Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (movie review)

Mission_Impossible_Rogue_Nation_posterEvery time I hear the tune of Mission: Impossible at the start of the movie, I can’t help but feel ecstatic because I know that I’ll be having a great time watching it.

I remember the time when I watched Mission: Impossible 4 that I left out of the theater wanting for more. I was amped from the start until its middle part but the suspense kind of plateaued towards the end. But that didn’t happen here in Rogue Nation, a.k.a. Mission: Impossible 5. The craving I had before was definitely satisfied with this latest M:I movie.

It’s definitely a great time watching the stunts of Tom Cruise along with his costars. Though looking back, it seemed like it was only him and his female partner in the movie, Rebecca Ferguson, who had really carried out explosive action scenes. Simon Pegg’s comic skills were put into good use all throughout the movie but Jeremy Renner and Vhing Rames were not as they only seemed to do what any other actor could do. I’m really not complaining, though, because Tom Cruise is the star of the movie and his action scenes were still a sight to behold.

I’ve pondered about three things after watching this movie. One, Tom Cruise at his 50 plus years of age, can still pull off awesome action that actors of his age can only dream of. I wonder until when can he do these kinds of things but until then, I’m eager to see him keep the race going even with competition from relatively younger action stars. Two, the Mission: Impossible franchise is far from over. As long as Tom Cruise is in it, millions of people including myself will be driven to watch it in the movie theaters. Three, an action movie that’s grounded with solid story-telling, moved by remarkably fast but effective pacing and highlighted by amazing death-defying scenes is a sure-fire winner. And that’s what Rogue Nation is.

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’s movie rating by the pondering movie fan: 4.5 out of 5

Oblivion

Oblivion movie posterOblivion is a decent science-fiction film. It has intriguing plot, amazing visuals and spectacular action scenes. It reminded me of many sci-fi movies that have graced the silver screen before. One of these is Moon, which is a brilliant movie about the future and the outer space. It also reminded me of Prometheus because of its search for the unknown. There’s also Minority Report, which is superb in its action sequences.

Aliens. Post-intergalactic war Earth. Advanced weaponry. Gravity-defying vehicles. Clones. These are the usual elements of a science-fiction movie. What sets this movie apart from the previous ones is Tom Cruise. He breaks through as a great movie star here: someone you’d really root for from beginning to end.

The story is quite simple actually. Or so it seems. By the year 2077, Commander Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) and his communication’s officer, Victoria (Andrea Riseborough), are only two of the few remaining people after Earth has been nearly annihilated because of an alien force. The remaining people were said to migrate in Titan (one of Saturn’s moons) while some of the Scavengers (alien forces that broke war with the humans), or Scavs, were said to still hide on the Earth’s surface. Jack’s work is to ensure that drones, which are robots programmed to patrol the skies and protect the planet from Scavs, are active and functioning. Victoria, on the other hand, guides and backs him up with his missions, along with the help of Sally (Melisa Leo), their commander from the space station called Tet. This seems to be their routine for a very long time. As the plot somehow thickens, the audience will find out that something’s different with Jack. He collects books, secretly goes to a cabin in the woods, plays hoops, listens to classics and constantly dreams of a woman every single night. One fateful day, he saw an aircraft fall from the sky. Curious as he is, he goes to the crash site and finds out that one of the survivors is the woman in his dreams (Olga Kuylenko). He saves her, shows her to Victoria and promises to help her find out who she is and what she is there for. Will Victoria accept Jack’s decision? Or will it be the start of the team’s deviation from the rules set by the powers-at-be in Tet? Who is the woman in Jack’s dreams? Does she carry with her a deeper purpose? You’ll find out the answers to these and more in the movie.

Oblivion is fascinating for many things. For one, it continues the streak of sci-fi movies that excel in production values. The audience is sure to be awed by its spectacular visual effects and beautiful location shoots. The plot is written to show off a lot of suspense and surprises, and the director (Joseph Kosinski) did not fail to present them well. Furthermore, Tom Cruise proves that he is still a credible action superstar with this movie. He’s still got the moves to carry a movie like this. His supporting cast, led by Leo, Riseborough and Kurylenko also did well.

Is it possible to say something not good about the movie? But, of course. Amidst the sort of confusing plot lines, I just wish that its story has been developed more. This would surely give more depth to its characters and sense to the whole film. Nevertheless, it would be interesting to see how the setting of the movie came to be. Maybe an explanation in a form of a prequel would do.

Oblivion movie rating by the pondering movie fan: 4 out of 5.