it bad? Well, I’m not telling you just yet. You’ll have to read on, if you dare. So, “your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to read on.”

After the events of Ghost Protocol, the IMF has been dissolved. Now, Brandt (Renner) is fighting for the future… in court. Ethan Hunt (Cruise) is across the planet, on a mission with Benji (Pegg) and Luther (Rhames). But, the court’s decision to label the IMF as a thing of the past has grave consequences for the team. Now, Hunt is labeled reckless, and his actions are seen as that of a criminal and an international terrorist. Brandt and Luther are tasked to hunt Ethan down, as Benji gets pulled into Hunt’s dangerous game. But what nobody knows is that Hunt is no terrorist, and he’s waging a one man war against a most dangerous enemy.

Now, I’d like to start this off by saying that I consider Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (the fourth and previous installment) to be the best spy movie ever made. Everything about Protocol is phenomenal. The characters are awesome, badass, and they bring the humor to the movie, making it lots of fun to watch. The action is top notch, and the stunts (like climbing up the Burj Khalifa) will blow your mind. It’s just now while I’m looking for pictures (and finding some of Tom Cruise literally swinging off of the tower on a rope with camera around him) that I’m realizing just how much of the stunts are actually real. That makes it better. As well as that, the stakes are so high, and the tension ratchets up to unbelievable levels. If it helps though, the second best spy movie ever made is probably Skyfall, or The Bourne Ultimatum.

Tom Cruise Burj Khalifa
I wasn’t kidding about that whole “does his own stunts” thing.

So, let’s just say that the expectations were pretty high for Rogue Nation. I had really high expectations for this movie, even before I saw the trailer. When I first saw it, it was through a couple rooms at a loud party, with the TV sound very low. I was in line for diner, so essentially I just stood there in the line and caught the last bits of the trailer at probably less than half the actual size of the TV (because I was so far away), and silently. Because I was backing up the line, I would motion the people behind me to the spot in front of me every once in a while. I didn’t know it was going to be on TV, so it really surprised me. In fact, I didn’t even know what it was at first, so there were a couple moments of is it? Could it be? Is it? Oh, yeah! It is! When I went home that night, I pulled up the trailer before going to sleep, and watched it properly. I was completely floored. It was amazing, and I dared to hope that it would be better than Protocol.

But was it? Well, not really, I’m sad to say. I mean, Nation was still a great movie, it just wasn’t as good as Protocol. I don’t really feel like writing everything down in free form, so I’ll just do a list.

Why Rogue Nation Was Not The Best

  • The villain. Lane wasn’t a very good villain. He certainly wasn’t a bad one, and the way they fought him was cool, but he ultimately wasn’t the best that the series has come up with. To be honest, Ghost Protocol didn’t have the best villain either, but Seymour Hoffman’s character from Mission Impossible III was absolutely outstanding, and so far, he’s the one to beat.
  • The music. The score was good, but the car chase scene (you know, from the trailer, where Hunt turns it around and drifts through the thin alleyway, swiping all the motorcycles off of the road) that was so cool in the trailer was completely devoid of it. There was no music there. Yeah, there was a lot of sound, and dialogue, but all of the cool music that populated the other scenes was just gone. It’s not something that would take major points off, it’s just that the music in the trailer for that scene sounded so cool, and I felt a little cheated. It’s just something I noticed while watching that extremely cool scene.
  • The tension. One of the best things about Protocol was that it was super intense, but in a fun way. Yeah, it was a fun movie to watch, but by the end of the movie, the stakes were through the roof, and you knew it. Ultimately, Rogue Nation desperately needed, but sorely lacked serious tension that made Ghost Protocol amazing.
OH GOD! (Rogue Nation)
Hold on! I said you were damn close!

But it wasn’t all bad. The Syndicate was a pretty cool concept, and seeing the team back together was so much fun I loved the movie by the time the opening credits were up. (Did I mention that I love opening credits?) The female lead, Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson), was amazing. She brought a breath of fresh air to the movie, and shared screen time, instead of being eclipsed by Cruise, Pegg, and Renner. The action and stunts were top notch, as always, and they found me laughing as well. On top of all that, there are a few twists and turns, and a couple times where I certainly held my breath.

Ultimately, Rogue Nation wasn’t as good as Ghost Protocol, but really just a slight step down. It was certainly a very good movie, and I had a great time with it. In addition, early work has started on MI:6, so I have that to look forward to, and no series climbs forever. I’m just glad that Mission Impossible took such a small step downwards from Ghost Protocol to Rogue Nation, because that means that less pressure is on MI:6, as we still get a damn good fifth installment anyway.

No, it’s not as good as Ghost Protocol. But, it’s damn close! Action packed, stunt filled, star studded, hysterical, at times. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, even though it lacked the badass villain of III, or the nail biting tension of Ghost Protocol, was a seriously good movie, and it’s definitely worthy of the name: Mission Impossible.

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