Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2-Disc Limited Edition) (Blu-ray) (2015)

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Released 9-Dec-2015

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Adventure Audio Commentary-with Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Lighting The Fuse
Featurette-Cruise Control
Featurette-Heroes...
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Cruising Altitude
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Mission: Immersible
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Sand Theft Auto
Featurette-The Missions Continue
Featurette-...And Rogues
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Top Crews
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Travel Agents
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Opera-Tion Turandot
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Practically Impossible
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Stunts x5
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Cut!
Featurette-Variations On A Theme
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2015
Running Time 131:33
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Christopher McQuarrie
Studio
Distributor

Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Tom Cruise
Simon Pegg
Jeremy Renner
Rebecca Ferguson
Ving Rhames
Sean Harris
Simon McBurney
Jingchu Zhang
Alec Baldwin
Tom Hollander
Jens Hultťn
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI $29.95 Music Joe Kraemer


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby TrueHD 7.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0
German Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.40:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Danish
German
Spanish
French
Italian
Dutch
Norwegian
Finnish
Swedish
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

††† Itís rare for a Hollywood movie franchise to maintain quality through to its fifth instalment, and yet 2015ís Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation accomplishes that seemingly impossible mission, emerging as one of the summerís strongest, most satisfying blockbusters. Written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, who was last seen at the helm of the 2012 Tom Cruise vehicle Jack Reacher, Rogue Nation represents another high point for this now nineteen-year-old franchise, which has flirted with greatness since 2006ís Mission: Impossible III (which is still arguably the best). The decision to move the filmís release date up by a whopping five months was cause for concern, but the finished picture remains astonishingly assured and above all cohesive, pulling together a gripping spy yarn anchored by solid performances and sublime visuals. In short, itís everything you want from a summer flick, and more.

††† After CIA head Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) works to shut down the Impossible Mission Force (IMF), Ethan Hunt (Cruise) goes rogue, living off the grid as he works to bring down a shadow organisation known as The Syndicate. The likes of Agent Brandt (Jeremy Renner) and tech guru Benji (Simon Pegg) are drafted into CIA service, forced to assist as the agency seeks to find and apprehend Hunt at all costs. As Hunt ventures around the globe determined to prevent further deaths at the hands of The Syndicate, he finds assistance in Benji, Brandt, and old pal Luther (Ving Rhames), while also frequently encountering a British Intelligence agent named Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) whose loyalties remain unclear.

††† The well-publicised stunt involving Cruise dangling from a plane is actually part of the opening sequence, which kicks off the movie on an exhilarating high note. The set-piece is a real treat, a thoroughly armrest-clenching, hugely competent opener scored with the iconic M:I theme that left this reviewer giddy with excitement. It was a sublime creative decision to include this stunt at the start of the film - it amplifies the exhilaration factor for the ensuing action scenes, as itís never entirely clear whatís real and what has been tinkered with through digital effects. And thatís the highest compliment one can award a blockbuster of this ilk. Additionally, while all previous entries in the series have aped the showís title sequence, Rogue Nation takes it one step further, with clips to introduce each respective main player. Indeed, the feature wears its television origins on its sleeve, and it feels closer to the original TV show than all four of its predecessors. As a matter of fact, The Syndicate was a recurring antagonist on the show.

††† Thereís an air of class to Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation thatís unexpected considering its summer blockbuster pedigree, with McQuarrie taking cues from Alfred Hitchcock in particular, as well as paying homage to other classics. Part of the story takes place in Casablanca, which in itself will conjure up memories of the classic 1942 film Casablanca, but the name Ilsa will also be familiar to any cinema aficionados. Additionally, one of the standout set-pieces takes place at an opera in Vienna, which appears to be a callback to Hitchcockís 1956 version of The Man Who Knew Too Much. Such touches would be foolhardy in a less skilful production, but Rogue Nation is executed with a deft hand, and itís smartly-written to boot.

††† McQuarrieís proficient directorial talents are aided considerably by the exotic global locations, the vibrant cinematography courtesy of the Oscar-winning Robert Elswit, and Joe Kraemerís pulse-pounding score which makes great use of Lalo Schifrinís iconic theme music. For the most part, Rogue Nation is a surprisingly grounded blockbuster, generating excitement through stretches of intense, cloak-and-dagger espionage rather than outright mayhem. McQuarrie gets plenty of mileage out of suspenseful, mostly wordless sequences, reminiscent of Brian De Palmaís work on the original Mission: Impossible film. Even the climax has been dialled back, leaving the trailers to mostly foreground the extended vehicular chase through the streets of Morocco which closes the second act. However, the movie does have its fair share of silly moments, including an over-the-top car roll that looks too digital and is too unrealistic.

††† The M:I franchise has had its share of witty one-liners, but Rogue Nation is probably the most humorous to date. Itís full of amusing bantering and clever scripting, which keeps the enterprise feeling fun and light. And itís a testament to McQuarrieís direction that he is able to juggle the varying tones so well. Naturally, performances right across the board are hugely effective. The decision to induct Pegg into the franchiseís ensemble remains superb. Heís a great asset, and itís fantastic that the British funny-man returns here in a larger capacity. Meanwhile, Rhames, who has appeared in every instalment thus far, is terrific as always, handling the comedy with a deft hand. Renner also makes his return here, and heís yet again on fine form. Then thereís Cruise, who remains a consummate pro and a true movie star despite being in his fifties. Cruise did his own driving and stunts, and heís perpetually focused from start to finish. As for the newcomers, Baldwin makes a positive impression, while Sean Harris excels as the villain. If the last movie, Ghost Protocol, had a flaw, it wouldíve been the lack of a memorable bad guy, but Harris fulfils his duties admirably here. And finally, Swedish actress Ferguson really impresses as Ilsa, and she shares great chemistry with Cruise. However, the absence of Michelle Monaghan is a tad disappointing - this series still needs to provide closure on the relationship between Ethan and Monaghanís Julia.

††† Rogue Nation is a long movie, ultimately clocking in at over two hours, and at times it does feel its length. After two incredible opening acts, the flick slows down for its final third, which does affect narrative rhythm and pacing. With that said, however, Rogue Nation does improve upon repeat viewings, which solidifies this as another joy for 2015ís summer movie derby and an ideal way to cap off the season. At this point, the prospect of a sixth Mission: Impossible movie is extremely enticing indeed, which is more than can be said for other, less skilful long-running franchises, like Fast & Furious.

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Transfer Quality

Video

††† Shot using a combination of 35mm film and digital photography, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation arrives on Blu-ray with a reference-quality AVC-encoded 1080p high definition transfer, framed in its original aspect ratio of 2.40:1. Having viewed the flick on two occasions at the cinema, I was highly-satisfied with this faithful HD presentation, which does justice to Robert Elswitís first-rate cinematography.

††† Since the majority of the movie was captured on celluloid, Rogue Nation is imbued with a natural, fine grain structure which accentuates the fine detail and keeps the image looking gorgeously textured. Close-ups are refined, and the clarity of the video is frequently eye-catching, sporting top-flight sharpness in every environment. Indeed, even in dim lighting and underwater conditions, the pristine quality of the image never falters.

††† Colour is vibrant, with natural flesh tones and a bright palette which enhances the various environments. The image is a bit dark in places, with light crush, and the climax looks slightly less refined than the rest of the movie, but itís not overly distracting on the whole. Additionally, the occasionally less-than-perfect CGI is noticeable, and the digital shots do look a bit smooth, but this is inherent to the production. Paramountís encode thankfully yields no other issues, with no signs of aliasing, banding or ringing. No compression artefacts, either.

††† Rogue Nation looks healthy and exceptionally crisp on Blu-ray, and itís impossible to imagine the movie looking any better in 1080p.

††† A veritable crap-load of subtitle options are available, both for the movie and for the audio commentary. I saw no issues with the encoding of the English subtitles.


Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

††† Paramount upholds the latest audio trend by including a Dolby Atmos track on this Blu-ray. For those of you who are not Atmos-compatible (like myself), however, the audio defaults to a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 track, which is certainly no slouch. Plenty of other audio options are available for the non-English buyers, but the English track is the only lossless option. The Dolby TrueHD 7.1 track is, quite simply, reference material.

††† Whatís particularly notable about Rogue Nationís audio is Kraemerís superlative soundtrack. The opening sequence, with its variations on the iconic Mission: Impossible theme, gave me goosebumps in the cinema and is still awesome at home. The standout opera set-piece is mixed with remarkable precision, and comes through beautifully. Especially on a surround sound set-up, the results are simply superb. Rogue Nationís 7.1 track is crisp and pristine, flaunting the type of professionally-mixed audio we come to expect from the best summer blockbusters.

††† Thereís plenty of dynamic range to this track, with noticeable separation and movement, using the various available channels to create a subtly immersive experience. There are never any issues with the dialogue, which is robust and clean, while all the gunshots and explosions are deafening. The subwoofer is put to good use, particularly during the aforementioned opening action set-piece, during which you can hear the rumbling of the plane engine. This is a layered track, and the lossless 7.1 track handles everything with confidence.

††† No complaints from me.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

††† Strap yourself in for a whole heap of special features. This JB Hi-Fi exclusive set comes with a bonus Blu-ray disc of additional featurettes. The lack of deleted and alternate scenes is disappointing, however.

Disc 1

Commentary by Tom Cruise and Director Christopher McQuarrie

†††† Cruise and McQuarrie sit down for one of the most engaging audio commentaries I have heard for quite some time, reminiscent of their equally informative Jack Reacher commentary. The men obviously have a great working relationship, and speak at length about the entire process, pointing out reshoots or pick-ups that were filmed at the eleventh hour, on top of talking about their admiration for various performers and crew members. Improv and last-minute changes are covered, with the two not shy about talking about the rigours of making the film. Added to this, itís fascinating to hear about which scenes were filmed on a really tight schedule (a gun fight at the end of the film was shot in four hours). Whatís also great about this commentary is just how open the two men are about how close the story was to being a total mess - Atlee and the British Prime Minister were last-minute additions, and rewrites kept changing major pieces of the plot. Itís a miracle the movie is as assured and cohesive as it is. A number of alternate and deleted scenes are mentioned, which unfortunately are nowhere to be found on this Blu-ray set.

Lighting The Fuse (HD; 5:57)

††† A brief overview of the genesis of the production, with Cruise inviting McQuarrie to direct the movie after working closely with him on Edge of Tomorrow. Story and script development is covered, with Cruise and McQuarrie talking about the brainstorming and constant rewrites.

Cruise Control (HD; 6:33)

††† Yep, as the title implies, this is six minutes of Tom Cruise arse-kissing. The original Mission: Impossible was the first movie Cruise ever produced, thus itís his franchise and heís incredibly dedicated to overseeing every step of the process. Many of his collaborators (including M:I:III director and series producer J.J. Abrams) chime in to talk about how amazing it is that Cruise can juggle producer and lead role.

Heroes... (HD; 8:06)

††† Logically, this particular extra is concerned with the central cast members constituting Ethanís team.

Cruising Altitude (HD; 8:23)

††† This is quite a meaty behind-the-scenes look at the movieís insanely memorable, much-publicised plane stunt involving Cruise. Cruise performed the stunt eight times. This piece delves into the logistics of insurance, planning the stunt, and getting the shot, with a wealth of on-set footage and interviews. Simon Pegg even tagged along to watch the stunt being filmed.

Mission: Immersible (HD; 6:45)

††† This featurette covers the outstanding underwater sequence, with Cruise and Rebecca Ferguson underdoing extensive training to be able to hold their breath underwater for long periods of time. Logistics of filming of the scene is covered as well. This is a truly fascinating extra.

Sand Theft Auto (HD; 5:35)

††† A bit too short for my liking, but this is a worthwhile look at the car and motorcycle chases. Cruise spent months preparing for it, and did his own stunt driving (both car and motorcycle), making the sequence all the more impressive. Not to be outdone, Ferguson also did work to prepare for this set-piece.

The Missions Continue (HD; 7:08)

††† Tom Cruise and several of his collaborators discuss the franchiseís heritage and their approach to each new instalment.

Disc 2

Unlike Universalís glut of bonus discs which are DVDs (Jurassic World, Pitch Perfect 2, Fast & Furious 7), this is a Blu-ray bonus disc. A tonne of language options are available, making this disc friendly for basically any country imaginable.

...And Rogues (HD; 5:43)

††† Continuing on from the ďHeroes...Ē extra on Disc 1, this is a character-focused featurette concerned with the movieís antagonists. Thus, it covers Baldwin as Hunley, Harris as Lane, and Simon McBurney as Atlee.

Top Crews (HD; 6:40)

††† As the title implies, this particular segment is concerned with the crew who helped make the movie happen. McQuarrie, Cruise and several others wax lyrical about the art department, DOP Robert Elswit, and costume designer Joanna Johnston.

Travel Agents (HD; 5:47)

††† Shooting for Rogue Nation took place in many different parts of the world. This all-too-brief segment discusses the locations that were chosen, and what endeared them to the filmmakers.

Opera-Tion Turandot (HD; 4:16)

††† Another much too short featurette, this is a behind-the-scenes look at the outstanding opera set-piece. Attention is mostly paid to the music itself, discussing the origins of the opera performed on-screen, and how the music was recorded.

Practically Impossible (HD; 5:59)

††† One of the most fascinating extras on this disc, this six-minute segment is concerned with how the filmmakers managed to achieve as much as possible in-camera, without the aid of CGI. This is good fun, with special attention being paid to the franchiseís trademark face masks.

Stunts (HD)

††† What we have here is five behind-the-scenes featurettes focusing on different stunts and set-pieces from the movie. These are an absolute must-watch for fans of the movie. These can be played individually, or via a ďPlay AllĒ function.

Cut! (HD; 7:17)

††† One of the standout featurettes on this disc, this piece is concerned with the editing of the movie. Editor Eddie Hamilton and director McQuarrie are the main participants here, and the featurette gives us a rare glimpse into what goes into editing the big set-pieces. Particular attention is paid to the opera sequence, with Hamilton monitoring the intake of footage and assembling the set-piece during filming to make sure all required footage is shot for maximum clarity and excitement. The movieís fast-tracked post-production schedule is also touched upon. This is really fascinating stuff, and I definitely recommend watching it.

Variations On A Theme (HD; 4:50)

††† The final extra on this bonus disc is concerned with Joe Kraemerís outstanding score, which of course contains variations on the iconic Mission: Impossible TV show theme. Some nice insight here, but itís a bit too slight.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

† † Paramount's American Blu-ray release is identical to our local release. The single-disc edition carries the same supplemental content, while there's also a Target-exclusive edition with a bonus disc flaunting the same extras as our bonus disc. Buy local.

Summary

††† Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation is one of 2015's action high points, not as great as Kingsman: The Secret Service or Mad Max: Fury Road, but superior to The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and the lacklustre Spectre. This has become an unusually great franchise despite being almost two decades old, and this newest instalment is an utter gem. Paramount's Blu-ray is simply superlative, sporting spectacular video and audio, while extras are exhaustively comprehensive. Rogue Nation on Blu-ray earns my highest recommendation.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Callum Knox (I studied biology)
Saturday, December 12, 2015
Review Equipment
DVDPlayStation 4, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 42LW6500. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationLG BH7520TW
SpeakersLG Tall Boy speakers, 5.1 set-up, 180W

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