By Jonathan Decker (Family Therapist, film critic)
WHAT'S MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION ABOUT?
Ethan Hunt and his friends team up with a lethal operative to bring down a global organization of spies and terrorists. But whose side is she really on?
IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: A-)
While it's debatable which M:I film is king of the series, Rogue Nation certainly earns its place alongside the best of them. That's no small feat: we're five films in and there's no sign of franchise fatigue. Writer-direct Christopher McQuarrie (who worked on other excellent Cruise efforts Edge of Tomorrow, Jack Reacher, and Valkyrie) delivers a crackerjack spy thriller here.
In addition to the dazzling set pieces these films are known for, Rogue Nation delivers an interesting story, plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, and an excellent throw-down performance by Rebecca Ferguson. It's nice to have Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, and Ving Rhames back (even if the latter two are underutilized until late in the game). Alec Baldwin turns out to be a welcome addition. Cruise continues to astound with his stunt-work here. There's some nice nods, in both dialogue and musical cues, to previous films in the series.
As for flaws, the tonal shifts between lighthearted escapism and gritty violence are jarring at times and the film feels slightly overlong. Also, some of the action beats and plot twists are ridiculous and fall apart if one gives them much thought. Ultimately, these do little to detract from a very enjoyable night at the cinema. Rogue Nation is charming, unpredictable, and a whole lot of fun.
IS IT OKAY FOR YOUR KIDS?
Mission Impossible- Rogue Nation is rated PG-13. There are a few s-words and a handful of other mild-to-moderate profanities. A man is seen shirtless during an interrogation (he's punched and threatened with instruments). A woman is seen briefly in a bikini; she also wears a dress that reveals her back and most of her legs, and is seen for a second from behind wearing only panties as she changes into other clothes. There are fistfights, gunfights, and knife-fights, with some people shot and stabbed (very little blood). Operatives presumably die in various motorcycle accidents during a chase.
ANY WORTHWHILE MESSAGES?
Don't blame other people for your mistakes; be accountable for your own actions instead of making others suffer. Intelligence and teamwork are more useful than brawn and might. Be loyal to your friends.
My first film was actually a Mission: Impossible parody, which my friends and I made for our Latter-day Saint seminary when I was 16 years old. Watch the full movie here.
Jonathan Decker is the clinical director of Your Family Expert. He is a licensed marriage and family therapist, husband, and father of five. Jonathan earned a masters degree in family therapy from Auburn University as well as a bachelor's degree in clinical psychology from Brigham Young University. He is an actor, author, and television personality.