Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

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Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
A graphic promotional film poster
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Christopher McQuarrie
Produced by
Screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie
Story by
Based on Mission: Impossible 
by Bruce Geller
Starring
Music by Joe Kraemer
Cinematography Robert Elswit
Edited by Eddie Hamilton
Production
companies
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • July 31, 2015 (2015-07-31)
USA
  • August 7, 2015 (2015-08-07)
World wide
Running time
131 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $150 million[2]
Box office $127.3 million[3]

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is a 2015 American action spy film written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie. It is the fifth installment in the Mission: Impossible series and was preceded by Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011). It stars Tom Cruise, who reprises his role as IMF Agent Ethan Hunt. It is produced by Cruise, J. J. Abrams, and David Ellison of Skydance Productions. In the film, Hunt is on the run from the U.S. government as he tries to prove the existence of the Syndicate, an international criminal consortium.

Filming began on August 21, 2014, in Vienna, Austria, and concluded on March 12, 2015. The film was released in North America by Paramount Pictures on July 31, 2015 to critical and commercial success. In its opening weekend, it took in $55.5 million at the U.S. box office[4] and over $127 million worldwide.[3]

Plot[edit]

After intercepting nerve gas being sold to terrorists, Impossible Missions Force agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is convinced he can prove the existence of the Syndicate, an international criminal consortium. Reporting to an IMF substation to receive his next orders, Hunt is captured by the Syndicate, but escapes a torture chamber led by Syndicate member Janik "Bone Doctor" Vinter (Jens Hultén) with the help of disavowed MI6 agent and Syndicate operative Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson). Meanwhile, CIA director Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) and IMF agent William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) appear before a Senate oversight committee, and Hunley succeeds in having the IMF disbanded and absorbed into the CIA, guaranteeing that Hunt will be captured within the day. Cut off from the IMF, Hunt starts following his only lead: a blond man in glasses, later identified as Solomon Lane (Sean Harris).

Six months later, Hunt remains on the run. Unable to find the Syndicate without help, he enlists former colleague Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), arranging for him to attend the opera Turandot in Vienna to search for Lane, whom he suspects is the Syndicate's leader. Despite stopping three shooters including Faust, the Austrian Chancellor is killed by a car bomb.

Brandt recruits former agent Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) to find Hunt and prevent Hunley's team from killing him. Using a likeness of Faust left by Hunt, Brandt and Stickell are able to track Hunt, Dunn, and Faust to Morocco, where the three are infiltrating a secure underwater server beneath a power station. After having stolen what they believe to be a ledger containing the names of all Syndicate agents, Faust takes the drive and a chase ensues involving Ethan, his group, the Syndicate members, and Faust. Faust escapes, but Dunn reveals he had already made a copy of the data.

Faust returns to London, and attempts to pass the file to her handler, Attlee (Simon McBurney), who compels her to return to the Syndicate and finish her mission. She returns to Lane, only to find that Attlee has wiped the drive, which in fact contained an encrypted, British-government “red box” that requires the Prime Minister's biometrics in order to be unlocked. The former IMF agents confront Faust, but when Lane's men abduct Dunn, they are told they must deliver a decrypted copy of the drive to Lane. Despite the objections of the others, Hunt realizes Lane will always have a plan to acquire the files; believing the only certain way to stop him is to confront him, Hunt agrees to the ultimatum.

Brandt contacts Hunley and reveals their location. At a charity auction, the two try to prevent Hunt from attacking the Prime Minister, whom they and Attlee take to a secure room. Hunt, having posed as Attlee, reveals himself and has the Prime Minister confirm the existence of the Syndicate, a classified project to perform missions without oversight, though the Prime Minister insists that he cancelled the project before it could leave the planning stages as he considered it to be too extreme. When the real Attlee arrives, Hunt subdues him and he admits that he had been covering up the existence of the Syndicate since Lane hijacked the project and went rogue.

Stickell discovers the file actually contains access to billions in currency. Hunt destroys the file and tells Lane he memorized the data, in order to force Lane to release Dunn and Faust in exchange for what he knows. Dunn escapes to Stickell and Brandt while Ethan and Faust are chased by Vinter and his men across the streets of London where they are separated. Faust kills Vinter in a knife fight while Ethan draws Lane into the open and lures him into a tunnel system revealed to be a bulletproof cell where he is gassed, like he did to Ethan at the beginning of the film, and taken into custody.

Sometime later, Hunley and Brandt return to the oversight committee, where Hunley secures the reinstatement of the IMF, claiming that his previous efforts to have it disbanded were all to allow Hunt to go undercover. The committee, though skeptical, approves, and outside the chambers, Brandt addresses Hunley as "Mr. Secretary”.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Pre-production[edit]

Paramount Pictures announced in August 2013 that Christopher McQuarrie would direct the fifth Mission: Impossible film, from a script by Drew Pearce, with Tom Cruise reprising his role as Ethan Hunt. Tom Cruise Productions and Bad Robot would produce, and "Skydance Productions, who served as co-financers and executive producers of the last installment, will work closely with the team in the development and production process."[5] On November 14, 2013, Paramount announced a release date of December 25, 2015.[6] The same month, Simon Pegg confirmed he would reprise his role as Benji.[7] In May 2014, Will Staples replaced Pearce as screenwriter.[8] Also that month, Jeremy Renner confirmed he was returning in the role of William Brandt,[9] and Cruise said the film would shoot in London,[10] with a later report saying it would first shoot in Vienna in August.[11] At some point, McQuarrie replaced Staples as screenwriter; the final credits list McQuarrie as screenwriter, with story by Pearce.

In July 2014, Rebecca Ferguson was cast and Alec Baldwin was in talks for the film.[12][13] Baldwin was confirmed to have joined the cast in August 2014,[14] and Ving Rhames was confirmed to be reprising his role of Luther Stickell.[15] On September 5, it was announced that Sean Harris was in negotiations for the villain role.[16] On October 2, Simon McBurney joined the cast of the film.[17] On October 6, Chinese actress Zhang Jingchu joined the film's cast, in a major role.[18] On March 22, 2015, Paramount revealed the film's official title, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, along with a teaser poster and trailer.[19]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography began in August 2014. On August 21, the production released its first photos from the set in Vienna, Austria.[14] On August 22, actors Cruise and Pegg, along with director Christopher McQuarrie, were spotted at Vienna's Metro.[20] Later on in the day, Cruise and Ferguson were also spotted, during the filming of some stunt (jumping) scenes from the roof-top of Vienna State Opera.[20][21] On August 26, actors were again spotted filming scenes in Vienna.[22] After finishing one and a half week filming in Austria, on August 30, Cruise arrived in Rabat, Morocco for filming more scenes.[23][24] Here the Marrakesh Highway was closed for 14 days (August 30-September 12). Other filming locations in Morocco include Agadir and Rabat.[25] On September 2, Cruise was spotted racing a 2015 BMW M3 Sedan in Derb sultane, Casablanca.[26][27][28] On September 8 and 9, filming took place in The Marrakesh Stadium, which was closed both days for filming purposes.[29] On September 26, Cruise was filming scenes and doing his own stunts in a BMW car in Kasbah of the Udayas, in the capital city Rabat.[30]

After more than a month of shooting in Austria and Morocco, filming moved to London on September 28.[31] On October 7, a trailer was seen carrying damaged BMW M3s from the set after filming in Morocco.[32] On October 10, Cruise and his stuntman Wade Eastwood were spotted during filming some scenes in Monaco;[33] lead actress Ferguson also spotted.[34] Filming of an action scene featuring Ethan Hunt climbing and fighting on the outside of a flying Airbus A400M Atlas took place at RAF Wittering in the United Kingdom. Tom Cruise performed the sequence, at times suspended on the aircraft 5000 feet in the air, without the use of a stunt double.[35] On November 9, filming began on Southampton Water, while the crews were spotted arriving at Fawley Power Station before filming started.[36] On December 2, 2014, Cruise was almost hit by a double-decker bus while filming a scene in London. However, the bus missed him and he suffered no injuries.[37] Tom Cruise trained under diving specialist Kirk Krack to be able to hold his breath for six minutes to perform an underwater sequence which was filmed in a single long take without any edits.[38]

On February 20, 2015, The Hollywood Reporter said filming was halted to give McQuarrie, Cruise, and an unknown third person time to rework the film's ending.[39] Filming ended on March 12, 2015.[40]

Soundtrack[edit]

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation: Music from the Motion Picture
Soundtrack album by Joe Kraemer
Released July 28, 2015 (2015-07-28)
Genre Film score
Label La-La Land Records, Paramount Music
Producer Joe Kraemer, John Finkley
Mission: Impossible chronology
Ghost Protocol
(2011)
Rogue Nation
(2015)

The musical score for Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation was composed by Joe Kraemer, who previously collaborated with director McQuarrie on The Way of the Gun and Jack Reacher. Kraemer was announced as the composer for the film in September 2014.[41] The physical soundtrack became available from La-La Land Records on July 28, 2015, with the digital album released from Paramount Music on the same day.

As well as incorporating Lalo Schifrin's thematic material from the television series throughout the score, three tracks ("Escape to Danger," "A Matter of Going", and "Finale and Curtain Call") interpolate Nessun Dorma.[42]

All music composed by Joe Kraemer.

No. Title Length
1. "The A400"   6:38
2. "Solomon Lane"   4:08
3. "Good Evening, Mr. Hunt"   2:35
4. "Escape to Danger"   2:46
5. "Havana to Vienna"   5:13
6. "A Flight at the Opera"   2:23
7. "The Syndicate"   3:44
8. "The Plan"   3:21
9. "It's Impossible" (CD Exclusive Track) 1:23
10. "The Torus"   7:02
11. "Morocco Pursuit"   2:29
12. "Grave Consequences"   4:12
13. "A Matter of Going"   5:05
14. "The Blenheim Sequence"   4:00
15. "Audience with the Prime Minister"   4:23
16. "This is the End, Mr. Hunt" (CD Exclusive Track) 3:48
17. "A Foggy Night in London"   2:10
18. "Meet the IMF"   1:47
19. "Finale and Curtain Call"   6:14

Release[edit]

Paramount had originally scheduled the film for a December 25, 2015 release. On January 26, 2015, Paramount advanced the release date to July 31, 2015.[43] The main reason cited by The Hollywood Reporter was to avoid competition with Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the James Bond film Spectre.[44] In the United States and Canada, it was released in the Dolby Vision format in Dolby Cinema, the first ever time for Paramount.[45] On February 13, 2015, Paramount and IMAX Corporation announced that they would digitally remaster the film into the IMAX format and release it in IMAX theaters worldwide on the scheduled date.[46] Lotte released the film in South Korea on July 30, 2015.[47] The film is scheduled to be released in China on September 8, 2015.[48]

In August 2015, Fox Networks acquired the US cable broadcast rights, for broadcast after its theatrical release. The film film will be available for FX Networks and its suite of networks: FX, FXX, FXM and the video-on-demand platform FXNow.[49]

Marketing[edit]

A teaser trailer for the film was released on March 22, 2015.[50] The following day, a full-length trailer was released.[citation needed] A second full-length trailer was released on June 3, 2015.

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

As of August 2, 2015, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation has grossed $55.5 million[51] in North America and $65 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $121 million, against a budget of $150 million.[3] It had a worldwide opening of $121 million and an IMAX worldwide opening total of $12.5 million (the third biggest of July behind The Dark Knight Rises and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2).[52]

In the United States and Canada, according to pre-release tracking, the film was projected to earn around $40–50 million in its opening weekend, less than what the first three Mission: Impossible films earned in their initial weekend.[53][2][54] It made $4 million from its Thursday night showings which began at 8 p.m. from 2,764 theaters,[55][56] and $20.3 million on its opening day, which is the second biggest opening day for Cruise (behind War of the Worlds) and the biggest in the Mission: Impossible franchise (breaking Mission: Impossible II‍ '​s record), with 16% of ticket sales from the film's 367 IMAX theaters.[57][58][2] In its opening weekend the film grossed $55.5 million exceeding expectations and is the second highest opening in the franchise, behind Mission: Impossible II and the third biggest for Cruise behind War of the Worlds and Mission: Impossible II.[59][60] IMAX contributed $8.4 million of the total opening gross from 369 IMAX screens which is the third best for a July opening after Dark Knight Rises ($19 million) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 ($15.2 million). Premium large format grossed up $2.6 million, 13% of Friday’s gross with Cinemark XD grossing close to $700,000 at 108 screens.[59]

Outside North America, the film opened in 40 overseas markets including 135 IMAX theaters on July 31, 2015 in countries such as South Korea, the UK, Mexico and Australia.[2] It grossed $64.5 million in its opening weekend and went No. 1 in 33 markets; It had the biggest opening weekend ever for the franchise in 32 markets and Cruise's best opening in 27 markets.[52] Overall, IMAX contributed $4.1 million of its international opening.[52] It had the biggest opening for the franchise in the U.K., Ireland and Malta ($8.3 million), Taiwan ($5.1 million), Mexico ($5 million), Australia ($3.8 million), Malaysia ($2.7 million), and Hong Kong ($2.7 million).[52] In South Korea, where the franchise has been a hit it opened to $16.95 million (49% above Ghost Protocol), which is the second biggest-opening ever for Paramount, behind Transformers: Dark of the Moon; Cruise's biggest ever opening; the best for the Mission franchise; and the second biggest opening for a Western film of 2015.[61][52] Also, Rogue Nation is projected to make 70% of its worldwide gross abroad.[57]

It is speculated the Rogue Nation‍ '​s box office may be adversely affected by the recent HBO documentary Scientology and the Prison of Belief, which was sharply critical of Cruise.[62][63][64] The film alleges that Cruise used Sea Org workers as a source of free labor.[65] In the film, Cruise's former auditor Marty Rathbun claims that Cruise's ex-wife Nicole Kidman was wiretapped on Cruise's suggestion.[66][67]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation has a rating of 93%, based on 203 reviews, with an average rating of 7.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation continues the franchise's thrilling resurgence — and proves that Tom Cruise remains an action star without equal."[68] Metacritic gives the film a rating of 75 out of 100, based on 46 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[69] On CinemaScore, audiences gave the film a grade of "A-" on an A+ to F scale.[70]

Ty Burr of The Boston Globe called the film "preposterously enjoyable" and said that it "unfolds with fluid, twisty, old-school pleasure," highlighting the performances of Cruise, Pegg, Ferguson and Baldwin and comparing the action scenes to those of the James Bond films as well as Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much. He ultimately gave the film 3 out of 4 stars. [71] Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times gave Rogue Nation 3.5 out of 4 stars, highly praising the film's cast and stating that the film "keeps topping itself". However, he criticized the villain for not being too memorable or intimidating.[72] Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times said that McQuarrie's direction allowed Rogue Nation to stand out among the other films in terms of action and its inclusion of female characters, singling out Ferguson's Ilsa as uniquely empowered and action-oriented, also praising her scenes with Cruise. [73] Christopher Orr of The Atlantic praised Cruise, saying "You overcome the impossible through the application of sheer, unvarnished willpower, a quality that Cruise has always possessed in abundance" and describing him as the driving force of the film and the franchise. He too praised Ferguson among the supporting cast for her role as an action heroine.[74] Manohla Dargis of The New York Times stated "Sleek and bloated, specific and generic, 'Rogue Nation' is pretty much like most of the 'Impossible' movies in that it’s an immense machine that Mr. McQuarrie, after tinkering and oiling, has cranked up again and set humming with twists and turns, global trotting and gadgets, a crack supporting cast and a hard-working star."[75]

A.A. Dowd of The A.V. Club remarked, "Rather than go full auteur on his formulaic material, McQuarrie instead offers a kind of greatest hits package: 'Rogue Nation' marries the shifting loyalties of Brian De Palma’s original to the kinetic action beats of John Woo’s series nadir and the all-set-piece structure of Brad Bird’s series zenith, adding an omnipotent villain not far removed from the one Philip Seymour Hoffman played in J.J. Abrams’ entry. It’s the least visually or conceptually distinctive of the five movies, leaning on what’s worked before rather than forging its own path."[76] Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B+, calling it "breathlessly thrilling" and giving high praise to its action sequences, saying " all you can do is pick your jaw off your lap and grin at the breathtakingly bananas spectacle you’ve just witnessed."[77] Meanwhile, David Edelstein of Vulture.com called Ferguson the "best reason" to see the film. However, he felt it did not surpass its predecessor and singled out several elements of some of the action sequences for criticism.[78] Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal also praised Ferguson but felt that she and Cruise had "zero chemistry" onscreen. Nonetheless he praised the film for working "ingenious changes on old tropes". [79] Daniel Krupa of IGN only gave the film a score of 7/10, praising the action sequences and the performances of the central cast but criticizing it for not adding enough to the series or expanding on the plot of Ghost Protocol.[80]

Sequel[edit]

By May 2015, Paramount was developing a sixth Mission: Impossible film, with Cruise, Abrams, Ellison, and Goldberg returning to produce, along with Don Granger and Matt Grimm executive producing, and Elizabeth Raposo overseeing development.[81] Shortly before the release of Rogue Nation, Cruise announced he would return for a sixth film, asserting that it could begin production in 2016.[82] Following Cruise's statement, Paramount also confirmed that a sixth film is in development.[83]

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