Tag Archives: Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

Mission Impossible Movies Ranked

With Mission Impossible: Fallout now in cinemas and having re-watched all the prior films in the series in the lead up to its release, I decided to rank the movies. I would consider the Mission Impossible franchise to be one of the best action movie franchises today. While most of them wouldn’t be considered action classics, most of them are decent and consistent at the very least, and excluding one instalment in the franchise, the Mission Impossible series really does get better with every film. This franchise has been running for over 2 decades and it shows no sign of slowing down or lacking in thrills anytime soon.

6. Mission Impossible 2

Pretty much every Mission Impossible ranked list will have 2 as the worst movie, and for good reason. I wouldn’t say that Mission Impossible 2 is a terrible movie, however I can see why some would call it that. Tom Cruise isn’t playing Ethan Hunt here, he’s essentially an American James Bond, being really goofy, spouting out one liners, not vulnerable at all, and acts like a playboy. Director John Woo’s style doesn’t fit with the Mission Impossible series at all, with big explosions, gunfights, big action scenes and tons of slow motion. The villain played by Dougray Scott is generic, uninteresting and doesn’t work at all. Probably worst of all however, the story is just so dull and uninteresting. Even if the story was overly simplistic, dumb or goofy, it would be at least somewhat memorable.

With that said, Mission Impossible 2 does have some enjoyment to it. Tom Cruise is effortlessly charismatic and throws himself completely into the role (even if it isn’t really Ethan Hunt), not to mention his commitment to all the dangerous stunts is well worth the praise. And John Woo’s direction is actually quite good if you forget that it’s supposed to be a Mission Impossible movie, it kind of works and the action is entertaining and done well, particularly in the third act where it gets gloriously ridiculous. It does feel a little over the top for an John Woo movie though, almost like someone was trying to make a parody of one of his movies. Also, its very jarring as its so far removed from the original Mission Impossible movies and the ones that would follow. Had the story been more wild, entertaining or interesting, it would’ve brought up the movie a lot, at least in terms of enjoyment. Instead we are left with a rather mixed bag, that is for the most part not memorable, in fact the most memorable part of it is that this movie caused Hugh Jackman to be cast as Wolverine in X-Men instead of Dougray Scott. To be fair though, at least it tried something different from the first movie, even if it doesn’t really work. Mission Impossible 2 does have some entertainment factor to it, however I do think that there’s a reason why the second movie is the only Mission Impossible movie not to be referenced by any of the following movies.

My review of Mission Impossible 2.

5. Mission Impossible

From this point in the list onwards there is a huge jump in quality in the movies, to being something decent at least. I will admit that I don’t love this movie as much as some people do, it’s just okay to me and wasn’t really all that great. Most of the other movies to me have done much better in both quality and enjoyment. However, it does deserve a lot of credit for starting the series off, especially with all the problems that it encountered during its production.

There’s not a lot of bad things with Mission Impossible, I just wasn’t that interested in the movie. On top of that, it is very complicated and convoluted (a little too much so), I had problems understanding the plot and I’ve seen this movie now 3 times. Mission Impossible is quite different from the series’ more recent direction, and it can’t help but feel rather dated. With that said, certain sequences like the dangling heist scene and the end train scene are very thrilling, and Tom Cruise in his first performance as Ethan Hunt is very solid (despite Hunt not having much of a character at that point in the series). While I wouldn’t rank this movie very high in the series, I think it’s still decent enough, just not as good as (most of) the sequels.

My review of Mission Impossible.

4. Mission Impossible 3

From this point in the series, every movie that would follow would be better than the previous one. It seems that this movie was overshadowed by the media surrounding Tom Cruise, and Mission Impossible 3 ended up being the lowest grossing movie at the box office. However, as a movie it’s really good and is actually many people’s favourite film in the series, and I can kind of see why.

From the intense first scene, Mission Impossible 3 is thrilling. It’s a lot more darker and intense from the previous movies (and most of the series come to think of it), making it really stand out. On top of that, this is the first time we see Ethan Hunt as a real character, and one who is put in some very vulnerable emotional situations, and not just Tom Cruise doing crazy ‘impossible’ stunts (even though he definitely does that here as well). Phillip Seymour Hoffman was great, really the first solid villain in the Mission Impossible movies, and it was all because of his fantastic performance. We also get the addition of Simon Pegg, who would return to the rest of the films in a more prominent role. JJ Abrams also did a good job with his directorial debut here, like with 2 there are some really good action sequences but it works better as a Mission Impossible movie. Not all of it works, there are too many close ups, lens flares and shaky cam (Abrams was clearly still finding his filming style), some aspects of the story don’t work as well, and while Phillip Seymour Hoffman elevated his role, the character itself isn’t that great and he’s rather underutilised unfortunately. Overall though, Mission Impossible 3 works quite well, with it being rather entertaining and thrilling. While I wouldn’t consider it to be my favourite in the series, I can see why it’s other people’s favourite.

My review of Mission Impossible 3.

3. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

This is the point where Tom Cruise and the other people working on the series knew where they were taking the franchise. Despite the solid Mission Impossible 3, the series’ future was uncertain… that is until Ghost Protocol. They focussed on more of the stunts and the action and director Brad Bird was such a great person to helm this film. Exciting, fun and creative, Ghost Protocol started off Mission Impossible’s second trilogy with a bang.

The whole movie is infused with so much energy, and you can really feel that from start to finish. Like with JJ Abrams with Mission Impossible 3, this was Brad Bird’s first live action film, and like Abrams, Bird did a really great job. This movie is very creative and it’s also worth praising for how practical a lot of the aspects are, whether it be with the famous Burj Khalifa climbing sequence (again, all Tom Cruise) or the car park climax. Ghost Protocol really brought back the team dynamic to the series, with all the characters being utilised and it not just being a Tom Cruise show (even though I like that as well). Out of all the 6 movies, this is the most ‘fun’ out of all of them, with the bright colours, the mostly light tone, the comedy and the action scenes. Things that do hold the film back a bit is that the Ethan Hunt isn’t really changing in the story like he was in the 3rd movie, he’s really just Ethan Hunt doing yet another mission, and the villain (played by the very talented Michael Nyqvist) is very forgettable and underutilised. The biggest problem that Ghost Protocol has is that the third act isn’t as thrilling as the second but it’s still rather strong. Ghost Protocol fully brought back the Mission Impossible franchise for good, and while I don’t love it as much as other people, it is really good and just really fun to watch.

My review of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

2. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

The Mission Impossible series was left in a pretty good place after Ghost Protocol. The 5th instalment is directed by Christopher McQuarrie, who Cruise collaborated with previously. While I’m not sure if this is a popular opinion to have about it, Rogue Nation is right at the top level of quality of the series, with it getting pretty much all the necessary aspects of an action movie being satisfied very solidly.

Rogue Nation was the first Mission Impossible movie to feel very balanced to me, with all the necessary elements working well. It flat out opens with the major “Tom Cruise does another death defying stunt” moment (with him being strapped to the side of a plane as its taking off), and the rest of the movie feels very consistently solid throughout. The action scenes are pretty entertaining, you have a car chase, a bike chase, a foot chase, all of them are really solid. Another highlight was the introduction of Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust, who is still one of the best characters of the series. Even Sean Harris’s villain as Solomon Lane was solid and rather overlooked, he’s not going to rank among the best villains of all time but we get to see a decent amount of him and he has a real presence to him. Rogue Nation is an entertaining, exciting and balanced action movie, everything works together to deliver the best movie of the series…

Well, at least until the next movie.

My review of Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

1. Mission Impossible: Fallout

There was a lot of hype for Mission Impossible: Fallout leading up to its release, and it was expected that it would be great, but yet it somehow surpassed all expectations. Everything from the cast, to the action sequences and direction has been absolutely perfected, to deliver not only the best movie in the long running series, but also one of the best action movies of recent years.

Mission Impossible Fallout is one of the most engaging and tense action movies I’ve seen, it has your attention from start to finish and doesn’t give you a chance to breathe (in a good way). Sure, the plot isn’t the most unpredictable and is quite similar to the other films in the series but it makes the best of that plot. The action sequences, 95% practical and 100% Tom Cruise, are all spectacular: the HALO jump, the bathroom fight, the motorbike chase, the car chase, the foot chase and the helicopter action sequence and more, if any of them was placed into any other great action movie, it would be the best action scene of that movie. Despite Christopher McQuarrie directing the previous movie, he made a real effort to make the next film feel completely different and it really paid off. The score by Lorne Balfe really elevated the movie, and is largely responsible for the tension throughout the entirety of the film. Fallout ties together the other Mission Impossible movies and is the first direct sequel, elevating it above the other films and making it a little special. It really takes the best elements from the previous films, like the espionage from 1, the wild stunts from 2, the darkness, intensity and character story of 3, the energy of Ghost Protocol and the balance of Rogue Nation, to deliver the best film in the series. Christopher McQuarrie, Tom Cruise and co. delivered a fantastic movie that is also one of the best action movies of recent years, and possibly of all time. I want to see more movies in the series, but I cannot see how they could possible top what they did with Fallout.

My review of Mission Impossible: Fallout

What is your ranking of the Mission Impossible movies? What are your thoughts on the series as a whole?

Top 10 Movies of 2015

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I know that it’s a little late (2-3 months) for me to be posting my best of the year, but I deliberately held off making the list because I wanted to watch many of the later released films like Steve Jobs and Carol. Time went on and progress on my best of the year had been slowed down, but now I’ve finally completed it. I should mention that I haven’t watched every movie, so movies like The Hateful Eight and Room won’t make this list, though I’m sure that I would’ve included them in this list, had I watched them. And yes, I’m going to make a worst of the year list.

Honourable Mentions

Ant Man

Marvel's Ant-Man..Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd)..Photo Credit: Zade Rosenthal..© Marvel 2014

This movie proved to me that Marvel can do no wrong, at this point they could probably do a Howard the Duck movie and I’d be confident that it would be great. This movie doesn’t have an easy concept to adapt to the big screen but somehow they made it work. Paul Rudd made for a likable character, the supporting cast of Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Pena and Corey Stoll were also great. It was also a breath of fresh air from the ‘save the world’ type superhero movies and went much smaller scale and the movie really benefited from that. Ant Man is another solid entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and along with Age of Ultron, shows that Marvel are showing no sign of slowing down.

My review of Ant Man

The Big Short

Left to right: Steve Carell plays Mark Baum and Ryan Gosling plays Jared Vennett in The Big Short from Paramount Pictures and Regency Enterprises

The Big Short didn’t have an easy task: it had to create a story about the collapse of the economy while making it entertaining and interesting for the general going audience, but this movie in my opinion succeeded at doing this. Director Adam McKay (Anchorman) made his directional debut in drama and seeing this makes me think that he might have more success in drama than comedy. The performances from Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt and others added even more to the movie. As I said in my review, the film doesn’t always get it right as some of the details did get confusing but the fact that I understood some of the concepts showed how well written and directed this movie was. Definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already.

My review of The Big Short

Avengers: Age of Ultron

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Avengers Age of Ultron is a movie that I’ve noticed get a lot of criticism. It’s been compared to the first Avengers quite of bit, and is often called lesser in comparison. In some ways I think that it is better than the previous movie. The characters are more developed (particularly Hawkeye) and the story does go bigger and does everything a sequel needs to do. James Spaders’ Ultron was a little divisive for some people but I actually thought that he made for a pretty entertaining villain. On its own I think Avengers Age of Ultron is a really good movie, whether you compare it to the first film or not. It’s not perfect, but neither was the original film. My trust in Marvel has not wavered after this movie, if anything it has been strengthened.

My review of Avengers: Age of Ultron

Mission Impossible Rogue Nation

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The Mission Impossible Franchise has been on the rise ever since its third instalment. No one thought that Ghost Protocol could be topped, with its actions and particularly with the stunts. However Christopher McQuarrie has successfully created a sequel which in my opinion stands at least at the same level of Ghost Protocol. Tom Cruise shows once that he can still be great in action films, his supporting cast also does great an Rebecca Fergusson was awesome in this movie (and will probably now be in more movies now). This movie has all the action you can hope for, a water scene, a motorbike chase scene, a car chase scene, and of course, Tom Cruise doing a risky stunt with the airplane. The Mission Impossible franchise is getting better and better the more the series is going on and I’m looking forward to see is get even bigger and better, it’s hard to imagine that happening at this point.

My review of Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

Steve Jobs

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Despite a lot of hype, Steve Jobs didn’t get the acclaim that it deserved, both by the critics and the box office and I personally don’t understand why. The direction by Danny Boyle was excellent and stylish, working quite well for the movie. The cast also did quite well, Michael Fassbender was magnificent as Steve Jobs, and the supporting cast with Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen and Jeff Daniels were also great, they all added to this movie and had their moments. But what tied it all together was Aaron Sorkin’s excellent screenplay. The dialogue, the focus on three important segments of Steve Jobs’s life, everything was well put together. If you haven’t seen Steve Jobs, you really should, it is a dialogue driven movie so it’s not for everyone but even if you aren’t a fan of those types of movies I think this film is worth a watch anyway, it might change your mind.

My review of Steve Jobs

10. Kingsman: The Secret Service

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2015 was a big year for spy movies and in my opinion, Kingsman: The Secret Service was the best out of all of them. With Matthew Vaughn’s excellent direction, Kingsman ended up being one of the most fun cinema experiences I’ve had. The action was so well filmed by Vaughn, in particular the church scene which is completely insane and over the top and fun. The humour was so well put in, it poked fun at the spy genre while being a great one itself. The acting was also great, with newcomer Taron Edgerton impressing, Colin Firth showing that he can do action and Samuel L. Jackson having a ton of fun as an over the top villain. I heard that the sequel is being planned for a 2017 release and after seeing this movie twice, I’m looking forward to seeing it.

My review of Kingsman: The Secret Service

9. The Martian

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Ridley Scott has been making some films that weren’t that good recently (take the Counsellor for instance) but with The Martian, he seems to have made a welcome return. It did do well at focussing on one character struggling to survive, which is no easy task. The cast was great, consisting of Matt Damon, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels and many others but it really is Matt Damon’s show here, whether or not this movie would work depends on him. Damon pulls off an excellent performance just right for the film. Unlike a lot of isolated survivor films, his character is very likable and entertaining to watch, and Damon conveyed all of this in a great way. I don’t know if Ridley Scott will go back to making above average films and I don’t know how Alien: Covenant will turn out but at the very least we can say that The Martian is his best film in a long time.

My review of The Martian

8. Inside Out

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Inside Out shows once again how great animated movies can be. It tackled a subject that I didn’t think a kids animated movie would tackle very competently: emotions. However this turned out to be one of the best written and smartest animated movies I’ve seen, I actually think this film was actually more suited to adults. I don’t know if there is any spin offs or sequels to the original movie being planned (nor do I think they are necessary) but in whatever case, Inside Out is quite an excellent movie on its own and one of the best animated films I’ve seen in a while.

My review of Inside Out

7. Sicario

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Denis Villeneuve has proven with Prisoners, Enemy and now Sicario that he’s one of the best directors working today. Everything on the production value was perfect, from the excellent cinematography from Roger Deakins, to the soundtrack from Johann Johannson, and the action scenes so brilliantly filmed by Villenueve, everything is so well put together. The performances were also great from Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro (the latter being a particular standout). With a new film from Denis Villenueve coming out this year (as well as him directing the new Blade Runner), I’m excited to see much more of his work.

6. Spotlight

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Spotlight was one of the best written films of 2015. The way that the dialogue was written, the way the film was paced, the way we learned information about the Boston Priest Molestation scandals at the same rate as the protagonists, everything was nicely strung together by writer and director Tom McCarthy. The ensemble cast consisting of Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Michael Keaton and even more added much more to the movie. Now whether the movie deserved Best Picture or not, that’s up for debate. But ignoring the awards, Spotlight really is a great and important film by itself and if you haven’t watched it, you really should.

My review of Spotlight

5. Creed

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I’m not a huge fan of the Rocky movies, I’ve only watched the first film before Creed. I wasn’t particularly excited for this film, sure it had director Ryan Coolger, Michael B. Jordan as well as Sylvester Stallone returning to the role of Rocky but I wasn’t sure of what to expect. Creed was one of the biggest surprises this year. Although it had many beats from the original it did manage to add its own spin on the classic story and made it even better than the original (in my own honest opinion). Creed also had fantastic performances from Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone (the latter particularly giving an Oscar worthy performance), and their pairing is what tied the film together. I heard that there is going to be a sequel in 2017, I don’t see how they can top this movie, especially with rumours that Ryan Coogler won’t be involved. I think that Creed can stand on its own as a great movie, and one of the best of 2015.

My review of Creed

Now these top 4 movies could honestly be put in any order, they are all 10/10 movies to me.

NOTE: My top 4 of the year had changed since I’ve made this list. Further below I will list the order.

4. The Revenant

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The Revenant was one of the most intriguing cinema experiences I’ve had. As I said in my review, The Revenant is one of the best directed movies I’ve ever seen. Everything looked real and there were times when I could honestly not know how they managed to shoot certain scenes, take the bear attack scene for instance. Fantastic performances by actors like Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson and Will Poulter elevate this movie even further. Director Alejandro González Iñárritu has proved along with Birdman that he is one of the best directors working today. I know that The Revenant has some divided people and to be fair, I know that this film isn’t for everyone. But even if you don’t like it, I hope you appreciate some of the strong aspects of the film. I know I gave The Revenant a 9 in my original review but months after seeing it, I have to say that it is a 10/10 movie.

My review of The Revenant

3. Carol

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Carol is one of the best romance films I’ve seen in a long time and director Todd Haynes crafted this entire film perfectly. First of all the setting is right from the 50s with great attention to detail, whether it comes to production design, costumes, you name it. However the excellent acting is the highlight of the film, with Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett shining and delivering some of the best performances of their career, and that’s saying a lot. The subtlety in their relationship is what makes the love story so great and along with the writing, both actresses convey that perfectly. Carol has unfortunately not gotten enough attention from a lot of people, especially when it comes to awards. If you truly appreciate film, I recommend checking out this movie.

My review of Carol

2. Mad Max Fury Road

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As I said in my review, Mad Max Fury Road is one of the best action movies of the decade so far. It blended in practical effects with minimal CGI effects and it was the perfect balance, not one moment did it feel overly fake or CGI. The action scenes were some of the best I’ve ever seen but it’s not just the action scenes that impressed me. The film can do so much with so little, it had a story but achieved it through visual means, not requiring a lot of dialogue to explain what was going on. It is one of the most visual immersive movies I’ve ever seen and it will be remembered for years to come. On a side note I know that some people are unhappy that this movie didn’t win Best Picture but I think I should say that it’s an achievement in itself that Mad Max: Fury Road, a movie that could be just considered a non stop action movie, was recognised by the Academy with a nomination.

My review of Mad Max: Fury Road

1. Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens did what Creed and Mad Max Fury Road has done: create a new instalment in a franchise while making it a great movie on its own. The new cast with Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac and others show great promise and the next films look great. I will say that The Force Awakens is my third favourite Star Wars movie, in front of Return of the Jedi and behind A New Hope. The fact that The Force Awakens is anywhere near as good as the original trilogy is an achievement in itself. I am truly excited to see what these new Star Wars films have to offer in the years to come.

My review of Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens

NOTE:
Now my top 4 of the year is as follows:
1. Carol
2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
3. Mad Max Fury Road
4. The Revenant

So what do you think of my picks for the best of the year? Do you agree with them or disagree with them? What are your personal picks?

Mission Impossible Rogue Nation (2015) Review

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Mission Impossible Rogue Nation

Time: 131 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence
Cast:
Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt
Jeremy Renner as William Brandt
Simon Pegg as Benji Dunn
Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust
Ving Rhames as Luther Stickell
Sean Harris as Solomon Lane
Alec Baldwin as Alan Hunley
Director: Christopher McQuarrie

With the IMF disbanded, and Ethan (Tom Cruise) out in the cold, the team now faces off against a network of highly skilled special agents, the Syndicate. These highly trained operatives are hellbent on creating a new world order through an escalating series of terrorist attacks. Ethan gathers his team and joins forces with disavowed British agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), who may or may not be a member of this rogue nation, as the group faces their most impossible mission yet.

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It would be hard to imagine Mission Impossible Rogue Nation getting anywhere close to Ghost Protocol, the previous entry in the Mission Impossible franchise. While I liked Jack Reacher, director Christopher McQuarrie’s previous film, I wasn’t sure if he was the best choice for directing this film, and Ghost Protocol was so great that it would be a pretty tough job to get anywhere close. After seeing it I can say that Mission Impossible Rogue Nation is actually one of the best Mission Impossible movies. It has all the thrills and entertaining factors that a good summer blockbuster needs. I’m not sure if Rogue Nation is better than Ghost Protocol, but it’s up there.

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One of the only flaws of the previous Mission Impossible film (Ghost Protocol) is that the film really peaked at the tower scene halfway through the movie and the rest of the movie never really got to that level of intensity. Rogue Nation however manages to keep the stakes and tensions high all the way. Something great from the previous film that crossed over was the fact that their gadgets didn’t always work all the time. This made the situations much tenser and much more unpredictable. Even when the action is really the main focus, I was able to follow the plot quite easily, it wasn’t unnecessarily convoluted and it was actually well laid out and planned.

Tom Cruise plays Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation from Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions.

Tom Cruise is effortlessly great in this movie and proves once again that he’s great as an action star. Along with doing his own stunts, he really commits to what is going on at the moment. Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner and Ving Rhames are also great in their roles. I also liked Alec Baldwin’s addition to the cast. A great addition is Rebecca Ferguson, she made the film even better. From what I can tell, she hasn’t done much in her career aside from the Dwayne Johnson Hercules movie but I have a feeling that we are going to see her in many more movies. Mission Impossible doesn’t have a great record of good villains, the best villain we’ve gotten so far was Phillip Seymour Hoffman in the 3rd film. Fortunately the villain here (played by Sean Harris) is one of the better villains of the franchise. His motivations are developed and you understand why he makes the decisions that he makes.

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The action scenes continue to up the ante as the film progresses. The stunts are great as always and makes these action scenes so much better because unlike a lot of action movies today, you can tell that a lot of what you are seeing actually happened, it wasn’t just green screened or used CGI. There are many stand out scenes, there is a motorbike chase scene (which honestly might be my favourite motorbike action scene), an underwater scene, and so much more including a scene where Tom Cruise is on the side of an airbus mid-air (as advertised many times in promotion of the movie).

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Mission Impossible Rogue Nation is a fun ride and one of the best action movies of the year, and given the action films released this year, that says a lot. I’m not sure if this is my favourite Mission Impossible movie, it’s a toss-up between this and Ghost Protocol but even on its own, it is a great movie and I’m looking forward to seeing more films in this franchise.