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There are spoilers in this review. Duh.

It’s been awhile since I posted on here because my summer TV is over, but I am back and raring to go for the fall. But also to talk about the movies I’ve seen over the summer. I liked the first Mission: Impossible movie a great deal. You have to understand that I really don’t like Tom Cruise as a person, but I can’t deny I enjoy his films. In fact I’d be hard pressed to find a movie where I think he didn’t do a good job; he might be a weird person in real life, but he’s a decent actor. I talked about this in my Edge of Tomorrow review, and it’s relevant to this movie in particular. That being said, I was not impressed by Mission Impossible 2 and 3 at all, so I went to 4 (Ghost Protocol) with low expectations. I ended up loving it. I think the movies are better when Ethan is a part of a team and when there are other personalities bouncing off him. I liked Jeremy Renner’s character a great deal, and so I went to Rogue Nation with excitement. I was not disappointed. These movies are fun. That is the best compliment I can give them, and it’s a genuine one. It also introduced a new female character who I hope will come back in the future; the one huge criticism I have of this series is that there’s a new woman every film, but the men keep coming back. I’d love to see her again. I’ll talk about that more later.

This takes place not too long after Ghost Protocol, since the Senate committee who talk about disbanding IMF refer to things that happened in that movie. Alec Baldwin is a weird casting in this film as the CIA director who hates IMF and wants to take Ethan Hunt in. Earlier on Ethan gets captured by this mysterious organization called the Syndicate, but no one else believes they exist. He’s about to be tortured but one of the Syndicate – a woman named Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) – proves to be a double agent for MI: 6 and she saves Ethan’s life. She manages to keep her cover, barely. The leader of the Syndicate is this creepy and intense former MI: 6 agent Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), and they have history of some kind. Ethan has to drop off the grid because the CIA has decided to target him, and William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) agrees to work with the CIA since IMF is disbanded. The audience of course knows that Brandt is partially there to be a mole on the inside, and Alec Baldwin’s character is either a complete idiot or … honestly I’m not sure. He plays a pretty foolish person and I never took him serious for a single moment, so I couldn’t tell if it was supposed to be a joke or not. Ethan’s been disconnected from his former friends and team members Benji (Simon Pegg) and Luther (Ving Rhames).

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Ethan secretly contacts Benji and gets him to come to an opera where he’s tracking down the Syndicate. He runs into Ilsa again there where it appears she is trying to assassinate a political figure to keep her cover. He fights one of the other assassins, and they both escape. Ilsa’s character is a curious one, in the sense that it’s hard to know what she is going to do. She is definitely a good person, but she’s as seasoned and sharp an agent as Ethan is; she’ll do what she has to. She teams up with them to get this super elaborate disk that supposedly has the name of all the Syndicate agents on it. Syndicate is a place where former agents of other intelligence groups band together to be a terrorist version of the IMF, doing impossible jobs from a mercenary point of view. Basically the plot is that they have to find a way to prove Syndicate exists, break it from the inside, beat the bad guy, and get IMF back up and running. Unsurprisingly, this all happens. But it happens in the midst of some truly fantastic chase scenes and fight choreography, so there’s always that.

This movie is entertaining from beginning to end. Their stunts are always great, and a personal favorite of mine is the car chase that turns into a motorcycle chase. I don’t think anything can out do Ghost Protocol’s mission in that giant hotel leading to the long sand storm though. Ilsa Faust is a fantastic character and someone who should definitely come back on the team. Maybe as a guest star, the way Luther typically shows up, although I’d prefer her to just work with all of them regularly. I wouldn’t mind her getting her own movie either, although I understand that’s never going to happen because Hollywood. It’s great to see her disillusionment with her job, because it’s great character development and we saw Ethan go through this in the first few films. Ilsa’s brilliant, dangerous, and she is equal Ethan in skills and training. Maybe next movie we’ll even have more than one woman (GASP NO WAY) in the cast, that way one character doesn’t have to represent the entire gender. In any case, Ilsa’s great, and all the other characters are fun to watch and great at their jobs. I liked the storyline a lot and I think it was more interesting than the last one. The idea of the Syndicate, of former agents disillusioned by their business joining together, is an appealing one. All the agents have been screwed over by their government once and awhile, so you get why the villains ended up where they were.

It’s a slick presentation by the director of Edge of Tomorrow Christopher McQuarrie. Edge of Tomorrow is also a favorite action flick of mine, and it somehow stars Tom Cruise in yet another movie I love despite disliking him. I can see a lot of his humor here. I came out of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation with a big smile on my face and excited about the sequel that’s supposedly coming out. That’s the best praise it needs, and user reviews were all glowing and positive, as well as critics. It is fun, exciting, beautiful to look at, and a great addition to the series. Hopefully 6 will continue the hot streak.

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