Christopher McQuairre is one of those writers / directors who try to get away, as far as possible, filigree film that is currently at home in the mainstream that is cooked in Hollywood. Twenty years have already passed since his deserved Oscar for the best screenplay for Bryan Singer’s best film: ‘Usual Suspects’ (‘The Usual Sospects’, 1995), and after a first and proper raid behind the scenes with ‘Hellish Kidnapping’ ( ‘The Way of the Gun’, 2000), has returned with force in this decade, writing several scripts and directing Tom Cruise twice.
Curiously, his name is associated with that of the star, for which he subscribes competent actor with a very good nose for the products in which he is involved, almost always surrounded by talented people. In the previous work of McQuairre, he tried to evoke the seventies thriller with a very rich character, Jack Reacher. Now with ‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’, 2015, fifth installment of a saga started in 1996, the fashionable nostalgic game is made, as well as wrapping the characters in a story in the old fashion of spy movies.
Today and yesterday
(From here to the end, Spoilers) The team captained by Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and formed by Brandt (Jeremy Renner), Benji (Simon Pegg) and Luther (Ving Rhames) will face this time the so-called Union, named in the closing of the previous delivery. One of those all-powerful organizations that decide world issues at the same time that they act as judge and executioner with every human obstacle that is in their way to conserve absolute power, and that is commanded by the egocentric and self-confident villain, charge of a Sean Harris dyed blond like another great recent villain in a long saga.
McQuairre does not get too complicated with the plot, simple, concise and direct, with little room for surprise, but it does move forward with fluidity relying mostly on the set pieces of action that join the different sections, and incidentally pay some homage to the previous installments – there can be exact and concrete winks to each of the previous films -, while performing a game of brotherhood with the British secret agent par excellence, shaking hands with the work of Sam Mendes and his Dark portrait of the characters. Saving the distances, obviously.
Although some of the action sequences remove the hiccups -the one that opens the film, with Cruise really hanging on an airplane, is making history- “Mission: Impossible – rogue Nation” is probably the most “reposed” film of the saga. The hyperbolic game to which he surrendered, because he was the appropriate director for it, Brad Bird in the fourth installment, is simply brushed by McQuairre in it, pulling more for the narrative sobriety in other moments that work as a reflex. For example, the much-discussed sequence at the Vienna State Opera. The modern action cinema returning the salute to the classicism of yesteryear, fiddling with a name like Hitchcock, just as Marc Forster had done with James Bond in a sequence very similar in intentions.
TV series, film series
But he is not the best liar in the history of cinema, the only reference in a film that knows perfectly his limitations -under his invoice there can be a tendency to lack risk-, but evokes, with much respect and good trade, a type of cinema to which everything is owed. That the discovery of the movie – that sensual and morbid Rebecca Ferguson in a candy character – is called Ilsa and the action in part takes place in Casablanca is not a coincidence. Nor that his relationship with Ethan, based on meetings and farewells, seems a love story to the Notorious. I even thought I saw a reference to ‘Charade’ (‘Charade’, Stanley Donen, 1963).
Tom Cruise continues to enjoy himself with being liked, eating flat whenever he can, and showing that he is better than ever to continue to fight with the character. Renner, Pegg, and Rhames are the tangible demonstrations of rapport. Alec Baldwin is the perfect counterpoint to a character who will get more juice, as the juice is taken out of the more used in movies and television series ‘Nessum Dorna’, the aria of Puccini, which together with the classic notes of Lalo Schifrin are the musical leitmotif of this release.
A very worthy entertainment that demonstrates once again having JJ Abrams, who is still a producer here, the perfect patron who not only recovered the saga when it seemed finished in the deplorable second title, but it was getting better. The new Spielberg performs, for the second time, the recovery of a saga after doing it with ‘Star Trek’, which also ends up being a producer. I think that in December he will repeat the play and no one will say no to anything that crosses his mind. To nothing. A true impossible mission in today’s Hollywood.