Liz: 4 out of 5 stars

Before I get started on this review, let me just wish my lovely movie-buff boyfriend Omar who turns 22 today! Love you!

Omar and I finally got around to a real movie theater (a rare treat for us!! we really need to go more often again) to watch our last film of July 2015 — Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, directed by Christopher McQuarrie (most notable works to me: wrote the screenplay for the fantastic The Usual Suspects and co-wrote another Tom Cruise fave Edge of Tomorrow or Live. Die. Repeat., amongst others). The movie stars Tom Cruise (back as Ethan Hunt), Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris and Alec Baldwin. Big cast, much excitement!

downloadQuick Summary: Impossible Missions Force (IMF) is disbanded and becomes a part of the CIA and Agent Ethan Hunt is cut off and on the run. Meanwhile, he is determined to prove the existence of the Syndicate by pursuing his only tangible lead — a mysterious blonde and turtleneck-wearing fellow in glasses (Sean Harris). Deception, car chases, guns a-blazing, fancy computer hacking, crazy physical stunts and more, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation is another fun, action-packed addition to this franchise.

I’m gonna begin by acknowledging that I was in love with just about every outfit that Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) was wearing. SHOES SHOES SHOES were everything and I appreciated that she took them off while running on rooftops, etc because honestly how can you run in heels (cough I’m looking at you Jurassic World). Also noteworthy: the dress that Ilsa wore at the Vienna Opera like daaaaaaaaaaamn, I wish I could wear that.

Second – I’m a fan of cool car/motorcycle chases and this movie was definitely full of them. Favorite scenes: 1) When Brandt (Jeremy Renner) and Luther (Ving Rhames) finally track down Ethan Hunt and Benji (Simon Pegg) in Morocco by literally running into them as they were in pursuit of Ilsa. That was just hilarious to me, well done; 2) Hunt pursuing Ilsa through the mountains, both on motorcycle– very cool.

The stunts/heavy action sequences were also impressive in this movie. Some were just ridiculous — Hunt escaping from the Syndicate at the beginning of the film by literally hoisting his chained self up a really tall pole (who has the core strength for that I want to know). Others were really great to me. For example, the scene where Hunt is in the huge underwater computer server. Don’t want to ruin much there but I loved it. Ilsa was also really badass – man, they really liked giving her the chance to get up on the shoulders of bad guys and crush them. It was cool.

The movie was also visually beautiful, particularly the Vienna Opera scene and the car chases in Morocco. The lighting, music, and tension in the Vienna Opera scene were all so perfect for me. This scene and others, however, bring up an issue I had with the movie, in that there are OBVIOUS ways that Ilsa is portrayed, positioned, dressed for the sake of the male gaze, exhibit A below ( but that dress though omg).

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Other issues: I didn’t like how the movie ended in that the way that the villain (Sean Harris) was caught was a bit mediocre for me. I shan’t spoil how but I feel like it could have been done in a more dramatic way? Second, I kind of wanted more from Ilsa’s character. I can’t really say what it is exactly — I mean she was obviously badass and all. Maybe I just wasn’t totally convinced by Ferguson’s acting, but I felt as if there could have been more there. I am glad that there wasn’t any romance cooked up between her and Ethan though, yay! For what this movie is, a fun action spy movie, I really really enjoyed it and if there is another Mission Impossible movie, I’ll definitely be watching it.

Final Note: I love the Mission Impossible theme song.

Upcoming reviews: Watchmen, Inglorious Basterds, and A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night.

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