Tom Cruise isn’t the only member of his family to be employed thanks to “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation.” His sister, Cass Mapother Capazorio, is billed in the credits as his paid assistant. Cass’s third husband, Greg Capazorio, runs Scientology’s Criminon– that’s the branch that recruits ex cons into the cult. All of Tom’s sisters, their children, and his mother are embedded in Scientology. It would take the IMF to get them out!
Luckily, Scientology is not expressed on the screen in “Rogue Nation,” an otherwise very fun big studio hit, the kind of summer popcorn movie that recalls the best of the four prior “Mission Impossible” movies and the TV series from the 60s and 70s. (There are many nods to the series this time, which is maybe why “Rogue Nation” works so well.)
“Rogue Nation” is also blessed with a terrific cast in the IMF team– Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, and Ving Rhames, as well as Simon McBurney, Sean Harris and Alec Baldwin. But director Christopher McQuarrie has scored big time with Swedish-British actress Rebecca Ferguson. The take away in “Rogue Nation”– aside from Tom Cruise’s physical fitness and derring -do– is Ferguson’s Lauren Bacall-like presence. Pretty much unknown except for the mini series “The White Queen,” Ferguson is launched here like a rocket. She is sensational.
With his characters fully delineated, and a (thankfully) streamlined plot, McQuarrie can concentrate on more important things: the look and sound of the film. Robert Elswit, repeating from MI4: Ghost Protocol, gives Cruise’s Ethan Hunt and co. dreamy visuals and rich panoramics. And as usual, the music is integral to “Mission Impossible.” Lalo Schifrin’s original theme is like a character unto itself at this point. Plus, Puccini’s “Nessum Dorma” from “Turandot”– ubiquitous at this point– still works like a charm to underscore a lot of the action. I like that McQuarrie makes the audience listen to a good deal of opera.
But it’s the set pieces that will bring people in. Some have little dialogue. But watching Cruise hanging from an airplane, or holding his breath for six minutes under water, etcetera– these are are the showpieces. You won’t want to miss them. Cruise throws himself into these things with abandon, and he looks great doing them.
Will all his outside craziness matter? In the end, no. It’s different for journalists. I’ve been blocked from Cruise’s Twitter page, and I wasn’t allowed into the early screening or premiere of the film because of my writing about Scientology. I can take it, and it doesn’t matter to filmgoers. “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation” is a movie’s movie. I enjoyed it thoroughly.