Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation ***1/2
In “Rogue Nation,” the fifth installment of the popular “Mission: Impossible” franchise, Tom Cruise, 53, proves he’s still got action hero left in him to spare. Aside from his unusual and less than mainstream off-screen persona, and too public private life, few can find fault with Cruise’s skill as an actor. He handles humor, stunts and the super spy genre with ease.
In “Rogue Nation,” Cruise, as deep cover operative Ethan Hunt, finds he’s not so deep any longer. A syndicate of bad guys has discovered him and his cohorts and framed him along with the entire IMF (Impossible Mission Force).
All hell, of course, is about to break loose.
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Alec Baldwin as CIA chief Alan Hunley has convinced a secret board of U.S. government types to disband the IMF even as The Syndicate races toward world domination; yes, that ol’ chestnut.
A couple of great chase scenes, some cool stunts and hi-tech wizardry combine with the strong supporting cast of Simon Pegg as IMF insider Benji Dunn, Jeremy Renner as William Brandt, and Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust. The stunts and solid acting help make this another winner in a series that seems impossible to fail.
What do those stars mean?
* Really, really, really bad. Don’t bother.
** Pretty bad, with one or more redeeming scenes.
*** Pretty good, but maybe not great, worth seeing for most
**** Really great, a winning combination of story, casting, and directing
***** The rarest gem, an all-around perfect motion picture