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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 – GHOST PROTOCOL
What happened in this movie?
- Tom Cruise is the franchise and is, of course, back as Ethan Hunt though, when we first encounter him in a Moscow prison, things aren’t looking so good for our erstwhile hero.
- Once freed from his confinement, things get worse for Hunt and his team as they accept a mission to infiltrate the Kremlin to steal information. They are compromised on site by an unknown entity who knows they are there and whose actions result in the destruction of a significant portion of the Kremlin.
- Because of these actions, the US President invokes “Ghost Protocol” which means the entire IMF is disavowed.
- Hunt and his team, blamed for the destruction of the Kremlin and allowed to escape to pursue the real authors of the act, uncover a plot to unleash nuclear war. They have to stop it.
- A new member of the team, Brandt played by Jeremy Renner, is assigned to go with them as an analyst of their actions, not as a field agent, but his abilities quickly show there is more to him than meets the eye.
- The team foils the plan and, along the way, the discover that Renner’s Brandt resigned from the field because he failed in an assignment to protect Julia, Hunt’s wife, from harm. Brandt believes her dead. Hunt reveals that Julia is very much alive, that Hunt allowed her death to be staged so she would no longer be a target and that Brandt can forgive himself.
- At the end of the film, Hunt’s team, including Benjy and Luther, are about to accept another mission and Hunt invites Brandt to join them. We’re pretty sure he will…
Was it any good?
Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol is very good. It is the most globe-trotting of the films and scenes that take place in Dubai where Tom Cruise literally scaled the outside of the world’s tallest building are actually breathtaking. It’s funny and fast paced and the camaraderie among Cruise, Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames is top-notch. Jeremy Renner is a good addition to the team and there just enough mystery surrounding his character and motivations to keep the audience guessing. The plot the team must foil is a little by-the-book, but the action sequences, especially the aforementioned Dubai scenes, are anything but. Michael Nyqvist is on hand as the primary villain and he is just functional. He doesn’t make much of an impression, unfortunately, and that’s a weakness in an otherwise excellent movie. Bringing Renner in makes a lot of sense. Cruise, though amazing still in terms of his ability to convincingly pull off this kind of action, isn’t getting any younger.
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE GHOST PROTOCOL receives FOUR CRAZY PARKING GARAGES out of a possible five.
What do I need to know?
- Brad Bird, who directed The Incredibles, takes on the director’s chair. This is his first live action movie.
- Paula Patton is great in the movie as Agent Carter and is the most fully developed IMF agent in the entire series beyond Cruise, Rhames and Pegg.
- Michelle Monahan reprises her role as Julia for a touching coda at the end of the movie which makes it clear that she knows Hunt is alive but also suggests they are no longer together.
- Simon Pegg’s Benjy becomes a field agent in this movie.
- This movie continues the “suspended in the air” jump motif of the first three films, though, this time, it’s Renner who accomplishes the stunt, not Cruise.
- At the end of the movie, The Syndicate is mentioned as a possible antagonist for the IMF’s next mission. The Syndicate was featured in the television series, its agents often facing off against the IMF and it is the adversary in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.
Who was in charge of the IMF?
- Tom Wilkinson, an actor of significant gravitas, is the director of the IMF in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. Don’t blink or you’ll miss him.