Ethan Hunt is on the search for the Syndicate, a secret organization that seems to be the anti-IMF in a way. He thinks he’s finally making progress, when he’s lured into a trap, seeing the face of his adversary as he falls unconscious, and is captured by him. He manages to escape thanks to the help of someone named Ilsa, who appears to be a double agent in the Syndicate. On making contact, he is greeted with the news that due to the IMFs very messy recent escapades, that it has been dissolved, merged into the CIA, and that he is now a wanted man by the CIA. And hence he, and later Benji, Will, Luther will have to figure out what the Syndicate is, how it operates, and how they can get rid of it, all the while playing the games that come with statecraft.
Tom Cruise has definitely still got it. This isn’t shockingly different from any of the other Mission Impossible movies, but it doesn’t need to be. It does what it does in a unique way and is great in doing so. Great stunts, awesome action, and an exciting soundtrack. There aren’t really any more Spy movies coming out that are ‘fun’ for a lack of a better word. Now that’s not to say that there isn’t a lot of drama. Rogue Nation is a lot more intense than Ghost Protocol for example. And the drama is great as well, with each of the signature characters shining through with their own interesting personas. Ethan Hunt is a determined character that has a one track mind but is seemingly always right about what needs to be done and will absolutely do it, which sounds pretty cliche, but just manages to fit him. Will is more level headed, but will go along with Hunt when necessary. Benji has his heart in the right place, but he’s a bit clumsy. Luther is similar in that he’s very good at the things he can do, but not so much at everything else. Ilsa is the deepest, being caught up in the mess created by MI6 with seemingly no way out. So there definitely is drama. But what makes this different from Bourne or Bond for example, is that these are just a lot more fun. There a good amount of playful humor. And there is of course violence and action that is brutal at points, but it just ends up feeling lighter, more similar to the Marvel super hero movies for example. The soundtrack is amazing, especially the theme, and contributes to this tone. And the small things like things coming full circle at the end just make it seem much more fantastical. The Mission Impossible movies are pretty unique right now both in quality and direction and this one pretty much hit the sweet spot in terms of what I wanted from a spy movie, and since Tom Cruise has still clearly got it, I really hope we get more out of him.
Also I appreciate that for once the CIA wasn’t the villain. That always seems to be the big twist in how these things go, so that’s what I expected and was actually surprised they went with someone else. Alan, the CIA director, and new Secretary of Defense was actually pretty cool at the end in how he rolled with the punches. Hope we see more of him as well.
Another Mission Impossible movie that’s true to what it is and done spectacularly well.
“I can neither confirm nor deny details of any operation without the Secretary’s approval”