the man of destiny

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I’m in the October issue of Sight & Sound magazine, pondering the revolutionary credentials of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation just as it and its affection for the BMW ConnectedDrive system recede over the horizon.

Appreciation for the merits of seawater changes during a drought, but the signs of Sam Fuller-esque qualities lurking in Christopher McQuarrie’s businesslike staging and solid frames are a welcome gift. Anyone naming his femme fatale Ilsa Faust has already demonstrated a grasp of certain realities that the Impossibles have never been inclined to worry about; fun on a strictly movie level quite different to the TV finesse of JJ Abrams. Applause is muted mainly by the fact that the best thing about the character is actually the name. Rebecca Fergusson is fine and the European talent pool always brings something fresh, but she isn’t given enough of the fatale to do the business. For all the kicking of various ass, the character’s agency blows away in the breeze; her eventual move at a power-play is faced down by the broiling macho intensity of Simon McBurney sat on a bench.

McQuarrie’s particular type of anti-Bond Anglophilia is still percolating though. The film’s funniest bit by a mile is the sight of a villain explaining his plan via recorded message, and coming within a hair’s breadth of inviting the British Prime Minister to Press One to get his tumescence back.

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