The "Mission: Impossible" franchise has always been one of the best and boldest series in contemporary cinema. Starting with Brian De Palma's still-classic 1997 film, then viewed simply as a high tech makeover of the beloved television show, it has evolved and changed with each new installment, reaching new heights (both literally and metaphorically) with the fourth entry, 2011's "Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol." This year sees the arrival of a new film, "Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation" and a brand new, full-length trailer. Yes, yesterday was just a tease. And the full thing is even more delicious.
The trailer starts out with Alec Baldwin, as the head of the CIA, murmuring about the outdated nature of the IMF (that's Impossible Mission Forces, the clandestine group at the center of these films). Since he's off camera most of the time, too, his soothing voice makes it seem like the opening narration for "The Royal Tenenbaums:" "The IMF is uniquely trained and highly motivated, specialists without equal, immune to any countermeasures. But it is an agency of chaos. The time has come to dissolve the IMF." So, there you go. Tom Cruise is in trouble! The stakes are high!
For the remainder of the trailer, we're given glimpses of the team (including Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner and Ving Rhames from earlier installments) and a new member in a seductive mystery woman (played by Rebecca Ferguson). There are death-defying stunts, capped off by an amazing sequence where Cruise is hanging off the side of a giant airplane (something that he actually did, of course). While we with that the filmmakers could have found room to include Paula Patton's character from the fourth movie, since she added a lovely dynamic to the group, things look pretty solid this time around.
What's interesting, too, is that they're folding in an element from the television series called The Syndicate, which in the show was more of a mob-style organization but here is, as the title suggests, a rogue nation of terrorists. The Syndicate is actually mentioned in the last scene of "Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol" (I watched it again last night, of course), which is also pretty cool. The Syndicate is like the Joker playing card, leading us into this movie.
"Mission Impossible Rogue Nation" hits IMAX theaters and regular screens on July 31st. It can't come quickly enough.