Mission Impossible: Fallout Review


After re watching all of the Mission Impossible films I was definitely ready for the latest one. Seeing it in theaters is always a rush and it’s the perfect way to end the summer. It was always going to be a tough sell trying to top films 4 and 5 but if anyone could do it Mission Impossible could. Fallout is definitely a great film although ultimately I would probably go with the last 2.

The movie starts out with Ethan assembling a team to try and recover the three plutonium balls that the Apostles are planning to use to blow up chunks of the world. The plan goes pretty well but the villains do escape with 2 out of 3. Ethan now has one last chance to catch them before a catastrophe occurs but this won’t be easy since the CIA has decided to pull rank. They are adding Agent Walker to accompany Ethan and he will be around to complete the mission at any cost.

A pretty impressive part of the movie is how misleading the trailer was without making stuff up. Sure the Truck scene in the forest didn’t happen but beyond that everything else was on point, the scenes were just shuffled around quite a lot. Most of the scenes in the trailer happened early on in the film so the second half was basically brand new. Walker is a far different character than I imagined him to be. While he may not be quite as good as his trailer version he is still a solid character brought and through. More on him in a bit.

As expected the best fight scene is the bathroom one. The fact that this guy is able to put up such a good fight against both Ethan and Walker at the same time is incredibly impressive. Especially when you consider that he was easily beating both of them. This guy is easily the best fighter we’ve seen in the series and his fighting style was quite lethal as he kept hitting them in the neck. Walker is definitely luck that Ethan was around to protect him. Even besides the fight the scene was just pretty epic as the two leads walk in and start surrounding the villain.

As always the film has exceptional pacing as well. The film is very action packed and something is always happening. Ethan really gets a workout as he runs a marathon, gets in a car crash, helicopter crash, gets hit by a building, etc. He sustains quite a few injuries over the course of the movie so it’s good for him that he usually gets 2 years to recover before the next one. It is unfortunate that Ethan is always injured for the final fight so we can’t see him at his peak but I suppose that’s the point of the early fights anyway. Additionally the visuals are also really good here as we get a lot of great backdrops. Whether the heroes are in a building or outside everything just looks so colorful.
We also get the classic MI theme a few more times which is always hype. It’s just such a great theme and it works for pretty much any epic scene. As always I will give the film’s soundtrack a thumbs up. It definitely does not disappoint.

While the film was excellent it still had 2-3 things it could have done better. For starters, it does gonthe cliche route of squeezing in one f word just because the film can. It’s really forced and unnecessary. The other installments didn’t have to add in such a thing and neither did this one. It’s a relatively minor issue and hopefully they don’t bring it back for next time. The rest of the writing was quite sound as you would expect though with a lot of good planning everywhere.

The other area where I’d say the film dropped the ball is with Ethan’s wife from film 3. The films have been pretty vague with her character from that point, but we know that Ethan faked her death so she could finally be safe. This film goes further into that and basically the two can’t even see each other anymore. Sure, Ethan could easily put on a mask and meet with her like everyone else, but they’ve decided that this life was way too intense. So they split up and Julia quickly went on the rebound. I don’t have anything against the replacement husband. The guy seems nice enough and is a good sport, it’s just that this plot absolutely shouldn’t have happened.

It’s such a tragic twist for Ethan. He gets to keep putting himself in harm’s way to save the world and now he’s also lost the person he cared about forever. Sure, the film hints that he will go on the rebound as well, but I wouldn’t even call that a consolation since I’ve never been able to agree with the rebound train. I have to stress that the film doesn’t paint this in a tragic light. Both people moved on although Ethan still gets dreams where he regrets marrying her in the first place. I’d say that it’s still tragic though and it would have been best if Julia had simply not appeared to be honest.

I can’t say that I have any other negatives for the film, it was just a blast. It’s difficult to even say where the halfway point is because there are so many action scenes and moments that feel like the climax. Still, I dare say that the first half probably beats the second as it just had the most memorable scenes. Any scene with Hunt and Walker being forced to team up was pretty fun. Walker was always lagging behind Hunt but he made up for it with bravado. I also liked the scene where Ethan has to escort the broker out of the gala. It showed how talented Ethan is against the average crook as you may have had some second thoughts about that when he was getting wrecked in the bathroom. Don’t worry, he’s still one of the best agents in the business.

Ethan Hunt is as great as always so there isn’t much to say about him. He always makes the right choice like moving in to save Luther instead of worrying about the plutonium. He’s the kind of hero that you want on your side. I also really liked his boss in this film as well. The heroes should be glad that he moved to the IMF since he understands their cause and does his best to back them up. Even if he doesn’t totally understand what is going on he always defends the team. He also looked really good in the brief fight scene that he was in.

Walker is the big rival figure in the film and as mentioned he was a little different than I expected. He got a lot of hype for being Ethan’s equal and everything based on the trailer, but he spends the whole movie getting one upped at every corner. The film makes sure to let you know that Ethan’s still the best, but Walker is a tough fighter. It’d be fun to see him go up against Agent Brandt. Walker’s a fun character though and definitely one of the better ones in the series. His CIA boss was also decent, but she could get a little annoying. She never actually helped the heroes out and instead got in their way at every turn.

Luther and Benji are solid characters as always. Their roles are very similar throughout all of the films, but they are consistently solid. You can count on those two to back Ethan up. Ilsa also returns and she looks pretty good. Her motive is pure revenge and she acts as a wild card to both sides. At times she is shooting left and right at everyone so it’s hard to know if she can be trusted. She’s also a fairly good fighter as well. Assuming that she will now be a main character I think Ilsa will fit right in with the gang.

Solomon returns from the last film, but I can’t say that I am able to take him all that seriously. He can fight so don’t get me wrong there. It’s not as if he’s powerless or anything. It’s just that his voice isn’t so menacing and he does spend most of the film being tied up so there is that as well. He gets out shined by one of the other villains here, but the fact that he is Ethan’s smartest villain has not changed. He is usually one step ahead.

Overall, Fallout is a great Mission Impossible film and continues the series on the path of greatness. It was close to getting a 9 and just barely fell short. It has a ton of replay value and the fight scenes are top notch. They are easily some of the best in Hollywood right now. It’s not perfect, but it’s about as close as you can expect a film to get. Aside from Infinity War it’s probably film of the year. Hopefully we do get a 7th film at some point since as long as the film continues to deliver we should keep it going. If you haven’t seen this movie yet then you should fix that ASAP!

Overall 8/10

Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol Review


It’s time to look at the next installment in the Mission Impossible series. This one was the big return to greatness for the series and just brings together all of the good things into one package. The film starts out great and just continues on that path for the whole duration. It is certainly a little funny to see Tom Cruise’s name pop up 3 different times during the opening credits, but I guess they have to show that he is the main character here somehow. While it just barely gets edged out by film 5 for me the two are almost indistinguishable.

The film starts off with Ethan Hunt in prison as the IMF work to break him out. This also involves letting a bunch of prisoners free as well so you’ll probably feel bad for the guards who weren’t exactly prepared for this. The group lets Ethan know that someone is trying to steal a bunch of nuclear codes and is looking to end the world. Ethan quickly gets on board and the best way to find the villain is to break into the deal that Hendricks is having with professional assassin Sabine. Sabine knocked off the IMF agent who had the codes and she wants some diamonds for it. The heroes will take part in both meetings to confuse the two parties, but will the situation go as planned?

Plan A always fails in these kind of thrillers so you always want a plan B. Ethan is good at adapting on the fly at this point since he’s an old hand by now. He’s been on a ton of missions and does as well here as in the previous missions. He did a great job of following Hendricks through the sandstorm even if the villain got away in the end. His fights throughout the film were solid and you never feel like he is in over his head. You may wonder why he is back in the field permanently instead of retiring, but I’ll assume this was the price for the deal that he made with the IMF. Definitely not a very nice deal, but one that I wouldn’t put past them.

This is the first Mission Impossible film where the rest of the cast is really helpful as well though. Jane knows how to fight which is certainly good since she ends up fighting Sabine. Sabine didn’t do quite as well in that scuffle as I thought she would, but that speaks to Jane’s ability. Considering that her character may not return, she did a good job here. If I had one complaint about her plot it’s that naturally the team had to use her charms to get intel on the villains. It seems as if this is a curse that happens to all female agents at some point or another. Fortunately the scenes weren’t too long or drawn out as they would have been in a different film. Benji also gets a big role but as always he tends to cut everything very close. The heroes were nearly thwarted thanks to him. He’s a good comic relief character and I don’t mind him. It would be nice if Benji would eventually panic less and get used to the whole thing though.

Then we have William who is a new character and easily the best addition to the series. The mystery around him is enjoyable since the guy is a top notch fighter yet he’s kept in the background for desk work. I’d definitely volunteer for the latter though since the field agents keep dying left and right. William may be a little more by the book than the others which causes him to doubt their risky plans at times, but his heart is always in the right place. If he had decided to go against the heroes and sabotage everything then that would have destroyed his character. I don’t fault him for having doubts though.

The villains aren’t quite as memorable as some of the others, but they aren’t bad. It was nice to see an assassin get thrown into the mix because I imagine that they would be tough for the IMF to handle. You never know when they will pop up and they should have a good amount of skills as well. Sabine made for a fun antagonist. Then we have Hendricks who can’t really fight as well as any of the other villains, but he is dedicated to his cause. He certainly did everything he could to keep the case from Ethan even if it was all futile in the end.

As you’d expect from the series Mission Impossible is full of nonstop action. The characters are constantly running or driving around the place. It’s what makes the franchise so fun since there is rarely a dull moment. The only times the film slows down is when the heroes decide to discuss a plan or in this case for William to reveal memories from his past. The whole story behind Ethan’s plot and why he was locked up was pretty interesting. I’m glad there was a twist about that since it would have been needlessly tragic, but it’s certainly a story that would be very believable either way.

The soundtrack is nice and fast as well. While it’s not quite as rock solid as Mission Impossible II’s, it still has the classic tune and fitting themes for whatever scene is occurring. None of the themes will ever take you out of a theme and if the film gets quiet then it is certainly intentional. The movie doesn’t miss a beat and all of the technical aspects are on point. The special effects are solid and it’s nice to see how high tech the equipment gets during these films. I do feel bad for the masks though as they never seem to work anymore.

As mentioned earlier this film gives the complete IMF team more to do than the previous ones. While it is cool to see Ethan take out whole armies on his own, it does make sense that his teammates should be equally talented to be a part of such an outfit. Seeing everyone get to contribute is good and it never feels cheesy since their tasks fit their abilities. At the end of the day Ethan will still be performing his crazy stunts and engaging in a lot of fights so those aspects won’t change. Now he just has to share the spotlight a bit.

Overall, Ghost Protocol is a really fun film. It definitely won’t come as a surprise to you that the government is once again shutting the IMF down though. The group has had a tough time of keeping its organization free of traitors in the past so it could be a liability at times. Since they have to keep disavowing everyone as well it probably looks suspicious from the outside as well. It’s good that the group are so good at their jobs though. I highly recommend this film whether you are a fan of the franchise or are just looking for a solid action film. Between the great writing and the rapid pacing there is something here for everyone. I’m definitely looking forward to the new film that just came out!

Overall 8/10

Mission Impossible III Review


It’s time to look at the end of the first trilogy. It was definitely not as consistent a trilogy as the current one is so far, but it was still a fun ride. This movie is basically right in the middle of the other two as it manages to start its comeback tour towards being the best, but still isn’t quite up there yet.

Ethan has finally left the IMF at least when it comes to active duty. He recruits cadets, but for the most part he’s on his own. Unfortunately John brings him back for a mission when one of their agents is captured. Ethan tries to save her, but the lady dies. This all seems to be related to some kind of big conspiracy so Ethan tries to bring in Owen, the mastermind behind this. The thing is, Ethan isn’t alone anymore, now he has a family which the villains can use to get the upper hand on him.

This one does have the weakest intro out of all the MI films though. The first film had an excellent mission that quickly got serious when the heroes all started getting bumped off. Mission Impossible 2’s had a cool mountain climbing segment although depending on how far you go for the first scene then it loses after all. I’m never big on interrogation scenes so of course this one wasn’t really an exception. It’s always an interesting choice to have the film start off near the end as well since it really gives away quite a lot of what is going to happen next. It starts the film off on a much grittier tone than the other two which clashes with the happy opening theme that plays afterwards.

It’s time for Family Trope 101, the wife gets kidnapped. It’s always a shame that it has to be this way, but when a hero or a big secret agent with enemies gets a family, things don’t tend to go well. The wife/kids are always taken and then the villains have some power over the hero. Up til this point Ethan has been untouchable because he doesn’t really have anyone he cared about. Yes, there’s Nyah from film 2 who was dumped off screen, but that’s slightly different as they specifically sent her to the villains.

Lets also not forget that so far the IMF always tends to have leaks everywhere. Once Ethan gets a family the villains are all going to know about it. Since he didn’t even tell her about any of this, she can’t even prepare herself for how this is going to play out. Ethan is also surrounded by agents who don’t seem to give it enough thought either as Luther yells out Ethan’s name in front of the villain. Sure, Owen would have gotten the name anyway, but why make it easier for him?

Of course, Julia is a good character though. She seems like a very nice person who is very supportive of Ethan. She chooses to trust him instead of creating drama about his secrets which is definitely really nice to see. She also looks good in the climax where she grabs a gun. As Ethan says, it’s just about pointing and shooting. So long as you’ve played a good amount of Call of Duty you should be fine. It’s just still an annoying trope when we have Julia captured.

Interestingly the film uses this as an excuse to basically skip the “Mission Impossible” stuff this time around. Ethan’s break-in of the hero base this time is completely off screen as we have the side characters chat a bit instead. I don’t really understand the thought process behind this since I imagine that most viewers came in for the fun planning right? Well, if not then I guess that may not be something too many people cared about, but it certainly stuck out to me.

It’s good to see that Ethan has advanced so far that he is now an instructor rather than in the field. He’s definitely a solid character here and still hasn’t lost his skills. He does a good job of fighting off everyone here and always keeping the upper hand when hostages aren’t involved. The climax fight can be a little annoying since he takes quite a beating due to the bomb in his head but at least he adapted by the very end of it. I can definitely see why he is ready to go on a honey moon instead of another mission.

Owen is the next villain of the series and he wants to be rich! The guy thrives on plot convenience and the moles having every possible edge on the heroes. Ethan should have shot him down before running out of ammo if you ask me. Owen definitely likes making sure to destroy as many followers as possible. He’s pretty generic as far as villains go, but I suppose I’ll give him some credit for actually being able to fight.

John is one of the big characters from the IMF and he’s a fun boss. While he is a very layered character where you can’t take his words at face value, he can be handy at times. No matter what his end goal was, it would have been curtains for Ethan without his help. He always tries to talk back to his overconfident boss even if it doesn’t always end very well. Points for effort right?

Luther is still around and he is still the expert on all things I.T. He has a squad at the ready as well with several other characters. None of them seem to be very important though so I wouldn’t count on them returning. They’re all okay, but the movie never bothers to give them any character. They all end up missing the climax as well which speaks volumes. At least Luther spends the whole movie trying to give Ethan a bunch of advice even if the lead doesn’t really pay it any mind.

The soundtrack is still pretty solid even if the remix isn’t quite as inspired as the second film’s. It’s all still pretty action packed and the main theme is already good so the remix would have to be downright bad to make it sound poor. There’s not much to say about the effects in particular here as it all looks pretty sharp. The films pick really good backdrops to have the scenes in.

Overall, Mission Impossible III is definitely an improvement over the last one. It does forget the actual espionage part of the film quite a bit, but it’s still an interesting film from start to finish. The film could get a little dark like with the opening scene’s interrogation which pops up again near the end, but it doesn’t get as dark as you may fear. The film also has a happy ending for Ethan which they always do, but this one certainly feels very final. It would have been a reasonable way for the series to conclude although of course I’m happy that it ended up continuing since the next 2 films would be really good. I’d recommend checking this film out if you’re in the mood for a good action story. This film’s the complete package.

Overall 6/10

Mission Impossible 2 Review


It’s time to look at the next Mission Impossible film. Unfortunately this is the weak link of the series as it lost its way and became your average James Bond film. No worries it’s still classier than that series but even going to that level at all is unfortunate. I suppose it would probably have been tough to follow up such a strong first film in general though.

The film starts with Ethan climbing a mountain as part of his vacation. Unfortunately the government finds him and tells Ethan that they have a new mission for him. Someone has stolen a bunch of military items and is planning to do something big. Ethan has to recruit a thief to help him break into the villain’s lair. After he brings her to the team the IMF reveals that they actually just need Nyah because she is the villain’s ex and she will be in change of recovering the documents. Ethan isn’t thrilled about this but because he has lost his edge in his film he agrees to his corrupt plan. Too bad it was super obvious and the villain knew from the start. Can Ethan find a way to turn the tables?

This film went south right away so let’s talk about the negatives. For starters the film really focuses on the 007 angle as I mentioned with Ethan quickly going past the friend zone with a lady he has only known for about an hour. Seems a little out of character if you ask me. Then Nyah is ordered to use her charms on the villain as well and is stuck with him for a very long time while the heroes twiddle their thumbs. The IMF makes it clear that she is expendable and up til now they had at least been portrayed as relatively heroic. Too bad they turned out to be just as villainous eh? It really comes out of left field because up til now they had been reasonable. (One film, but still) Mission Impossible cycles through the bosses very quickly as they change in almost every film. It makes sense because the bosses tend to be evil or at least someone inside is a mole. I think they should all be checked a little more thoroughly at this point. Back to the film though. The whole situation is too bad because Nyah seemed like a reasonable character but the film completely dropped the ball with her. Most of her screen time ends up just being completely unnecessary fanservice. That’s basically the entirety of her first scene despite it being a way to supposedly show you how skilled she is. This doesn’t change throughout the film.

Then we have the constant slow-mo scenes and zoom ins. These scenes don’t add anything to the film and if anything they are just distracting the whole time. If you’re going to use those techniques then use them wisely at select moments to really make the experience more memorable. If you start using this everywhere then it loses the point. Almost every time it was used incorrectly and so this film easily has the worst camera work. We get some decent cuts like Ethan walking through the fire, but on the whole it just dropped the ball as well.

Due to the terrible plot even the characters suffered. As I mentioned, Ethan doesn’t look good here since he was on board with this plan. Naturally he talks tough about how he doesn’t support it, but that doesn’t mean anything if he’ll allow it to happen anyway. He also has a lot more trouble with all of the villains here than usual as his attacks just don’t seem to have their normal weight behind them. It takes him probably around 30 hits to take out his final opponent. While this was most likely just a cinematic excuse so we could see him pull off those moves, it’s still something that you can’t help but notice. Ethan gets the job done, but he’s a shell of his former self.

I’ve already discussed Nyah quite a bit so there is not much more to say about her. Good concept for the character, but the execution just wasn’t there. Luther is still a fun ally like in the first film. In comparison he doesn’t get a whole lot to do here but he’s around as always to help out. He is probably the only guy that Ethan can really trust so if I was the lead I’d definitely do my best to keep that guy out of harms way.

Then we have the main villain Ambrose who is pretty generic. At the end of the day he’s just a normal guy who sad that he got rejected by Nyah and doesn’t take it too well. The film does its best to show us what a mean fellow he is by giving us several scenes of him making life miserable for everyone. The scene where he clips someone was definitely a bit much though and the kind of scene that the film should skip. Ambrose always comes across as more petty than likable. Even when he comes up with a counter plan to Ethan’s which was actually handled well, it’s too late for him to really rank with the better cinematic villains.

As far as the positives go, the film’s pacing is air tight as usual. While it does slow down a bit for the romance scenes, they don’t pop up enough to really derail the film. For the most part there is always something happening here and we do get many fight scenes. There’s even a prolonged motorcycle chase scene at one point where we see Ethan take on quite a few fighters at once. This might be the best moment to quickly point out that Ethan’s hair style did not age well here at all though. It’s just really bad tbh, but it could have been worse. Back on topic, the fight scenes are solid. The film is definitely going for a slower, more martial arts type approach than Ethan’s usual quick barrage style. It works pretty well.

The soundtrack is still good as well. I really enjoyed the opening theme remix when the film’s opening scene concluded. It’s more rock based which is always a good thing and gets you pumped for the film. In general the soundtrack is very high energy and it works well for this film since that’s the approach that the movie was going for as well.

Overall, It’s just a shame that this film wasn’t better than it was. It just lost focus as to what makes the series so great. It tried to add a lot of extra gusto to the series which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it targeted all of the wrong demographics here. The series doesn’t need to be edgy or have Ethan Hunt be over the top suave as he gets everyone to fall for him. What made the first film great was the writing and the interesting plot. This one basically ditches all of that. Considering that this film is basically the definition of filler as nothing of importance happens here, you’re probably better off jumping from the first film to the third one and bypassing this entirely. It’ll keep the series in a positive light for you.

Overall 4/10

Mission Impossible Review


It’s time to take a look at the classic Mission Impossible films. First up is the original one of course. This started the long streak of success for the films and holds up quite well. It’s still a great action film with tight pacing and good writing. It also has the most memorable “Impossible Mission” set up with the heroes trying to break into the room that has so many different sensors.

The film starts with Ethan Hunt and his team heading into a big gala event to stop someone from stealing a list with the names of every operative who is in the field. Unfortunately it seems like the villains were waiting for them as all of Ethan’s friends are murdered one by one. Ethan is now suspected of being a traitor to the cause so he goes dark. Ethan realizes that he will have to infiltrate the villains circle of trust in order to find the guy who framed him. It seems like he will be alone in this mission but Claire shows up later and says that she managed to get out of the car before it blew up. That’s suspicious but Ethan has bigger things to worry about like revenge. He hires two former operatives to help him and the team prepares for their mission.

One of the big ironies here is that to gain the trust of the villains Ethan Hunt actually ends up breaking into the CIA himself to steal the very list he had been trying to defend earlier. Talk about a full reversal of roles here right? It reminds me of how annoying it always is to see the villains pull off a heist like this in films like White House Down or Olympus Has Fallen and naturally you don’t feel the same way when the heroes do it. It just goes to show how important the roles are here although the guards should have known better than to allow the firemen inside. Seems like a very suspicious setup…at least follow them right?

The main Impossible theme is catchy as always. It’s a tune that is easily remembered and has become very iconic over the years. It shows up multiple times here and even gets a remix at the end. Whenever music pops up here it is definitely fitting, but of course this was the highlight. Mission Impossible also has a lot of great visuals in the film like when the explosion propels Hunt onto the train or when he escapes from the restaurant with water exploding behind him. It could easily pass for a 2010 era film.

Ethan is pretty much the ideal main character. He’s a great field commander who always gets the job done. Even when everyone else is getting bumped off he tries to get in on the action to try and at least save someone. It doesn’t quite work out so well though. Then he quickly gathers his wits and moves in to find the real culprit. Unlike many other leads who freeze or start to panic when things go wrong, Ethan never has a moment of weakness like that. Even when he was talking to the CIA commander early on he immediately realized that something was off. It was the same when someone showed up from the grave trying to plead that he was innocent. Most main characters actually buy this for a moment but Ethan didn’t even entertain the notion. He’s certainly not perfect as he doesn’t see through another deception as quickly as he should have. He let his emotions get the better of him there which was unfortunate, but for the most part he made no mistakes. I also liked the masks he wore in this film as I forgot he used to do that.

Claire is the main heroine. She somehow managed to survive the initial sabotage which was certainly nice I suppose. Her character goes through a route that is a little predictable nowadays, but certainly much less so when this film originally came out. She’s a reasonable character I suppose, but one that can seem a bit sketchy at times. Her husband was murdered so you’d think that she would keep her distance from Ethan a little more of give him the cold shoulder. We have to keep this professional right?

Jim was Ethan’s boss before he was murdered. It’s easy to see why he typically wouldn’t be a field agent since the guy is just so old. The moment someone started tailing him you knew that the guy was doomed. He’s a bit of a generic character, but a reasonably good one I guess. He certainly enjoys living in fancy hotels but claims that he hasn’t lost his edge. I wonder about that, but the bosses in these kinds of films don’t typically end up doing all that well.

Luther is one of the two agents that Ethan hires to help him out on this mission. He’s definitely very well equipped to handle the data hacking and I can see why he became a fan favorite character by the end. He’s pretty confident and also has his morals unlike the other guy. Luther wasn’t going to let the villains actually leak out the codenames while Franz didn’t really care. Franz is the more annoying agent who isn’t always great at his job and only cares about the money. He even comes close to actually murdering someone. You’re definitely not meant to root for this guy.

One character who is an antagonist here, but still a fun character is Kittridge. Of course he isn’t correct in his hunch that Ethan is the mole, but at least the guy is trying to get to the bottom of this mystery. He’s fairly intelligent and comes up with a good plan to try and lure Ethan out. He’s also at the ready when he notices suspicious activity during the climax. Cutting a deal at the end may have been morally dubious, but it did seem like the villains would get away otherwise. He’s not exactly a hero, but he’s a very interesting character and a guy who is quite good at his job. If he wasn’t up against Ethan then he may have had a shot here.

Overall, This film was definitely a lot of fun. It’s probably got the biggest stealth aspect to it compared to the sequels as they became a lot more action oriented. Here we even get a lot of mystery aspects as players keep changing sides and you don’t know who to trust. The mystery angle is played quite well and the writing is always engaging. If you haven’t watched this film yet then now is the perfect time to do so since the new film is coming out soon. You’ll want to see for yourself why this is considered the best secret agent film series at the moment.

Overall 8/10

Mission Impossible Rogue Nation Review

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Mission Impossible has always been a fun series and I was looking forward to this film. It was one of the few films that I thought had a chance to dethrone Pixels. It turns out that this wasn’t a very tough feat at all, but the film did not disappoint. Aside from Age of Ultron, this one’s easily the best film that I’ve seen in theaters this year from the live action titles. Off the top of my head it manages to dethrone MI 4 and the original film as the definitive best title, but it has been quite a while since I’ve seen those.

Ethan Hunt has been helping the IMF for quite a while, but it cannot be denied that there is typically a lot of collateral damage. As such, the organization is disbanded and the CIA claims its assets. Ethan goes off the grid to try and learn more about a shadow organization that has been committing acts of terrorism across the globe. Months later, Ethan has finally gotten a solid link on the adversaries and calls in one of his old partners, Benji, to help him with this fight. Together along with a member of the Syndicate (Shadow Organization) who claims to not be loyal to the cause, the three heroes embark on this perilous journey.

Naturally, this is the kind of film where you don’t really want to trust anyone. The characters could turn on each other at any minute and what’s a Mission Impossible film without a few twists and obstacles? That being said, if you believe in the Hollywood style enough, you should be able to see through most of the film’s deceptions. Now, why was this film a cut above the rest? It all goes down to a few elements.

For starters, the writing is good in this movie. As it’s essentially a battle of wits between Ethan and Solomon, the writing needed to be good or things could have gotten pretty dicey. Both characters try to stay one step ahead of the other, although it’s a much tougher task for Ethan since he has no resources for most of the adventure and has to make do with what he’s got. Solomon also has an entire organization to back him up.

The action scenes are pretty fun. There’s a motorcycle race between Ethan and the villains as they all cruise along at top speeds. Ethan has experience in all speeding vehicles so he’s definitely prepared for such a challenge. It’s definitely the best action sequence in the film and does a good job of showing Ethan’s skills as an agent. There’s also a car chase and then the stunt scenes like Ethan going underwater or hanging onto an airplane. Those were all fairly well done and holding one’s breath for so long is a good feat.

The hand to hand battles are also nice and fast paced. They’re a little more violent than the older films as the heroes literally break their opponents a lot of time. For current fight scenes, the trend is to hear the bones breaking and put a lot of emphasis on when the heroes pull a General Zod moment, but it never gets too over the top and you can still appreciate how skilled Ethan is when he’s fighting off the opponents.

In case you couldn’t tell, I’m definitely a big fan of the character. Ethan’s been a consistently solid agent since the first film and his skills have improved. He’s not portrayed as being invincible in hand to hand combat as a random thug was overpowering him in a fair fight, but he makes up for that with his other skills. Like James Bond, Ethan has a license to kill and he gives it a real workout here. He’s essentially a legal assassin so you shouldn’t expect him to take any prisoners. It’s simply not his way. That being said, compared to other secret agents who do whatever they want in the process of completing the mission like James Bond or even Jason Bourne, Ethan is simply better at the job. He’s far more professional than James Bond and I’d say that he’s smarter than Bourne.

That being said, the film probably does rub our nose in it a little too much. I don’t believe that Ethan could successfully follow the Syndicate around the world for months without his government status. He somehow manages to also stay one step ahead of the CIA along the way and makes himself a base filled with lots of high tech equipment. I definitely think that it’s a stretch, but Mission Impossible is all about doing the impossible so it’s not something to think about too much. Plot hax is always around if you know where to look.

While Ethan is easily my favorite character in the film, I also like Brandt. He’s the connection on the government side of things and he almost could have been the main character if not for Ethan always stealing the spotlight. He acts like a leader and he’s quite skilled although he’s no Ethan Hunt. Without Brandt helping with the legal aspects of the situation, Ethan would have likely been doomed. Benji is a big player in this film, but I can’t say that I’m a fan. He’s not a bad character, but I feel like he doesn’t really add anything to the film except to be there for when Ethan needs an extra man. I would have preferred Brandt to have been the co-star, but he was definitely needed in the CIA plot.

Another one of Ethan’s friends, Luther shows up during the film. After the opening scene, he essentially vanished until the halfway point or maybe even later. He’s good and his computer skills are top notch. He doesn’t get much to do compared to the other members, but he helps out when the team is in a pinch. The leader of the CIA was a fairly likable character and you couldn’t help, but root for him at times. He always meant well and looking at things from his perspective, it’s hard to deny that he made some good calls. Destroying the IMF? It’s probably a good idea, but he would need to have a backup squad ready ASAP before the villains got any ideas.

As for the villains, let’s start off with Solomon. He’s actually a good villain who thinks things through and did a good job of outsmarting the heroes for a while. He has one “intimidation” scene that will make you wince and/or roll your eyes, but that was the only scene where he wasn’t impressive. I like how he turned the whole “Should you accept it” speech around on Ethan. He did it twice, but the first time was certainly the best moment. It really came out of nowhere and while we knew that the villain would make a move, it’s safe to say that nobody expected it to be so epic. It made the wait for the rematch that much more epic.

There were other villains like the “Bone Doctor” who gave the film some fights. Beyond them, the other big character would be the heroine, Ilsa. Throughout the film, you have to decide if you will trust her or not. I give the film some major props for not trying to turn her into a love interest for Ethan. That would have been pretty terrible and most films make that mistake, but not this one. Ilsa is used for some slight fanservice in one or two scenes, but it’s slight at least and not played up. (As it would certainly be in a lesser film) Ilsa’s a good character, but at the same time, she doesn’t think about her current situation enough. She takes a whole lot of risks for her country, but it goes into dicey territory with how unnecessary a lot of them are. She should realize that she’s just being used and act accordingly. Ilsa also came close to destroying Ethan on several occasions and you have to wonder if she meant to or not since depending on the answer, it does make her look bad. On the bright side, while it was at the expense of the British, the American Government looks nice and fair by comparison this time.

Rogue Nation has a lot of intense action scenes, but it’s also a lot of fun throughout and has a similar upbeat tone to that of The Avengers. People in the audience cracked up when the M16 chief got shot because of his extremely mild/dazed response. The film also has a good amount of witty banter about it. It never turns into full on comedy mode, but has enough light moments to keep you entertained throughout the film. It’s only around 2 hours, but the film really crams in a ton of content so the movie is always going.

I have to note that the film also uses a retro effect that I haven’t seen some time. Remember a few decades ago when the opening credits of a film would show scenes from the actual film that hadn’t happened yet? This one does that as the credits were rolling and it’s interesting. I’m actually not a huge fan of this since it’s showing you scenes that are about to happen, but I suppose that it could be a good way to generate hype. I dunno, I’m still against it, but it’s worth noting.

One thing that I liked about the ending was who the new recruit to the IMF was. It’s the perfect situation since as long as this person remains in the shadows, the IMF can do whatever they want. Of course, with no one to check on them, the IMF has to be very careful that they don’t go down a similar path like the Syndicate. As mentioned several times, Ethan is a gambler and the IMF takes a lot of huge risks. They will fail sometimes, but at least they still save lives whenever they enter the field.

Finally, I can’t forget to mention that the soundtrack is really good. The opening theme that played sounded an awful lot like a Terminator remix and then we also got the classic MI theme a few times during the film. It was a great selection of themes to be sure and they helped to make the film even more fun than it could have been. It’s safe to say that no other live action film this year will be able to defeat this film except for possibly Star Wars and even that only has a really slim shot. Mission Impossible is just too fun a franchise and can hold its own with any big title.

Overall, Rogue Nation is another win for the Mission Impossible series. On the record, I believe that it is the best MI title to date, but the series has had a good track record of aging well so it’s possible that the older titles will age slower than this one and overtake it. We shall see, but I don’t see myself lowering this score anytime soon so they will have to catch up to it. With fun fight scenes and an epic soundtrack, this film had all the tools needed to be a winner. There are a lot of things that can happen in the next film since it’s essentially a clean slate right now. If you want to check out an action film, this is the perfect one for you.

Overall 8/10