It seems safe to say that at this point, the most impossible of all missions would be attempting to keep all of the various Mission: Impossible film plots separate in your head. Keeping in mind that seemingly every one since the 1996 original has featured super-spy Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) “going rogue” and being hunted by his former friends and enemies while “racing to prevent a global catastrophe,” you’d be forgive if the entire series had blurred together into a single pastiche of running and explosions in your mind. At this point, it’s almost easier to categorize the film by Cruise’s signature risky stunts than it is by any of the other events that actually happen on screen.
Case in point: The new trailer for the upcoming sixth installment, Mission: Impossible – Fallout. It is, in a word, some very familiar stuff. Ethan Hunt running. Ethan Hunt jumping out of windows and scrambling to get out of the way of debris and wreckage. An unusually large number of people being struck by cars for a single film trailer. And another very familiar-sounding synopsis:
When an IMF mission ends badly, the world is faced with dire consequences. As Ethan Hunt takes it upon himself to fulfill his original briefing, the CIA begins to question his loyalty and his motives. Hunt finds himself in a race against time, hunted by assassins and former allies while trying to prevent a global catastrophe.
Wait, you’re SURE that’s not the same synopsis as the previous film, right?
English actor Sean Harris plays villain Solomon Lane, who also appeared in the previous film, Rogue Nation, and promises that “Ethan Hunt will lose everyone he ever cared about.” But the real winner of the trailer has GOT to be Cruise himself, for pulling off one of the weirdest feats of verbal jiu jitsu that the world of film trailers has ever seen. Allow me to set the stage and capture the exact exchange of dialog that closes the trailer:
Alec Baldwin: Accept it, Ethan. You’ve lost this one. What’s done is done.
Tom Cruise: What’s done is done when we say it’s done.
Uhhhhhh … can those words actually be strung together in that order? Is Ethan Hunt turning into Yogi Berra in his old age? Cruise is 55, by the way.
So. Will Fallout be the final Mission: Impossible? As much as it pains me to say, it doesn’t seem like it. If this was going to be the final entry, surely it would have a title that implied as much, in the interest of picking the bones clean of every potential dollar there is to be made. SO: Prepare yourself for Mission: Impossible – Apocalypse a few years down the line.