The secondary title is often misspelled “Rouge Nation”, which makes it sound like a conspiracy of the cosmetics industry. Directed by Christopher McQuarrie, who wrote The Usual Suspects and the seriously underrated Edge of Tomorrow, Mission Impossible 5 delivers what we expect of the franchise: choreographed thrills, complicated stunts, amazing prosthetics, absurd mayhem, ridiculous fun, and the hardest-working star in Hollywood. It’s a series of set pieces in which Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) hangs from a plane, swings through the ropes backstage at the Vienna Opera, dives into a tank with no oxygen supply, crashes in a car that flips over and over again, engages in a high-speed motorcycle chase, gets punched a lot, and runs and runs and runs.
Two ways MI5 is different from most Tom Cruise vehicles: It actually makes fun of Tom, and Tom actually has chemistry with a female agent with the cheeky name of Ilsa Faust (We’re guessing the Ilsa is an allusion to Casablanca). Rebecca Ferguson (star of the BBC’s The White Queen) makes a strong impression as a spy who is Hunt’s equal. Great support from Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames and Jeremy Renner as the IMF crew, Alec Baldwin being Alec Baldwin as the CIA chief who shuts them down, Sean Harris (he was the in-house killer in The Borgias) as villain Solomon Lane, and Tom Hollander as the dopey British Prime Mister.
The Philippines is mentioned as the site of one of the villain’s dastardly deeds. Lane is also blamed for the disappearance of a passenger plane carrying more than 200 people. (Right after the movie we saw a news report that the missing Malaysian Airline planes may have been found.)
Rating: Highly recommended.