Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Writer: Christopher McQuarrie
Based on: The TV show
Sequel to: Mission: Impossible, Mission: Impossible II, Mission: Impossible III, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
Cast: Tom CruiseRebecca Ferguson, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris, Simon McBurney, Jingchu Zhang, Tom Hollander, Jens Hultén, Alec Baldwin
Seen on: 5.8.2015

The CIA, in form of its director Hunley (Alec Baldwin), is arguing for disbanding the entire IMF and Brandt (Jeremy Renner) is trying everything to keep that from happening. Unsuccessfully though. As the IMF is being shut down, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is this close to finally getting to the Syndicate, a shadow organization secretly controlling the world. But Ethan is captured and only manages to escape with the help of Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson). After he is freed, there is no more IMF, nobody even believes that the Syndicate exists and it becomes clear that Ethan has to take matters into his own hands.

I think the best thing that I can say about Rogue Nation that at least it was still better than the M:I-2. It is pretty much the cinematic equivalent of a very drunk night out: kinda fun while you’re at it, but as soon as you get a little more sober again, you realize with mortification all the stupid, highly inappropriate things that happened and you feel hung-over.


I went to the cinema with two female friends and we were all legitimately excited about seeing the film – one because Simon Pegg was in it, the other and me because we’re suckers for good action movies and M:I-4 was a whole lot of fun. And as we stumbled out of the cinema we all looked at each other and all three of us were completely floored by the sexism that had just been thrown our way. In fact, in my notes for the review, I wrote down “this was so far the most sexist of all M:I films – so full of male gaze, it was infuriating”. It might not actually have been more sexist than M:I-2, but it is a very close call.

cornholio has a very different take from mine on the film and even managed to find some feminist potential in there. But personally I have to say that any kind of feminist message in narrative or characters was completely undermined by the cinematography. I honestly can’t recall a single film I’ve seen that employed the male gaze so consistently throughout the entire film. One of the friends I saw this with said that she stopped counting after the 7th blatant pan over Ferguson’s body (or parts of it).

Mission_Impossible_RogueNation1Also in other things, Rogue Nation was a little disappointing. Especially the villain (Sean Harris) was kind of a let-down and never actually managed to be scary at all. In good old M:I tradition, though, the plot was all kinds of stupid – that was not disappinting, that was expected.

Despite that Rogue Nation managed to be entertaining. As an Austrian, I found the scenes shot in Vienna particularly amusing. Not only their take on the opera (everyone in formal wear, metal detectors at the entrance, a red carpet outside – I can promise you, it is far from like that) or the fact that anybody would think that an assassination of an Austrian prime minister would influence anything on a world-wide scale, but also the way Benji (Simon Pegg) takes the subway to the opera (he gets off at the wrong stop, turns 180° in the station and suddenly pops up at the opera).

In the end though, the redeeming qualities Rogue Nation has don’t really outweigh the rest. At least it’s entertaining enough.

Mission_Impossible_RogueNation2Summarizing: If you have nothing better to do.


  1. Thanks for the shoutout! Yeah, I saw it very differently, but from the both of us, you’re definitely the expert on feminism, so I defer to your expertise.

    “(he gets off at the wrong stop, turns 180° in the station and suddenly pops up at the opera).” To be fair, it COULD just be that he actually took the U4 and drove to Karlsplatz, while chatting with Ethan Hunt about everything and anything, and we just didn’t see it because they cut away ;). But yeah, that was funny :). And whenever I drive to either Gartenbaukino or Filmcasino now (via Schottenring), I’m always thinking: I’m standing were Simon Pegg was standing! :D

    • Well, there’s not only one way to read a film, and not even one way to read a film feministically if you will. Things just aren’t that clear-cut. But then again, I like it when people defer to me. Carry on. ;)

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