Today saw the wide release of an exclusive five minutes of footage from this month’s Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. The upcoming film, starring Tom Cruise and written & directed by Christopher McQuarrie, debuted two extended scenes in IMAX with screenings of Terminator Genisys. The July 31st film marks the fifth installment in the long running Mission series and appears to be one of this summer’s most entertaining of films.
The first scene presented in the IMAX letterbox format (Rogue Nation will not feature any footage native to the format due to IMAX cameras being utilized by Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the time) gives us an extended look at one of the film’s car chases. The chase scene, set in Morocco, is a bit we’ve all glimpsed in the three trailers and t.v. spots already released. Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) are quickly trying to evade a fleet of armed cyclists on speed bikes, with Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) and William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) in pursuit. It’s the first time we get our first taste of Christopher McQuarrie’s style and Joe Kraemer’s score; both are fantastic. McQuarrie, known for his penchant for classic film-making stages the Morocco car chase in an extremely practical way. The use of CGI is very little, if non-existent (as I’m highly confident there is none), and feels like a scene out of a Bond film. If the Bond feel doesn’t come through once the film opens, it’s because of the viewing of this scene isolated from the rest of the film. The Joe Kraemer score also plays up the same feel, even with the cues to the Lalo Schiffrin theme, and immediately brings to mind Sam Mendes’ opening scene for Skyfall.
The second scene, quickly edited to fit with the first scene, continues the chase after Ethan and Benji crash their BMW. Tom Cruise’s Ethan quickly heads off after the bikers and just as soon as they escape the street frenzy, they’re being chased by him, now on a speed bike himself. Cruise’s skill on a motorcycle easily shows and the daring highway chase brings to mind the stunt work of John Woo’s M:i-2. Both Hunt and the bikers bob and weave out of traffic and McQuarrie, along with Director of Photography, Robert Elswit, create this carnival of craziness that is fluidly shot with a dizzying pace.
After the end of the second scene, the IMAX exclusive presentation of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation quickly turned into a hyper cut of the trailer with a few shots of scenes we’ve already seen, but from a different perspective. The tone of Brad Bird’s Ghost Protocol (the fourth film in the series) remains in tact, especially with the humor interspersed within the action. However, I am positive Rogue Nation will be anything but a rehash of Bird’s live-action debut. Christopher McQuarrie has a long history of quality work (The Usual Suspects, Valkyrie, Jack Reacher…) and it is almost certain that the fifth film will be its own unique entity, just as each film has been since Brian De Palma’s first.
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation opens everywhere July 31st, with preview screenings starting Thursday, July 30th. Advance tickets can be purchased here.