My mom would probably have loved to watch all of these movies with me this week because she is a huge Tom Cruise fan. I know I have watched a fair number of his movies with her, at least up through high school. Now me personally, I was never a fan of Tom Cruise but would still go see his movies on occasion because they would look interesting. Today’s movie was one that I was really interested in watching because it is the first time that they really seemed to tie a new movie into the previous one. So let’s see how well they did with today’s movie, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.
The plot: As IMF is being investigated for misconduct, William Brandt, serving as Field Operations Director of IMF, is in contact with Benji Dunn, who is on assignment with Ethan Hunt in Minsk. As Brandt watches via satellite, nerve gas is loaded onto a cargo plane and is about to take off but Benji has Luther Stickell, who is on assignment in Malaysia, hack a Russian satellite to allow Benji access to the plane’s electronics. Unable to shut the plane down, Ethan runs and grabs onto the plane as it takes off, telling Benji to open the door. When Benji does, Ethan is able to make it inside and, after strapping himself to the pallet of nerve gas, he uses a parachute to get himself and the gas out of the plane. Some time later, Ethan arrives at an IMF drop site to receive his next mission but the recording turns out to be a message from the Syndicate, the organization Ethan has been investigating for the past year. As gas starts to fill the listening room, Ethan tries to escape and sees a man kill the agent in charge of the site before he succumbs to the gas. In Washington DC, CIA Director Alan Hunley speaks to the Senate committee and requests that the IMF be dissolved into the CIA. Brandt tries to speak on behalf of the IMF but the panel decides to proceed with Hunley’s recommendation. Back in London, Ethan comes to and finds himself restrained to a pole when a woman walks in. Before she can start questioning him, a group of men enter, led by a man Ethan identifies as Janik Vinter, known as the Bone Doctor. Vinter is preparing to torture Ethan and tells the woman to leave but as she prepares to leave, she shows Ethan that she has the keys to his restraints. Ethan kicks Vinter and knocks him unconscious then the woman throws him the keys while she works on dealing with the guards. When Ethan gets free, he helps her kill the guards then she shows him the way out but closes the gate behind him, telling him she can’t leave. Ethan makes it outside and calls Brandt to tell him what happened but Brandt tells him that the IMF has been shut down and he can’t help Ethan and wishes him luck in finding the man before he hangs up as Hunley approaches him. Hunley asks Brandt where Ethan is and Brandt tells him he doesn’t know and Hunleys says he believes Ethan is making up the Syndicate in order to justify the IMF’s existence and plans on capturing him. 6 months later, the CIA believe they have tracked down Ethan in Cuba but when the assault team enters where they believe he is hiding, there is nobody there but Ethan is watching them remotely from Paris. At CIA headquarters, Benji is brought in for a weekly questioning on if he is helping Ethan but he passes the lie detector test and after he is allowed to leave, he heads back to his desk before grabbing some tickets to the Vienna Opera that he won. Arriving in Vienna, Benji makes his way towards the opera when someone thrusts an envelope into his arms. Opening the envelope, he finds a pair of glasses, which he puts on allowing Ethan to contact him. Ethan tells Benji what he needs, apologizing for involving him and Benji agrees to help but as he enters the opera house, he notices the Austrian Chancellor arriving and realizes that he might be a target. Benji hacks into the computer system and begins searching for the man Ethan is looking for and notices someone sneaking backstage and lets Ethan know. Ethan makes his way backstage and notices the woman walking backstage but forces himself to continue after the man. He catches up to the man and begins fighting with him but the man gets the upper hand and attempts to strangle Ethan. Noticing a guard in the lighting booth aiming a gun at the Chancellor, Ethan manages to free himself and kill the assassin and grab his gun but Ethan notices the woman is also hidden and appears to be aiming for the Chancellor as well. With only one bullet in the gun, Ethan decides to shoot at the Chancellor, wounding him in the arm and preventing the other two from killing him. Benji had seen the guard on his monitor and heads there to stop him and ends up struggling with the guard. The woman notices this and shoots the guard but Benji, thinking she will try to shoot him next, causes the stage lights to shine on her, momentarily blinding her until she shoots them out. When the police arrive and begin searching the theater, the woman tries to make her escape and Ethan catches up to her and helps her. As they are walking away from the theater, they see the Chancellor’s car explode. Benji picks them up and Ethan begins questioning the woman, who says her name is Ilsa Faust and that she is after the same thing Ethan is but he has to let her go. When a car begins following and shooting at them, Ilsa jumps from the car and the pursuers stop to collect her. In DC, Hunley questions Benji’s being in Vienna when the Chancellor died and believe he was working with Ethan and a shoot to kill order is placed on Ethan. Meanwhile, Ethan tries to give Benji new identification so he can get back to Washington but Benji refuses to leave and Ethan explains what he knows and after examining the lipstick he grabbed from Ilsa, they discover a hidden flash drive and finding information for a site in Morocco so they head there. Locating Ilsa, she tells them that the man Ethan is looking for is Solomon Lane, a former MI6 agent that set-up the Syndicate. She tells them that she was sent under deep cover to infiltrate the syndicate and learn all of their members and she is close to doing it/ However, the information is being kept in a electronic safe deposit box that they must break into in order to obtain it. Meanwhile, Brandt contacts Luther and gets him to help locate Ethan and Benji before the CIA does. Luther manages to track Ilsa based off of Ethan’s sketch of her, where they learn that she has been disavowed by MI6 and head to Morocco to warn Ethan. In Morocco, Benji heads into the facility while Ethan and Ilsa sneak in and Ethan prepares to switch the profiles to allow Benji to enter the vault. Ethan jumps into the liquid cooling tank and Ilsa shuts down the current so that Ethan can swim to the appropriate slot without exerting too much oxygen. However, before he can switch the cards, he is struck by one of the robotic arms and drops the cards. When the technicians restore the current to the cooling tank, Ethan fights against the current to grab the cards but is unsure which one is the correct one and when the current rips one from his hand, he places the remaining one in the slot, which luckily is the card containing Benji’s profile. Ethan makes his way to the service hatch but passes out from lack of oxygen before he can open it but Ilsa dives into the tank and manages to save him. Ilsa uses a defibrillator to revive Ethan just as Benji arrives with the data he downloaded. Ilsa stuns Benji, grabs the flash drive and tries to escape but she is approached by other Syndicate and forced to accompany them but as they all get on their motorcycles, Ilsa knocks down the other bikes before taking off. Ethan and Benji recover and get to their car, where they catch up to Ilsa and as they chase after her, they see Luther and Brandt, who were looking for them. When the Syndicate members try to kill Ilsa, Ethan kills one of them then manages to lure some of the others away from her. Ethan takes out two of his pursuers but wrecks his car trying to evade the third one and as the agent approaches to finish him off, he is struck by the car driven by Brandt and Luther. After they free Ethan and work on freeing Benji, Ethan notices Ilsa still being chased by two agents and he grabs the dead agent’s bike and goes after them. During the high speed chase, Ethan manages to kill the two agents and tries to catch up to Ilsa but wrecks the bike to avoid hitting Ilsa when she walks out in front of him and as he recovers, she gets back on her bike and drives away. Benji, Luther, and Brandt meet up with Ethan and after Benji reveals that he copied the data, They head for London. In London, Ilsa meets with her handler, Atlee, and gives him the drive and wants out but Atlee refuses and blackmails her into continuing to stay under cover inside the Syndicate. Meanwhile, Luther tells Ethan that the disk is actually a Red Box, used to keep state secrets and unable to be opened by anyone except the Prime Minister, Brandt wants to warn the British that there might be an attempt on the Prime Minister but Ethan doesn’t want to just yet. Meanwhile, Ilsa takes the disk to Lane, but when he discovers it is empty, he has her take a message to Ethan. Ilsa meets Ethan and his team and Ethan reveals that Atlee was the one that deleted her disk. When Ilsa hands Ethan a phone for Lane to contact him, their radio signals are jammed and Benji is kidnapped by Vinter and Ilsa disappears. Lane then calls Ethan and tells him to bring him the unlocked disk in exchange for Benji’s life and Ethan agrees but Brandt believes this is the wrong thing to do and contacts Hunley to tell them where they are. When Hunley arrives in London, Brandt meets him and they head to a charity auction, where Atlee and the Prime Minister are in attendance. After entering an empty dining room, Hunley warns the Prime Minister about Ethan and Brandt tells him the information they have but the Prime Minister admits that there was a Syndicate, meant as a black ops team designed by Atlee to deal with England’s enemies without accountability, but the project was supposedly terminated. As the Prime Minister goes to leave, Atlee shoots him with a tranquilizer dart then pulls off the mask to reveal he is really Ethan. They get the biometric readings and pass-phrase from the Prime Minister and when the real Atlee shows up, Ethan shoots him and gets Atlee to admit to creating the Syndicate and Ethan tells a scenario for Hunley about how to explain it and Hunley agrees and lets Ethan go. Ethan contacts Lane and finds out where to meet and heads there, only to find Benji wearing a suicide vest sitting next to Ilsa, who is supposed to shoot Ethan after giving them the disk. Ethan informs Lane, who is speaking through Benji, that he memorized the disk and the only way he will get the information is to release Benji. Lane does and Ethan tells Benji to go meet with Brandt and Luther and when Vinter and the other members of the Syndicate try to grab Ethan, he manages to fight them off with Ilsa’s help. Ethan and Ilsa head to the rendezvous point but end up getting separated and Ilsa is forced into a knife fight with Vinter and kills him. Meanwhile, Ethan is wounded by Lane, who follows him into a maintenance tunnel but as he prepares to grab him, he finds himself trapped in a bulletproof box and rendered unconscious by knock out gas. As they load the box with Lane inside into the back of a police truck, Ilsa thanks Ethan and gives him a hug goodbye before driving off. In Washington, Hunley and Brandt are speaking to a Senate committee about getting the IMF reinstated, which the committee agrees to, with Hunley now serving as IMF Secretary.
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation met with high acclaim from the critics, earning a certified fresh rating of 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that, “Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation continues the franchise’s thrilling resurgence — and proves that Tom Cruise remains an action star without equal.” As part of the marketing for the Blu-Ray/DVD release, a comic book was released detailing the events of Ethan’s time as a rogue agent and was written by Christopher McQuarrie, the writer and director of the movie. The movie was a box office hit, earning over $682 million worldwide, falling just short of beating it’s predecessor. The studio and Cruise have both confirmed that a 6th movie is scheduled for production.
This series definitely got better with age because the last two movies were great and so was this one. Tom Cruise turned in another great performance, as did Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, and Jeremy Renner and the dynamic between them all was a lot of fun to watch. Newcomers Alec Baldwin (Hunley) and Rebecca Ferguson (Ilsa) were also goodSean Harris was great as Solomon Lane, kind of playing the character as a Blofeld type villian, which I thought was the best way to play the head of an evil organization. The plot was good and pretty straight forward, not really needing to go into a bunch of unnecessary tangents to take away from a good movie. The action scenes were very well done and aside from the opening sequence, weren’t too over the top. A great movie that is well worth watching.
Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5