Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation revels in its tropes. Heists, MacGuffins, and double/triple crosses abound and elevate the film to the very apex of the spy film genre. Director Christopher McQuarrie (director of Jack Reacher, writer of Edge of Tomorrow) ably adds his touches and always keeps the action intelligible, but this is unequivocally Tom Cruise’s movie. Cruise’s portrayal of Ethan Hunt has carried the Mission: Impossible franchise since its inception, but in the past his task has sometimes bordered on Sisyphean thanks to poor plotting, writing, and directing. Rogue Nation is a much easier boulder to push, and never tumbles from its well-earned heights.
The first full trailer for the next entry in Daniel Craig’s James Bond begins with Ralph Fiennes’ M chiding Bond for carrying out an unauthorized operation in Mexico City. Fiennes stands behind his desk and towers over a seated, subservient Bond asking, “Mexico City: What were you doing there?” We cut to the event in question and see Bond targeting someone in a building – and then effecting an enveloping explosion in the man’s room. Bonds wry answer to M nearly suppresses a laugh: “I was taking some overdue holiday.” The MGM and Columbia logos blazon across the screen, and that is our introduction to Spectre: