Sunday, September 6, 2015

Mission Impossible-Rogue Nation (Brockway)

Tropic Sprockets by Ian Brockway

Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation

Ethan Hunt ( Tom Cruise) is as red faced and sweaty as ever in "Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation."

Here again, he gets a beating and takes it on the chin, exuding as much smirky confidence as Indiana Jones without snakes. And even though we have seen the bicep bashes and the tendon-tearing tumbles all before, it makes for some satisfying butter-crunches to go with your popcorn.

After a near torturous few moments with a sadist named the "bone doctor" Hunt goes to a vintage record store, shoulders bulging, and is given a vinyl record where he is told of  his next mission.

It seems the IMF has been informing on its members, while Hunt is persona non grata. Meanwhile there is a reptilian Syndicate baddie, Lane (Sean Harris) who has gone rogue, hence the film's title.

How or why this happened is not all that important and one doesn't need to see the previous films to enjoy this chapter. Suffice to say, our strapped and sweaty Hunt has to maneuver (or Man-euver) away from multiple baddies, that is, several men and one woman with a gun.

After a few near escapes, Hunt is on the trail of a digital disc that looks like a zip drive, but  the real fun to be had is in the cat and mouse chasing and the madcap combat scenes.

If the over confident Tom doesn't get you as he hangs off the side of a plane, in Total Cruise Mode, there is one terrific tease-tilting scene where Ethan Hunt stealthily leaps ladder after ladder while a full Puccini opera is going on below him. Absurdly, the more Hunt is punched, the more he smirks. And it is testament to the charisma of the actor Cruise that we take it all in, in enjoyable bursts and happily so.

Hunt is obsessed by a dangerous woman Ilsa, (Rebecca Ferguson) who may or may not be lethal. Though her Bond Girl type has often been seen, Ferguson has a smoky vivacious quality that equals Cruise and fills the screen.

Though the trappings of the film are pure Broccoli, it is the Hollywood ham of Cruise himself that makes this outing satisfying and meaty. Who else but Ethan Hunt / Tom Cruise is able to survive a face fracturing crash and then take off on a methamphetamine motorcycle along the roads of Morocco that turn and twist like Arabic scroll. In an earlier scene, a car crashes into the cliche of a fruit stand, but rather than a bore it comes of as Camp.

Given that the franchise has endured episodes, director Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher) can dispense with explanation and logic, speeding full throttle into dizzy escape. Fortunately, "Rogue Nation" doesn't hold its punches while Tom Cruise has a fun sometimes silly and cultish charm, all the more entrancing by his self-conscious awareness.

Yes, we have seen this bunch before with co-stars Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner and  Ving Rhames, and there is nothing really new. Yet the action is swift and clever and the devil-may-who-cares attitude that Cruise has perfected will have you mugging for the camera as well.

Finally, the last scene is singular perfection, a perfect "just desserts" that skirts along the edges of an "Alfred Hitchcock Presents."

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