Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation review: high on style, low on substance

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Early on in Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation, a grizzled and grandstanding head of CIA (Alec Baldwin) accuses the Impossible Mission Force (IMF) — the anti-terrorist spy team starring Tom Cruise and a rotating support cast — of being a throwback to another era. “Your results look suspiciously like luck,” he decrees, noting that every successful mission is preceded by high-risk hijinks and wanton destruction (cf. the last four Mission: Impossible movies).

It isn’t subtle. The whole scene plays out as a meta discussion on Mission: Impossible itself, a 19-year-old, high-thrill film franchise (its roots as a TV series are moot at this point) that has long served as a tentpole for Tom Cruise: Action Hero. It’s a series that waits years…

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