Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10
Cast: Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, America Olivo, Alec Baldwin, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris, Hermione Corfield, Jingchu Zhang, Simon McBurney, Tom Hollander, Jens Hultén, Rachel Ritfeld, Anastasia Harrold, Jorge Leon Martinez, Nigel Barber, Jessica Williams, Wolfgang Stegemann.
When the last Mission: Impossible film was released there would arguably have been many that silently sobbed into their pillow throughout the night after having watched it and who would vow silent vengeance should the world see a fifth instalment of the seemingly well past, over worn, near threadbare series of films.
Whereas the James Bond franchise has got better with age, especially under the stewardship of Daniel Craig, Mission: Impossible had become to feel like a pastiche of its own inglorious self, to self important, to wrapped up in its own delivery and cleverness, too bland.
A couple of years down the line and the inevitable happens, a franchise after all, is never allowed to truly die, the cinematic box-office would never allow it. Yet Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation calmly and with great sincerity pokes its tongue out at all the detractors and makes this particular instalment the finest out of all five made.
The way that Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation stands head and shoulders above its previous releases is down to many things, not least to Simon Pegg returning as operative Benji Dunn, the sheer scope of hard hitting adrenalin in the stunt work, including an outrageous opening scene and the best motorbike chase captured on screen in years but also down to the sensational Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust making more than her mark in the film.
A few years ago there was such a clamour, an outpouring of unrealistic calls for Halle Berry to be given her own film as the operative Jinx from the James Bond franchise. The call was never going to be serious for the character, whilst charming, was never going to be looked up favourably in many quarters, too whimsical, to naïve; some characters are best left alone after visiting them once.
However for the true heroine of action films, a role model for women to aspire to and one who really does deserve a bigger role in any future film of the I.M.F, then Swedish actor Rebecca Ferguson, who wowed television audiences as her portrayal of Elisabeth Woodville in The White Queen, is the perfect replacement for Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt should the series make it to a sixth film, if not then she certainly should be given her own spin off and would be more than a match against any future James Bond.
Rebecca Ferguson doesn’t just steal the film, she is the only one with the combination to the vault of how the franchise has been resurrected and no doubt saved from its stagnating corpse. Her scenes across the board are a joy and bring out the very best in Tom Cruise, something nobody has truly done in years.
Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation has had breath pushed back into the franchise’s lungs, it has spluttered out the water like a man saved from drowning on the high seas and the near death experience has left it re-invigorated and a surprising joy to watch.
Unexpected, unforeseen and completely satisfying, the mission is once again possible.
Ian D. Hall