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Blu-ray Review Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation Blu-ray Review (1 Viewer)

Neil Middlemiss

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Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation Blu-ray Review

The Mission: Impossible franchise continues to leap from strength to strength. In this fifth film, Rogue Nation, Tom Cruise once again leads the spirited action and newsworthy stunt work as IMF agent Ethan Hunt, solidifying the Mission: Impossible films as must-watch, tent pole entertainment in the multiplexes. The result is another top-notch entry in the series and a likeable, entertaining movie that comes highly recommended.



Studio: Paramount

Distributed By: N/A

Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Audio: English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, English Dolby Atmos, Spanish 5.1 DD, French 5.1 DD, Other

Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish, French, Portuguese

Rating: PG-13

Run Time: 2 Hr. 12 Min.

Package Includes: Blu-ray, DVD, UltraViolet

Standard with Sleeve

Disc Type:

Region: A

Release Date: 12/15/2015

MSRP: $39.99




The Production Rating: 4.5/5

“Hunt is uniquely trained and highly motivated - a specialist without equal - immune to any countermeasures. There is no secret he cannot extract, no security he cannot breach, no person he cannot become. He has most likely anticipated this very conversation and is waiting to strike in whatever direction we move. Sir, Hunt is the living manifestation of destiny - and he has made you his mission.”

 

On the verge of proving the existence of a villainous organization – a rogue nation – believed to be unspooling chaos and tragedy around the globe – Ethan Hunt and the Impossible Mission Force (IMF) are disbanded – the results of a disenchanted head of the CIA who believes the IMF should be run by the CIA. Hunt, seeking to topple the dangerous organization that has existed in the shadows, goes rogue himself, pulling in members of his team to help him topple the organization which threatens to destabilize the world. And he finds an unusual ally in Ilsa, a member of the organization he’s hunting who may be an undercover agent, a double agent, or worse.

 

Paramount’s Mission Impossible series has been a faithful performer for the studio. Following J.J. Abrams’ revitalizing third outing, which while less successful financially, was able to reset the tone and approach after the second film left many disappointed. Abrams then produced the fourth film with Brad Bird directing, and the results were the critical and commercial smash, Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol. To follow that monstrous success, screenwriter/director Christopher McQaurrie, who last directed Tom Cruise in the gritty and exciting Jack Reacher, was secured. McQaurrie’s style is one of authenticity and focus – a style and approach that suits the now fifth film very well.

 

The Mission: Impossible films are perfect vehicles to showcase the energy, dedication and skills of Tom Cruise, whose determination to perform as many of the wild and dangerous stunts himself and bring about the best experience for the audience is almost unparalleled today. Cruise has hung himself from the side of a mountain, dangled from the Burj Khalifa in Dubai – the tallest building in the world (a scene which still makes my palms sweat), and now in Rogue Nation, allowed himself to be strapped to the outside of a cargo plan as it takes off – a fantastically dangerous stunt. The plane stunt garnered a good deal of press, for good reason, but it is just one of several stunts for which Cruise dedicated himself to preparing. A less publicized but notable stunt in the film is an underwater sequence where Hunt must hold his breath for over three minutes. Sequences like this can achieve similar results through editing; with the actor only having to hold their breath for a minute or less. But Cruise, seeking to stretch himself and provide something extraordinary for audiences, trained for months with dive experts to extend the time he can hold his breath, enhancing an already tense sequence concept. It isn’t an overstatement to say that Tom Cruise is one of the greatest performers cinema has ever seen.

 

Once again, the cast of performers deliver the goods. Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt solidifies his place as one of cinema’s more memorable roles, richly imbued with physical prowess and good humor. Perhaps less intense a portrayal, particularly compared to his first turn in 1996’s Mission: Impossible, Cruise’s hunt is well attuned to the story adventure at hand and what audiences thrust for. Returning for a welcome third time is Simon Pegg as the film’s primary comic relief, Benji. Jeremy Renner also returns as William Brandt, agent-turned bureaucrat. Renner’s character finds a better footing this time out with an interesting blend of bureaucrat and mission operative with a dash of wit thrown in– a perfect complement to the more bumbling and nervous humor served up by Pegg’s Benji. And Ving Rhames steps back into the franchise as imposing technical genius Luther Stickell, for more than just a cameo this time. Alec Baldwin joins the mix as head of the CIA and political foil for the IMF, and Rebecca Ferguson produces a memorable role as Ilsa, the intently capable agent whose loyalties are blurred and with whom Hunt has little choice but to partner and trust. So poplar was her character and performance, Ferguson recently signed on to reprise her role. Finally we have the interesting choice of Sean Harris’ turn as the unusual villain, Solomon Lane. Harris produces a sly villain – a snake in the grass-type rather than an imposing menace (ala Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s Owen Davian from M:I III). He offers a disconcerting, unsettling opponent, and avoid a more overtly operatic villainy.

 

Rogue Nation is incredibly well-crafted. Sharp, concise storytelling, crisp, focused action sequences, performances that mine scenes for the requisite level of humor and drama, and a brisk but not breakneck pace that allows the story to unfold without seeming like bits of story are serving only to glue-together the impressive action sequences. Where Rogue Nation can be faulted is its reliance upon the Impossible Mission Force (IMF) having to go underground and work outside (and against) the rules to save the day and clear their name. It’s a tried and true device for story in both the Mission: Impossible films and the recent James Bond movies. Admittedly it works. It also provides a reliable way to create drama and challenge for our heroes. Despite some clever inventions within that convention, with so many variations on that idea having played out lately, it’s time to move on.



Video Rating: 5/5  3D Rating: NA

Shot on 35mm, Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation looks impressive on Blu-ray, with stunning detail and clarity, and the delights of the look of film left largely to its own devices. The image is so good that I wonder if Tom Cruise isn’t really aging, but we’re just able to see with more clarity than ever before the pores and light wrinkles worn on his youthful face. Black levels are solid, flesh tones warm but proper, and even scenes in the shadows (such as the excellent cat-and-mouse dance at the opera) are flawless.



Audio Rating: 5/5

A robust audio offering highlighted by a Dolby Atmos track (the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 was used for this review) marked by expert balance. Full-throated rumbles, directional sound effects and crisp audio primarily in the center channel stand out. Providing the score for this latest M:I is the talented Joe Kraemer, composer for the previous Christopher McQuarrie directed films (Way of the Gun and Jack Reacher). Using only instruments that would have been available in the 1960s (when the television series was around), Kraemer weaves a jaunty score, pulling in themes from composer Michael Giacchino’s work on the two previous entries, and delivers a thrilling and innately enjoyable soundtrack. His rendition of Lalo Schifrin’s iconic theme might just be the best of the five films. (The soundtrack is available now from La-La Land Records).

 

Dolby Atmos - I watched in Dolby Atmos using a 7.2.4 system (4 ceiling speakers). While it had its moments especialy the aquatic scene and follow-up motorcycle chase, overall the height channels were only used for specific directional effects, no music or ambient effects were used that I can recall during the entire film. While I agree with Neil that overall the 7.1 mix deserves 5 stars, the Dolby Atmos addition left me wanting more. For a film with this much action on screen they missed a lot of opportunities to put the height channels to good use. -- Adam Gregorich



Special Features Rating: 3.5/5

A good but not spectacular collection of special features accompany this release. The featurettes (collectively running shy of an hour) that inspect two of the films more spectacular stunts – the opening plane scene (Cruising Altitude) and the underwater sequence (Mission: Immersible), along with the informative commentary by director/screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie and star Tom Cruise represent the highlights.

 

Commentary by Tom Cruise and director/screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie
Featurettes:
- Lighting the Fuse
- Cruise Control
- Heroes
- Cruising Altitude
- Mission: Immersible
- Sand Theft Auto
- The Missions Continue


Cruise on the Plane

Cruise in Car


Overall Rating: 4.5/5

There’s something deliciously old-school – in the best possible way - about Rogue Nation. Grounded, real and dangerous stunt work, viscerally exciting sequences, involving (if detailed) plotting, impressive direction, and a perfection to the pacing that keeps the film entertaining from start to finish. The slick look of the Brad Bird directed outing, Ghost Protocol, is mixed with a little more grit that suits the franchise extremely well. With Christopher McQuarrie having just signed on to return to the franchise (the first director to do so), the future of Mission: Impossible on the big screen looks as bright as ever.


Reviewed By: Neil Middlemiss


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Osato

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Tim
Loved it and am hoping to get it in the next week or so. Either as a holiday gift or gift for myself.
 

Osato

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So there is a code for a free copy of one of the other mission films with rogue nation???
From digital bits:
A quick note: It appears that the bonus code that comes with Paramount’s new Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation Blu-ray (see our review here – the code is for a bonus copy of one of the other Mission: Impossible films of your choice) isn’t actually a UV code but rather a coupon code. Just follow the “choose your mission” instructions on the paper insert and use the code as a coupon code when you check out.
 

Neil Middlemiss

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Osato said:
So there is a code for a free copy of one of the other mission films with rogue nation???From digital bits:A quick note: It appears that the bonus code that comes with Paramount’s new Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation Blu-ray (see our review here – the code is for a bonus copy of one of the other Mission: Impossible films of your choice) isn’t actually a UV code but rather a coupon code. Just follow the “choose your mission” instructions on the paper insert and use the code as a coupon code when you check out.
I checked, and yes. In addition to the UV code for M:I RN, you can use a coupon through Paramounts site and choose one of the other films for free (my Paramount locker is linked with my Vudu so it shows up there too).
 

Osato

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Picked up the target exclusive version yesterday! Watched it last night as well. Love this film!!!
 

Adam Gregorich

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Overall this was a fun film. I enjoyed watching it, and you can't go wrong for $14.99 at Amazon, especially considering it comes with a digital copy and a bonus copy of an additional Mission film. It was a very aggressive sound mix, but I found the Dolby Atmos portion wanting. :(
 

Osato

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Adam Gregorich said:
Overall this was a fun film. I enjoyed watching it, and you can't go wrong for $14.99 at Amazon, especially considering it comes with a digital copy and a bonus copy of an additional Mission film. It was a very aggressive sound mix, but I found the Dolby Atmos portion wanting. :(
Agreed. Target has an exclusive package set with bonus content as well.

I'm excited that part 6 is already in the works!!!
 

Mike Frezon

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I gave both my son and son-in-law Blu copies of all five MI films for Christmas this year.


There's a lot of rock solid entertainment there! :thumbsup:
 

David Weicker

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What I found odd was the packaging.

The prior movies were branded as "MI: number"

This one didn't have an "MI:5". (Granted that might have been confused with the british tv series, but still ...)

I like consistency, and am puzzled when a previous standard isn't followed .

You know, it's the little things.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Only Mission: Impossible 2 and 3 have numbers. The fourth movie is simply "MIssion: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" and the fifth is "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation". I don't know why they switched from numbers to subtitles in the series, but the filmmakers made that choice a while ago.
 

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