In 2015, it feels like more movies are part of a franchise than not. Actors sign on for multi year, multi movie deals to play the same character again and again. And Marvel can announce its upcoming movies for the next half dozen years. It’s made sequels seem a little less cash grabby and cynical, and more ambitious. For some reason, studios being open in advance about plans to milk us for years’ worth of cash from the same characters seems more OK than the old days, when a movie would be a surprise hit, then they’d slap together a sequel to get some more of our cash. But now, that old system of ad hoc sequels seems almost charming. It’s taken 20 years, five directors, and seemingly no plan, but the Mission: Impossible series remains the throwback franchise exception to the modern day franchise rule. And that continues with Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.
Picking up directly after the events of 2011’s Ghost Protocol, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF spy colleagues are on the trail of the Syndicate, the shadowy organisation of bad guys discovered in the last movie. After an amazing stunt with Cruise on the outside of a plane that deserves all the hype it got in the lead up to this movie’s release, IMF comes under the investigation of the US government and CIA Chief Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin). It seems IMF’s missions have become a little too loose and Hunley thinks they should be more heavily regulated, or even better, disbanded completely. (more…)