"Heh...that doesn't sound impossible"
Rogue Nation is quite a good action blockbuster, because it is half as good as Ghost Protocol (its predecessor) was. Its not a bad film, mind you. I had great fun with it, and I recommend people to see it, anyway. But its just less than Ghost Protocol. It tried to bring back everything good that went well in the last film, namely the humour & the super stunts. But it did wrong with the minor details within the film, and most of all, lacks the intensity & suspense.
Even from the beginning of the film, it lacks focus & coherence. The first 30 minutes was a bit messy with the jump from scene to scene. It was different to Ghost Protocol where we followed our protagonists in solving the one major trouble throughout.
Now, with this film, I feel like I have to go and pick on some of the scenes in particular. No spoilers here, don't worry. Firstly, that big "hanging by the aircraft" scene. With respect to Tom Cruise and the whole crew, it was a great effort to pull it off, but it felt needless with regards to the plot. I watched it feeling like the only reason this exist, is to outmatch the Burj scene in Ghost.
Secondly, the opera scene. Now, the fact is - I've had my fair share of scenes with an opera music, and good ones, too. In Rogue Nation, however, the background opera music went for far too long, that it no longer matches the tone of the scenes, and becomes a purely background noise instead...like, really noise. In other words, it is overused. Look at The Avengers ("Loki in Stuttgart" scene) or even Quantum of Solace for that matter. In those respective films, the opera music fits the tone of the scene, and was perfectly timed in my eyes.
And finally - my favourite scene in the whole film. Starting with a positive note - the underwater sequence - was brilliant. And the use of no music, adding in the sense of pumping heartbeats instead - excellent! The problem here is - that no music thing - is overused. Its perfect on this particular underwater scene, but they used it again and again, notably on the motorbike & car chase scene. I've heard that some films had great car chases with no musics to accompany them, but in this case, when you've had a "no music" on a very great scene, and then having more of that to other scenes, makes it feel lazy. Just lazy. I was hoping that with the chases, there would be more music to add to the energy & intensity. This is simply a case of not knowing when enough is enough.
Okay, now I'm done picking on this film, because its not a bad film, really. There's just scenes and moments in particular that went wrong & could have been done better. But the humour is always there, and its great. The action piece is there, and its quite a thrill ride from start to end. Tom Cruise is great, as always. Simon Pegg, funny. Jeremy Renner, funny. Rebecca Ferguson, a great addition. And if there's one thing that this film did better than Ghost Protocol - it is the villain. A more creepy and characterized villain - compared to the generic nuclear terrorist in Ghost. So, credit to Sean Harris for that.
One last point. I can neither confirm nor deny that the climax is a good scene. Its different. It feels more like a battle of wits than a test of combat. I enjoy the variant, but it feels incomplete without a proper combat sequence. It was supposed to be intense & suspenseful, but it wasn't. Not for me, at least. So, its not particularly great, but I find it interesting, and quite enjoyable.
This whole film really is still a very fun & action-packed film, which apparently lacks in particular scenes & moments. A shadow of what Ghost Protocol was, but a decent action flick, nonetheless.