Sequels seldom surpass the originals – or at least, that’s theconventional wisdom. However, the Mission: Impossible moviefranchise is a sterling example of how to defy the sequel“curse”.
The series’ fifth chapter, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, has been topping box officesworldwide ever since its premiere in the US at the end of July.
With its Chinese cinema debut on Sept 8, the movie unveils its most impossible mission yet. EthanHunt (Tom Cruise) – a key operative on the Impossible Mission Force (IMF) – and his team arefaced with eradicating a shadowy force known as “The Syndicate”, an international rogueorganization committed to destroying the IMF.
According to NPR, this latest installment continues the “elegance, wit and harrowing flesh-and-blood stunt work” that have made Mission: Impossible “the most reliable blockbuster seriesgoing”.
Anyone who has watched the previous film, 2011’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, will haveno problem recalling the scene where Cruise scales Dubai’s Burj Khalifa skyscraper. It’s hard tobeat a stunt like that, admits Christopher McQuarrie, director of Rogue Nation.
"We knew anything we did was going to be compared with the Burj. But it’s not like you couldwait for someone to build an even taller building,” McQuarrie told USA Today. "But we keeppushing the envelope."
And they did. The opening of Rogue Nation features Cruise dangling outside of an airplane as ittakes off.
But the scene is not just visually striking. The fact that Cruise, a 53-year-old action star, insistedon doing it by himself instead of using a stunt double makes the scene more pulse-pounding.
"I’ve often sat on airplanes, looked out and thought what it would be like out there on th wing,"said Cruise, who has a reputation of doing his own stunts during his 19 years playing Ethan Hunt. "It’s nerve-racking for everyone else, but pretty exciting for me."
But the highlight of the movie actually comes during a slower and quieter underwater scene,where Cruise has to hold his breath for six minutes while completing tasks. There is less action,but the intensity and adrenaline is just as great. The suspense keeps audiences on the edge oftheir seats.
"Sometimes you need a little silence to make the most noise," commented Los Angeles Times.