Tom Cruise and his super-spy friends may have met their match in the first trailer for "Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation," the fifth installment of the $2-billion franchise.
Set for release July 31 from Paramount Pictures, "Rogue Nation" finds Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Ving Rames and Simon Pegg reprising their roles as Impossible Missions Force agents, and this time they're taking on a very skilled, shadowy terrorist organization.
As a desperate Ethan Hunt (Cruise) tells team member Benji (Pegg), "The Syndicate is real! A rogue nation, trained to do what we do."
"An anti-IMF," Benji replies.
The IMF gang will also have to deal with Washington bureaucrats who want to shut them down, including the CIA's chief (Alec Baldwin), who doesn't believe the Syndicate is real. On the plus side, Hunt and company have a lethal new ally in Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), who turns heads and snaps necks in a flowing ball gown and 4-inch stilettos.
Judging from the trailer, and in true "M:I" fashion, "Rogue Nation" promises to feature plenty of eye-popping action — rappelling down buildings, speeding after bad guys on motorcycles, hanging off the side of a rapidly ascending A400 cargo plane — set against globe-hopping locales.
Orchestrating the intrigue is director Christopher McQuarrie, a regular Cruise collaborator who won an Oscar for writing "The Usual Suspects." Drew Pearce ("Iron Man 3") penned "Rogue Nation."
The new Mission: Impossible is coming barely 3 1/2 years after the previous installment, 2011 holiday release "Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol." The franchise has been characterized by somewhat long waits — six years elapsed between the second and third movies — but "Ghost Protocol" kept studio and creator interest high with nearly $700 million in global box office, a significant jump over any of the previous movies.
"Rogue" is keeping with the franchise's tradition of bringing in a new high-end director for each film — previous installments have been directed by Brian De Palma, John Woo, J.J. Abrams and Brad Bird.
Spy-movie aficionados might notice that the plot of "Rogue Nation" sounds similar to this year's other big espionage adventure, "Spectre," which will pit Daniel Craig's James Bond against a secret international terrorist group. In at least one regard it also echoes previous Bond movie "Skyfall," which also made internal agency politics a key plot line.
The real spy showdown, then, may have to wait till "Spectre" hits theaters in November.
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