Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation is gearing up to be a fun bit of summer spectacle, with reported test screenings boasting better audience reactions than Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol received (in addition to some featured stunt work that looks more than a little exciting). That's impressive, coming after the purported high point in the feature franchise to date.
Several cast members from previous Mission: Impossible film installments are returning for Rogue Nation, while first-time series writer/director Christopher McQuarrie appears to have things under control - with Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and company in good shape for their return to theaters.
Here is the official synopsis for Rogue Nation:
The new flick finds Hunt’s highly effective but destructive Impossible Mission Force (IMF) disbanded by vengeful Washington bureaucrats such as the CIA chief (played by Alec Baldwin). But Hunt pulls his team together (Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames and newcomer Rebecca Ferguson) to battle the shadowy force known as “The Syndicate” and its elusive leader (Sean Harris).
That newly-released Rogue Nation featurette (see above) includes some previously-released footage, but also a fair amount of new material, combined with interviews with the film's cast and McQuarrie. The focus is on the dynamic for Ethan Hunt's team in the film, which won't be quite the same as it was between the returning characters from Mission: Impossible movies past (Pegg, for example, explains that Benji has matured a lot since Ghost Protocol). Likewise, Cruise can't say enough about the film's good vibes, highlighting the inclusion of the deadly and mysterious Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) and Alec Baldwin as a key antagonistic force in the film (along with Sean Harris' villain).
McQuarrie should be able to get the most out of Cruise as Ethan Hunt, having previously worked alongside the actor on such well-received genre thrillers as Jack Reacher (as writer/director), as well as Edge of Tomorrow and Valkyrie (which McQuarrie co-wrote and produced). The Rogue Nation footage re-packaged here still looks compelling, which is a good sign for fans of the franchise (with the film's theatrical release getting ever closer).
It would be hard to beat Brad Bird's Ghost Protocol for sheer fun, but Rogue Nation is poised to bring Hunt (and company) back in style during their fifth outing. Indeed, the first wave of reactions to the film (from people who've attended its pre-release screenings) was unanimously positive - suggesting this is one Mission: Impossible you will want to accept.
Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation opens in U.S. theaters on July 31st, 2015.