Film Review: Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
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★★★☆☆ Preposterous cinema should always have a place at the multiplexes, and if that’s what you want to keep yourself entertained throughout the last few weeks of summer before we welcome in the autumn, you could do worse than this. Rogue Nation is the fifth Mission Impossible adventure starring Tom Cruise as special agent Ethan Hunt. You get the feeling the writers would like us to see him as a sort-of latter-day Bond, though one who places more stock by gadgets than Daniel Craig’s current Fleming-inspired incarnation. If anything, it’s the ridiculousness of the older Bond films this movie yearns for. I’m not sure it entirely works, but I must confess there is a charm about Rogue Nation that doesn’t exactly grab you but rather finally wears you down until you finally accept that you’re going to have fun whether you like it or not. This instalment has been heavily bankrolled by China, that area of ready and waiting cash Hollywood has been so desperate to tap into for decades, through China Movie Channel and Alibaba Pictures. The result sends us spinning into a garbled tour around all the places in Europe that Chinese viewers may wish to visit, along with a bizarrely brief cameo from actor Zhang Jinchu. A lot of the plot, which involves uncovering a secret network of assassins, won’t even test your credulity but rather leave you puzzling what drinks were being supplied during the brainstorming session in the offices of Paramount Pictures. The story jumps from set-piece to slaptstick joke to another set-piece with jolts more potent than an electric chair, though it has to be said, while those set pieces are going on, director Christopher Maguire does do them with an admirable sense of sophistication. There’s a particularly delicious moment involving Ethan and another agent, Ilsa, caught up in a deadly situation set to Puccini’s Nessun Dorma aria.
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