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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 – Rogue Nation. This message will not self destruct.
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2
What happened in this movie?
- Tom Cruise is back as Ethan Hunt. The movie starts with him on vacation… until he’s found by the IMF and tasked with a mission.
- The movie feels a bit like a Goldeneye retread as Hunt has to deal with an IMF agent who has gone rogue.
- There are significant identity confusions and red herrings throughout the proceedings as the movie has fun with the idea of the masks the IMF use to disguise themselves. There’s a lot of good turnabout here.
- Searching for both a deadly virus and its cure, Hunt assembles another IMF team including (as was a staple of the old series) someone who is not an IMF agent – a woman named Naya played by Thandie Newton.
- With Naya’s assistance, Hunt is able to destroy the virus and the cure, thus saving the day.
- Following the caper, Hunt goes back on vacation.
Was it any good?
Mission: Impossible 2 features some pretty amazing set pieces beginning with a fairly epic plane heist and ending with a truly remarkable motorcycle chase that concludes with a martial arts display that really showcases Cruise doing his own stunt work. Unfortunately, the script is not quite on par with the action. The main antagonist is such a mustache twirlling cliche that it’s hard to work up any real fear of him. Ving Rhames is back as Luther Stickell and he’s fun. Thandie Newton is good and Cruise is great. Overall, though, if you’re going to skip a Mission, make it this one.
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2 receives THREE SLOW MOTION DOVES out of a possible five.
What do I need to know?
- Tom Cruise snared John Woo to direct this installment. Woo’s signature style is very much in evidence, but that’s, perhaps, not a good thing.
- Apparently, the script was written to incorporate action sequences Woo wanted to feature. It shows.
- Dougray Scott, who plays antagonist Sean Ambrose, missed out on his chance at real fame when he had to pull out of X-Men when shooting on this film ran long. He was cast as Wolverine. How did that work out for Hugh Jackman?
- Anthony Hopkins becomes the first person to speak the actual words “mission impossible” in the history of the television and film franchise when he says “it’s not ‘mission: difficult,’ Mr. Hunt, it’s ‘mission: impossible.'”
- Ian McKellen was slated for the role Hopkins played. According to him, had it taken it, he, too, would have missed X-Men and The Lord of the Rings trilogy given the delays on the film.
Who was in charge of the IMF?
- Anthony Hopkins is the unnamed director of the IMF in Mission: Impossible II.