The Mission: Impossible (MI) series of films has been a mixed bag since the first one almost 20 years ago. The movies have all had different directors, which has resulted in a very diverse style for each.

The franchise only picked up after the third MI film, and it really hits its stride this time with its fifth installment. It carries on the grand tradition of Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) being the unluckiest spy alive, with the entire Impossible Missions Force (IMF) disavowed thanks to the machinations of the shadowy Syndicate.

"This does wonders for my receding hairline." ©Paramount Pictures
“This does wonders for my receding hairline.” ©Paramount Pictures

The film owes much of its pace and plot to Christopher McQuarrie. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, he’s the writer behind The Usual Suspects (1995) – which won an Oscar, mind you – and last year’s excellent Edge of Tomorrow.

He manages to keep the pacing of the movie just tight enough to maintain the level of excitement throughout. There ‘s hardly any down time for the audience before the next action sequence begins.

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
This is the last time Mr. Cruise flies economy. ©Paramount Pictures

In Cruise’s quest to be the western Jackie Chan, he’s performed a lot of his own stunts over the course of his acting career, while giving his insurance agent a heart attack every time he does so.

This outing ups the ante even more, with two death-inducing stunts. One involves Cruise hanging off the side of a cargo plane during take off, while the other is a 3-minute-long underwater shot. The former stunt is by far the more memorable one, as the authenticity of the underwater stunt is marred by the camera work.

But Cruise’s insistence on not using green screen or CGI certainly pays off.  One piece of advice: Sit slightly further back in the theatre so that you can soak up all the action at once.

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
Gillette Venus: Reveal the Goddess in you ©Paramount Pictures

Breakout Swedish-British star Rebecca Ferguson is definitely one of the highlights of this film. It seems like an MI tradition to swap out the female lead every time, but I do hope that they keep this one around.

Ferguson possesses the right blend of cunning and quiet allure, which allows her to stand on her own against Hunt convincingly. Cruise certainly knows how to pick his female co-stars – Emily Blunt basically kicked his ass in Edge of Tomorrow. Maybe he’s getting tired of carrying movies on his own.

This is actually a movie still from the Lethal Weapon reboot. ©Paramount Pictures
This is actually a movie still from the Lethal Weapon reboot. ©Paramount Pictures

The acting in this movie will not win any Oscars, but everyone does a pretty solid job. Cruise will always be Cruise, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This role was pretty much tailored for him and you can tell that he is having fun with the character.

Returning co-stars Jeremy Renner, Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg round out the IMF, giving their usual steady performances. Alec Baldwin also maintains another MI franchise tradition of filling out the mentor role with seasoned actors like Laurence Fishburne and Anthony Hopkins (“Thor”).

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is definitely a movie to catch in the theater, as the spectacle cannot be fully experienced on the small screen. It follows a tried and true formula, with all the trappings you’d expect from a Mission: Impossible film, but is still a fun romp.

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is playing in Singapore now. Tell us what you think of the movie!