Tom Cruise is 54 years old. And he's been making Mission Impossible films since he was 34.
That's right. The original Mission: Impossible was released twenty years ago, in 1996. (And now I feel super-old, because I remember seeing it when it first came out. Yipes!)
Yet somehow, in defiance of Hollywood's tendency to cram aging action stars down our cinematic throats even as they grow increasingly incapable of sustaining the suspension of disbelief required for an action film, these Cruise-focused/financed/carried blockbusters keeps getting better and better (even as their punctuated monikers grow ever-more bizarre).
OK, so that's not quite true. I think Mission: Impossible II can only be enjoyed more than De Palma's original if one is willing (or able) to embrace it's highly-corny, face-shifting, slo-mo and classical-scored insanity (otherwise known as it's Extreme John Woo-ness). And I think I enjoyed Brad Bird's Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol ever so slightly more than today's recommendation, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation. But that's quibbling, really, because the last two entries in the franchise have been about as entertaining as one could have hoped.
You know what else just keeps getting better and better? The cast. Cruise and Rhames were always my favorites from the "early years," so having them as constants is great. But Renner feels more comfortable here than he did in Protocol (probably because he's come to terms with the fact that he won't be replacing The Legendary Hunt any time soon or ever) and Pegg is a trifle less manic this time 'round, as well. Baldwin's scenery-chewing is great fun (as ever) and the heavy's just heavy/creepy enough. And to top it all off, Rebecca Ferguson is magnetic; a real revelation, and far-and-away the best female co-lead Cruise has had in the series to date.
Rogue Nation is currently streaming on AMAZON PRIME and HULU($) and EPIX($). Go, thou, and enjoy the heck out of your Friday night, because Cruise sure seems to be enjoying the heck out of his franchise. (Which is probably why it's still enjoyable, these many years later.)
With the IMF disbanded, Ethan and his team join forces with a disavowed British agent, who may or may not be a member of this rogue nation, as they must face off against a new network of highly skilled special agents, the Syndicate.