Action Adventure

‘Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation’ 4K Ultra HD Review: Christopher McQuarrie’s Prelude to ‘Fallout’ is a Thrilling Ride

July 6, 2018Ben MK

Given Tom Cruise's stunt atop the Burj Khalifa, following in the footsteps of Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol may seem like a tall order. But that doesn't stop the series' fifth installment, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, from more than living up to expectations, thanks to Cruise once again reprising his role as IMF agent Ethan Hunt, a man with a habit of getting himself into situations where the odds are overwhelmingly against him.

This time, it's no different, as Ethan's efforts to stop a shadowy terrorist organization known as the Syndicate have led CIA head Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) to shut down the IMF, leaving Ethan with only one option: to go rogue to complete his mission. On the lam and tirelessly hunted by the CIA, Ethan enlists the help of his cohorts (Jeremy Renner's William Brandt, Ving Rhames' Luther Stickell and Simon Pegg's Benji Dunn) to track down the Syndicate's elusive mastermind, Solomon Lane (Sean Harris). Luckily, their mission is made a little less impossible with some help from the mysterious Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), a highly skilled and lethally trained femme fatale who may or may not be playing both sides.

What follows is by no means a drastic overhaul of the 22-year-old film franchise, but that doesn't mean it isn't a helluva lot of fun to watch. The point is, if you come here seeking thrills, you won't be disappointed. And with writer/director Christopher McQuarrie following up Rogue Nation with Mission: Impossible - Fallout, that certainly bodes well for the series.

As with Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, the difference in technical quality between Rogue Nation's original Blu-ray and this new 4K release isn't quite as dramatic as it was for the first three films; however, there's still plenty of reasons to warrant the upgrade. And while the 4K disc does justifiably re-use the Blu-ray's excellent Dolby Atmos sound mix, which thoroughly immerses viewers in gun battles, car chases and massive water vortexes, the obvious selling point here is the all-new 2160p transfer, which — if you thought were impressed with the Blu-ray's 1080p encode — will absolutely floor you. Suffice to say, it's mission accomplished for home theater enthusiasts, as Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation has never looked better.

Paramount's three-disc 4K Ultra HD release includes an iTunes/UltraViolet digital copy and a Blu-ray copy of the film. Aside from the audio commentary, the following extras can be found on the Blu-ray (including a few noteworthy additions compared to the original Blu-ray release, as denoted below):

  • Commentary by Tom Cruise and Director Christopher McQuarrie - The pair recount stories about the shoot and talk about such things as the homages to other movies, the locales, the stunts, the visual effects, the cast and their performances, the lighting and cinematography, the production design, the score and more.
  • Lighting the Fuse (5:57) - Cruise and McQuarrie discuss the origin and the evolution of the film's story and its characters, and how they're shaped by the actors' performances and the action sequences.
  • Cruise Control (6:33) - A piece about Cruise's very involved role as a producer on the franchise and his dedication to delivering what the audience wants.
  • Heroes... (8:06) - A featurette focusing on Rogue Nation's team of protagonists: Benji Dunn, Ilsa Faust, Luther Stickell and William Brandt.
  • ...And Rogues * NEW (5:43) - A featurette focusing on Rogue Nation's dual antagonists: Alan Hunley and Solomon Lane.
  • Top Crews * NEW (6:40) - A piece spotlighting the work of Production Designer Jim Bissell, Director of Photography Robert Elswit and Costume Designer Joanna Johnston.
  • Travel Agents * NEW (5:47) - A look at shooting in Vienna, Morocco and London.
  • Opera-tion Turandot * NEW (4:16) - A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the movie's opera sequence, in particular the musical aspect.
  • Practically Impossible * NEW (5:59) - A featurette highlighting the filmmakers' emphasis on shooting as much in-camera as possible.
  • Cruising Altitude (8:23) - A behind-the-scenes look at the planning and the execution of the movie's opening action set-piece, which has Cruise hanging onto the outside of an Airbus A400M.
  • A Fight at the Opera * NEW (5:26) - A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film's opera sequence, in particular the action choreography aspect.
  • Mission: Immersible (6:45) - A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the movie's extended underwater sequence, for which Cruise and Ferguson learned to hold their breath for up to six minutes at a time.
  • Sand Theft Auto (5:35) - A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the Moroccan car/motorcycle chase, touching on the design of the sequence, the camera work, the visual effects and the stunt work.
  • Run-Don * NEW (4:09) - A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film's nighttime foot chase through the streets of London.
  • Cut! * NEW (7:17) - Editor Eddie Hamilton talks about his work on the movie.
  • Variations on a Theme * NEW (4:50) - Composer Joe Kraemer talks about his work on the film.
  • The Missions Continue (7:08) - A broad look at the M:I franchise as a whole and at what has made the series so successful, from the movies' directors and the IMF technology to the humor and the action sequences.

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation is available from Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment as of June 26th, 2018. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray features English Dolby Atmos, French, Spanish and Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, and English Dolby Digital 5.1 Descriptive Audio tracks. The film is presented with English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. The total runtime is 2 hrs. 11 min.

* Reviewer's note: Portions of this 4K Blu-ray review were adapted from my review of the original Blu-ray release, published on December 15th, 2015.

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