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Planning on seeing Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation? The fifth film in Tom Cruise’s very successful Mission Impossible franchise that stared way back in 1996 if you can believe it, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation will try to do what the other four films have done: exist as a standalone chapter meaning that the audience doesn’t need to have much knowledge of the previous movies to enjoy this one.
However, if you’re interested in a refresher in what came before because you don’t remember the earlier films (or you haven’t seen them), you’ve come to the right place. Spoilers abound below. Be warned.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to prepare yourself for Mission: Impossible – Rouge Nation. This message will not self destruct.
What happened in this movie?
- Tom Cruise plays young Impossible Missions Force (IMF) agent Ethan Hunt.
- The movie, criticized for its convoluted plot, tells the story of a mission Cruise’s team embarks on that ends in the death of the entire squad except for Hunt, another operative named Claire and… someone else.
- Hunt is blamed for the disastrous mission, condemned as a mole in the IMF and has to go on the run.
- In order to smoke out the real mole, Hunt decides he must steal what the mole was after: a list of all covert operatives world-wide.
- He does so, uncovers the real bad guy – his mentor Jim Phelps (Phelps’ wife, Claire, is also part of the plot) who also didn’t die during the disastrous mission – and protects the list of covert operatives.
- Having saved the day, Hunt decides to quit the IMF – but the last scene of the movie suggests he might accept another mission.
Was it any good?
Mission: Impossible is a pretty good movie. The action set pieces, especially the break in to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, are terrific. Tom Cruise still looks very boyish in 1996, but he carries the film nicely. The supporting cast, from Jon Voight as Jim Phelps to Vanessa Redgrave (what was she doing in this movie) as the enigmatic Max, are very good. Though some have said the plot is too complicated to follow, it’s actually relatively straightforward and fun.
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE receives FOUR EXPLOSIVE PIECES OF GUM out of a possible five.
What do I need to know?
- Tom Cruise, who produced the movie, wanted any potential sequels to be directed by people with distinct visual styles following the choice of Brian DePalma, who directed here.
- Emilio Estevez, who was something of a star at the time, was killed early in the film to suggest that stakes were very high. It was thought his death would shock audiences.
- Many of the people involved with the Mission: Impossible television series didn’t like the story, were upset that Jim Phelps was shown to be a traitor and refused roles in the movie, including Peter Graves himself who had played Jim Phelps on television.
- The movie introduces Luther Stickell as played by Ving Rhames. Along with Tom Cruise, he is the only actor appear in all five Mission: Impossible movies.
- U2 arranged a cover of the famous Mission: Impossible theme that went to Number 10 on Billboard’s Top 200 Chart in 1996.
Who was in charge of the IMF?
- The idea of having a big name actor in charge of the IMF really begins in Mission: Impossible II. However, the casting of Vanessa Redgrave in something of a cameo role here may have helped inspire that concept. Character actor Henry Czerny is the leader of the IMF here.