“MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE — ROGUE NATION” My rating: B- (Opening wide on July 31)
131 minutes | MPAA rating: PG-13.
The latest “Mission: Impossible” film doesn’t offer much for the brain. The rest of your nervous system, though, will get a thorough workout.
Writer/director Christopher McQuarrie — helming only his third feature after a long career as a screenwriter (“The Usual Suspects,” “Valkyrie,” “Edge of Tomorrow” and the lamentable “The Tourist”) — builds on the spectacular/visceral approach Brad Bird employed to such solid effect four years ago in “M:I — Ghost Protocol.”
There’s not much talk in “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation,” and what there is is confusing and forgettable.
The big action set pieces, though, just keep on comin’.
McQuarrie announces his intentions with the opening sequence — already heavily publicized through the film’s marketing campaign — that finds Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt hanging on for dear life to the exterior of a huge military-type transport plane as it takes off. (There’s something important inside that Ethan doesn’t want the bad guys to have, dontcha know.)
Unable to stop the takeoff by hacking into the plane’s electronics, Ethan has no choice but to ride the big bird like that gremlin in the old “Twilight Zone” episode. Much has been made of the fact that Cruise actually did that stunt…he was strapped to the fuselage of an airplane.
Well, that’s only the beginning. Ethan must foil an elaborate political assassination attempt during opening night at the Vienna Opera House (clearly inspired by a similar setup in Hitchcock’s “The Man Who Knew Too Much”). I especially like the firearms disguised as woodwind instruments.
He must hold his breath underwater for, like, four minutes to break into a computer data storage facility deep below the Moroccan desert. (Not to be a killjoy, but where did all that water come from? It’s a DESERT.)
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