Best and Worst of ‘Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation’: Greatest ‘Mission’ ever?

Is the fifth time the charm for “Mission: Impossible”?  The almost 20-year-old franchise has gone through some ups and downs over the years, but “Rogue Nation” has arguably earned even better reviews than the last installment, Brad Bird's “Ghost Protocol.”   Who knew?

One reason “Rogue Nation” works so well is because of relative newcomer Rebecca Ferguson.  Actually, you might have caught the Swedish actress in last summer”s terrible “Hercules” (she”s probably hoping you forgot), but to most moviegoers this will be her coming out party.  As an undercover agent straddling allegiances between the bad guys (the mysterious Syndicate) and the supposed good guys (MI6) Ferguson is never from the action or the storyline.  Without her seductive performance much of “Rogue Nation” might have seemed overtly familiar.

Director and co-screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie probably deserves the lion's share of praise, however.   McQuarrie is new to the “Mission” creative team (J.J. Abrams” Bad Robot has produced the last three films), but he”s worked with Cruise either as a screenwriter or director on “Valkyrie,” “Edge of Tomorrow” and “Jack Reacher.”  He knows Cruise”s strengths and weaknesses and the two collaborated to make Ethan Hunt a little less likeable and a little more obsessive than we”ve seen before.  It was a smart move that makes the IMF Team that much more important to the proceedings.

That being said, “Rogue Nation” isn”t necessarily getting the absolute best reviews of the summer (although it”s certainly in the upper tier).  The storyline, a splinter espionage group wreaks havoc throughout the world, is pretty much a cliché in the spy genre and we”ve probably figured out either Cruise or, um, Hunt really likes to shoot in London (guess it's where all the bad guys are). And while it”s great to have “Ghost Protocol”s” Jeremy Renner return we”re still wondering why Paula Patton couldn”t make the cut.  

Keeping all of that in mind, check out the best and worst of “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” in the story gallery at the bottom of this post.

And, fair warning, there are some spoilers ahead.

What did you think of “Rogue Nation”? Share your thoughts below.