Tech on Film: Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015) Part 2

Continued from Tech on Film: Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015) Part 1

I was surprised that it was the presence of Rebecca Ferguson and Ving Rhames (!) that made me like Rogue Nation (2015) more than the last two iterations of the franchise. Ving Rhames' cameo appearance in Ghost Protocol (2011) was welcome but just plain inadequate. His appearance in Rogue Nation seems like an afterthought, but his brief talk with William Brandt (played competently by Jeremy Renner) showed just how much the franchise lost when they removed his cuddly Luther Stickell as a regular steadfast presence to contrast with overly charged Cruise's Ethan Hunt.


 

Ving Rhames (as likable Luther Stickell) has gained weight but is almost as well-preserved as lead star Tom Cruise.


Rhames has grown a pot belly and he never gets a scene with long-time friend Ethan, but he's still more amiable than annoying Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), who has clearly overstayed his welcome in the series.


 

Dell takes a swipe at Lenovo and HP by owning Rogue Nation. All of the monitors and hardware save for the Surface Pro prominently show off the Dell logo.


 
 

The Windows Phones in the movie was probably running a recent build of Windows Phone 10 not available to the public.


Note: Simon Pegg is enthusiastic but his character is an awkward attempt to add humor to a series that doesn't need it. He's just misplaced and eventually slows down the pace of events rather than help it move along. Rogue Nation would have easily worked with Rhames serving as the kidnapped and embattled leverage to Cruise, rather than the ubiquitous Brit. 


 

Benji Dunn uses a terminal with an e-ink display in the opera. The tech has been around for almost a decade now but unlike the movie version, the refresh rate has not reached its full potential yet in application.


 
 

We have apps for everything but why can't we even get a MRI-enabled portable lock pick tool like this one?


Tom Cruise deserves a nod for this movie. Although reviewers have commented he looks incredibly preserved at his age, he has clearly lost some of the restrained intelligence, aesthetic appeal and athleticism he exhibited in the original Mission Impossible. Neither does he have the intensity and determination he emitted in the overblown but surprisingly affecting MI-2 (2000).

 

Microsoft and Microsoft Band fans would probably have applauded if the biometric suits synced to the Surface Pro had a Microsoft Band showing on the wrist.


Still, Cruise/Hunt forges on and anchors the film even while stepping back to allow beautiful Ilsa to carry most of the action scenes. In the fistfight against the invincible European at the opera, Cruise allows the once invulnerable Ethan Hunt to show the years have worn him down - if only Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull showed as much sense when depicting how time had affected Indy's age.


 

If Rogue Nation was filmed in late 2014, then it would make sense that the UI of the Windows machines on the movie displayed the later versions of Windows 10 icons on the application taskbar. You get to the see the Windows touch key quite a bit but never the Start screen or Windows 10 menu.

Some people seem to think that comparisons with the Bond or Bourne franchise is inevitable when discussing the Mission Impossible series. However, despite Tom Cruise's ego, MI requires a team framework in order for the story to work - the dynamic is very different.

The Bond movies have the disadvantage of a long history and a formulaic approach (some of which are loathsome, such as misogynism). You can easily argue that it's more of sentimental reasons why the Bond franchise remains popular rather than the stories themselves. Ethan Hunt, on the other hand, has the advantage of having only one actor playing the role (which hopefully applies to Indy for the rest of the character's life). Despite Daniel Craig's commendable effort, Skyfall was poorly written and executed (I actually found it worst than Quantum of Solace). In contrast, Ghost Protocol and Rogue Nation this year have shown MI has legs by staying true and reminiscing about its previous iterations. MI definitely won't last with such an approach but for now it was enough for the MI team. 

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