Vehicle chases have come a long way since The Great Escape (1963), Bullitt (1968), and The French Connection (1971). Until you see the motorcycle chase in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, you haven’t really seen one yet. There are other great chase scenes in this movie as well.
The movie begins with a mission going wrong. Control is wondering where Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is, why Luther (Ving Rhames) is involved, what Benji (Simon Pegg) is going to do about the “package” being on the plane that is about to take off; the package is not supposed to leave with the plane. Luther is hacking into the plane’s computer controls, Benji is trying (unsuccessfully) to stop the plane with his computer, and Hunt appears from nowhere, takes a flying leap onto the plane, gets to the side door and yells for Benji to “open the door”. Benji is finally successful but it’s the wrong door and the plane is already in the air with Hunt hanging on for dear life! In case you were wondering, this is an action movie, and you need to leave your disbelief at the door.
Meanwhile, CIA Director Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) and IMF agent William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) are testifying before a U.S. Senate committee where Hunley is trying to get the IMF disbanded. Hunley is successful and Hunt is left swinging in the wind! He has to go under deep cover to try to unmask the head of an international syndicate of trained agents from various countries who are presumed dead and are working to create chaos around the world. He is rescued from the jaws of death twice by another deep cover agent from MI6, Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), but to maintain her credibility within the syndicate, she’s going to have to kill Hunt!
While there is lots of excitement and twists in this movie, the assassination attempt at the Vienna Opera House seems rather familiar from at least one other movie, but even that has a bit of a different twist. There are lots of surprises and betrayals in the plot that keeps it interesting even when people aren’t chasing each other up narrow alleys and down cement stairs in a BMW. Some great locations including Morocco (Casablanca, no less), and lots of really great lines as well. I liked the way Hunt lets Hunley save face at the end of the movie when it turns out he’s completely wrong about the Syndicate being a figment of Hunt’s imagination. Oh, yeah — how long can you hold your breath under water? * * * * *