Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation [IMAX]
Like almost any Tom Cruise movies these days, M:I-RN was an entertaining film and Tom Cruise a reliable entertainer. However, there was nothing really spectacular about director's Christopher McQuarrie entry to the franchise - not in terms of action, set-pieces, dialogue, chemistry or narrative. M:I-RN definitely paled in comparison to Ghost Protocol and failed to build up upon it.
The best parts of film were the rare comedic elements which were mainly courtesy of MVP Simon Pegg, with the occasional one-liners from MUP (most under-used player) Jeremy Renner and the patente wide/bugged-eye looks of Cruise.
Pegg and Cruise worked well together and their chemistry definitely made the First Act the most entertaining, of course also no thanks to Pegg's bantering. Even the big action sequence of Act One was the most exciting and riveting of the whole film.
And speaking of action sequences, the one in the prologue really served no purpose other than for Cruise's ego and marketing purpose. Which can be the same for most of the other action sequences throughout, and was partially the fault of McQuarrie. The way he shot and edited those sequences could have made it better and more exciting.
The run time itself of 131 minutes was too bloated. Some scenes/sequences could have been trimmed and tightened. The problem here was that the audience do not really care about what is happening on screen - we all know Cruise will survive, so there is no real danger per se. Therefore, in many of the action sequences, where there are prolonged dialogue-free periods, we just want things to speed up.
This was also contributed by the lack of chemistry between the cast and the lack of group dynamics. The latter of which was what made Ghost Protocol such a fun film.
Rebecca Ferguson played a strong female character - a rarity in a male-centric action movie - that mostly held her own against Cruise, however they lacked chemistry together and their scenes were equal parts painful to watch and laughably admirable.
Poor Renner was reduced to a bit player after his expanded role in Ghost Protocol. It was like the first Avengers all over again for him. Damn contractual agreements.
Ving Rhames is better in small doses.
Alec Baldwin was just being Alec Baldwin.
Simon McBurney stood out amongst all the others as the Chief of British Intelligence.
Sean Harris looked like a Mason Verger with a plastic surgeon. Terrifying, all-knowing, and singularly boring/one-dimensional.
It was fun to watch in IMAX, but none of the action sequences really made it that much more worth it to splurge on the format.
Looks like there will be sixth and seventh entry to this franchise, and hopefully it can reach the highs of Brad Bird's Ghost Protocol again!