Follow TV Tropes


Film / Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

Go To
"Ethan Hunt is a gambler. And one day his luck will run out, and thousands of innocent people will pay the price."
Ethan: These are no accidents. They're links in a chain. The work of a single organization, the Syndicate. A rogue nation, trained to do what we do, imbued with a new sense of purpose. Destroy the system that created them regardless of who's in their way.
Benji: An anti-IMF.

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is a 2015 American action spy thriller film and the fifth entry in the Mission: Impossible film series, directed and written by Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects, Edge of Tomorrow) from a story by McQuarrie and Drew Pearce, and starring Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt.

Following the near-disaster from the end of the last movie, CIA director Alan Hunley (Baldwin) convinces the US Senate that the IMF is a threat to public safety, forcing the IMF to disband and branding former IMF agent Ethan Hunt as having gone rogue. Now alone and with the CIA on his tail, Hunt must embark on a global quest to prove the existence of, and ultimately stop, an organisation of assassins and criminals known only as The Syndicate.

Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, and Ving Rhames reprise their roles from the previous films. Newcomers include Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris and Alec Baldwin.

Followed by Mission: Impossible – Fallout.

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation contains examples of:

  • Accidental Truth: Hunley attempts to warn the Prime Minister what a potential threat Ethan Hunt is by playing up his abilities, even suggesting that Hunt has probably anticipated them having that exact discussion. Ethan is standing in the room with them disguised as Atlee, having set Hunley up to be there at that time through the simple yet elegant method of having Brandt pretend to betray the team; Hunley thus walks Brandt and "Atlee" right through security to meet the Prime Minister because Brant told him he was Hunt's target.
  • Action Girl: Ilsa Faust may very well be the single most badass female character in franchise to date, matching Ethan in One-Man Army capabilities.
  • Action Prologue: The film begins at the end of a botched mission, where Ethan only manages to prevent the delivery of nerve gas to terrorists by climbing aboard their plane as it takes off and activating the cargo parachute.
  • Adaptational Badass: The Syndicate were originally just the name the show chose to give to the mafia and as such, they were just generic mobsters who had no clue the IMF even existed. Here though they have been elevated to an international Nebulous Evil Organization like SPECTRE who not only are fully aware that the IMF exist (and worse, whose own existence is denied by the CIA amongst others), they are fully a match for them, are able to anticipate their every move, and even are the ones who give Hunt his "Your mission, should you choose to accept it" brief at the start of the film.
  • All for Nothing: The effort on Ethan's part at the opera turns out to come to nothing because Ethan and Ilsa escape the opera house and get to ground level just in time to see the Chancellor's car explode from a car bomb.
  • Antagonist Title: "Rogue Nation" refers to the film's antagonists, the Syndicate. And it also refers to the fact that the head of MI6 defied orders and went rogue to ensure such an organization did exist.
  • Artistic License – Politics: Benji refers to the Chancellor of Austria as a European head of state. Technically, the Chancellor is the head of government. The President of Austria is the head of state.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Ilsa Faust and Janik Vinter apparently speak Swedish as their mother tongue, just like the actors. Ilsa Faust is however a German name, and Janik is Polish; Vinter (meaning "winter") is the only Swedish name of these two people.
  • At the Opera Tonight: A big chunk of the second act of the movie takes place during a performance of Turandot at the Vienna Opera.
  • Bad Boss:
    • In contrast to CIA Director Hunley (who's shown to be more of an Obstructive Bureaucrat for a good deal of the movie), Atlee is this, given that he seems to treat his subordinates in British intelligence as disposable tools. Not to mention being the reason behind The Syndicate's existence in the first place.
    • Solomon Lane shoots one of his own Mooks just because Ilsa was able to take his gun from him. It's debatable whether his treatment of Ilsa herself counts since it's implied that he knew she was The Mole all along.
  • Badass Boast: Ethan in the climax, combined with Tranquil Fury.
    Ethan: You want your money? The Bone Doctor's gonna have to beat it out of me! Now Let. Benji. Go.
  • Badass in Distress: Ethan gets taken hostage by Syndicate members at one point.
  • Batman Gambit: Employed on both sides.
    • Lane keeps Hunt alive after murdering an IMF agent in front of him, because he knows that Hunt will make it personal, allowing Lane to manipulate him into doing what he wants as long as it gives him even the slightest chance to take Lane down.
    • Hunt knows that Lane wants the vast funds in the data drive so badly that he won't risk losing it when Hunt reveals that he's the only person in the world who can possibly give him access to the money. Lane's desire to capture Hunt and get the money allows Hunt to manipulate and bait Lane into the trap the IMF set up for him.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Solomon Lane and Atlee. The former is a rogue MI6 agent who's gone completely off the grid and took over an unsanctioned branch the agency and plans to secure funds from the prime minster as a means of expanding The Syndicate. The latter, meanwhile is responsible for creating it in the first place and is ruthless in his ways of trying to contain his mess.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
  • Black-Tie Infiltration: Hunt and Dunn infiltrate a high-society performance of Turandot to try and foil the Syndicate's assassination of the Chancellor of Austria at the same event. They foil the three snipers by killing one and then Hunt shoots the chancellor himself non-fatally, but the Syndicate plants a bomb in the Chancellor's limo and blows him up on his way to the hospital.
  • Blofeld Ploy: After the Opera house, Ilsa is confronted by Lane. She throws her gun at him and tells him he can either trust her or kill her. Lane takes her gun... and shoots a mook standing behind her.
  • Bond Cold Open: The movie opens with a big stunt sequence as Hunt and his team retrieve a shipment of nerve gas from a group of Chechen terrorists.
  • Book Ends:
    • Ethan's confirmation that the Syndicate exists is them tracking him down in London, locking him in a glass box and gassing him. The final battle takes place in London, and Ethan defeats Lane by locking him in a glass box and gassing him.
    • Early in the movie, Hunley and Brandt face off with the Committee over the future of the IMF, with Hunley convincing the Committee to mothball the organization. In the last scene of the movie, Hunley and Brandt face the Committee together and convince them to have the IMF reinstated. In both meetings, Brandt repeats the phrase "I can neither confirm nor deny any details about any operation without the permission of the Secretary."
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: After taking Benji hostage, Solomon Lane gives Ethan his ransom demand, starting with the phrase "Your mission, should you choose to accept it..."
  • Brick Joke: During the Committee hearing near the beginning of the movie it is mentioned that the position of Secretary in charge of the IMF is vacant. In the final scene of the movie Director Hunley has been appointed to the position.
  • Broken Aesop: At the end, they get the IMF reinstated by proving that there are some things that can only be done by agents not kept on too tight a leash. But actually, none of the events of the movie would have happened, had the British not tried to create their own version of the IMF.
  • Call-Back:
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Exploited by Ethan in the climax. Having memorized the financial information on the disk, Lane can't kill him if he wants that information, so Ethan uses himself as a human shield to prevent Lane's men from killing anyone he cares about.
  • Car Fu:
    • Ethan takes out several Syndicate members with his BMW M3 and S1000 RR.
    • Then there's Brandt and Luther's Big Damn Heroes moment: One of the motorcycle mooks is stalking towards Ethan, trapped in an overturned car... and then their 4x4 comes out of nowhere and sends him flying.
  • Chekhov's Gun: During the planning of the Morocco mission, Benji suggests the use of the IMF's face-mask technology, only for Ilsa to explain that it's not sufficient for the task at hand. In the process, the audience is given the information it needs to keep up when another mission, later in the movie, turns out to have the face-mask technology as a key part of the Unspoken Plan.
    • During the final chase/fight sequence, there's a cutaway to Benji and Luther preparing something involving plexiglass. Turns out to be the box they trap Lane in.
  • Casting Gag: Anyone who watches Rev will be amused at the casting of Tom Hollander and Simon McBurney as the Prime Minister and Chief Atlee respectively, given that it's a reversal of their roles in the series (Hollander's character was subordinate to McBurney's in Rev, whereas in Rogue Nation, Atlee answers to the PM).
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • Minor example. The mission in Morocco requires a long, no-scuba dive inside the underwater data bank, so Ilsa has been practicing holding her breath in her swimming pool when Ethan and Benji arrive. Then Ethan does the diving instead while Ilsa supports him because she can't hold her breath long enough. But when Ethan cannot get to the maintenance hatch in time and runs out of air, Ilsa dives in to rescue him and escape through the hatch before he drowns. Minor, because the skill is introduced a mere 15-20 minutes before it is needed, but still an example because it's never flat-out stated why she was training (even though it's easy to deduce).
    • Ilsa's go-to technique of leaping onto an opponent and spinning around his neck (as prominently shown in many trailers and promos) comes in handy during her climactic knife fight.
  • The Chessmaster: No less than three of them are involved in a game against each other:
    • Solomon Lane is the leader of the Syndicate. His mistake is continually manipulating both Ilsa and Ethan, and so when Lane is Out-Gambitted, they immediately team up to defeat him.
    • Atlee is no slouch himself, forcing his agent Ilsa into a Morton's Fork to either keep her invested in a dangerous long term plan taking down the Syndicate slowly and securely or get killed keeping his part in the Syndicate's creation secret. But he's ultimately at fault for the Syndicate's formation and gets taken out by Hunt pretty quickly after Hunt identifies him.
    • And of course, Hunt himself. He tends to use the Kansas City Shuffle, Indy Ploy, and Batman Gambit and while Lane succeeds in manipulating him and Ilsa early on, he successfully removes Atlee with some Latex Perfection to manipulate the Prime Minister into revealing the Syndicate to the CIA, and becomes a Living MacGuffin to enact some karmic justice on Lane while helping Ilsa pull her final Heel–Face Turn.
  • Complexity Addiction: Solomon Lane in spades (and to a lesser extent perhaps, Ilsa Faust and Chief Atlee. He goes to ridiculous lengths to manipulate Ethan Hunt and all of his plans are highly convoluted, though with a reasonable amount of justification. In the end, its this trope that gets him caught- he just had to keep manipulating Ethan and Ilsa which gives the former enough time and reason to come up with a plan of his own to beat him.
  • Consummate Liar: Benji is subject to weekly lie detector tests and flawlessly passes every one while outright lying about Ethan's activities. Justified as Benji is a trained agent who would know not only how to lie convincingly to other people, but how to make himself look fully truthful to a lie detector - which, admittedly, are notorious for their unreliability.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • When Director Hunley starts enumerating the crazy stunts the IMF has pulled that merit shutting it down, he brings up the time they broke into the CIA to steal a list of all its agents, and the time one of their missions resulted in half the Kremlin getting blown up and a nuclear missile knocking off a small chunk from the Transamerica Pyramid's spire.
    • Benji is once again enthused at the prospect of wearing a mask.
    • The Secretary's position is still vacant after the previous secretary was killed in the last movie.
  • Cool Plane: The big matte grey Airbus A-400-M transporter shows that turboprops can be cool too.
  • Crazy-Prepared: The Syndicate wants the Austrian chancellor dead, and they make sure it will happen. They send three snipers to take their shots simultaneously. Hunt is able to avert that by shooting the guy himselfnon-fatally. Unfortunately, he missed the car bomb they planted as a final measure.
  • Cut Apart: During the CIA's hunt for Hunt, shots of him moving around his apartment are intercut with shots of CIA agents sneaking into position. The scene implies that Hunt and his pursuers are separated only by a closed door, before revealing that he was in Paris while they were in a separate building in Havana.
  • Darker and Edgier: After Ghost Protocol went for a less heavy affair, Rogue Nation brings back a grittier and harder style to the film series. Solomon Lane is cold, unflinching, and extremely callous with no regard for any damage he might inflict in his goals, collateral or otherwise. His primary objective is subtle and considerably more dangerous in the long term than an overt threat like a single nuclear weapon. Ethan is absolutely bent on bringing him down with a sense of passion and personal investment not seen since III and this is the first movie in the series that minces no words that his status as a rogue asset is enough to get him killed on sight. This film also shines a harsh light on the status of government agents as disposable assets that only receive backup so long as it serves the purposes of those in charge.
  • Death Faked for You: The Syndicate has been able to operate in secret because its agents are all thought to be deceased, having been culled from other organizations and provided new identities.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Brandt has less screen time and plot importance than the previous film, stuck being a bureaucrat until getting involved in the action in the second half of the film. Conversely, Benji is more prominent, and the central plot doesn't get started until he joins with Ethan. Luther hits a middle ground: he has more screen time than The Cameo in Ghost Protocol, but still considerably less than his appearances in the first three films.
    • While Brandt and Benji had some chances to kick some butt in action scenes in the previous films, Hunt is the only IMF agent involved in any fighting this time round. Of course, he's got Faust at his side, so it's not exclusively him.
  • Disposable Woman: The female IMF agent Lane kills at the beginning of the movie.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Solomon Lane in a nutshell really.
  • Distinction Without a Difference:
    • When Ilsa asks her MI6 boss if he wants her to kill Ethan, he assures her that he doesn't. What he does want her to do is to return to Lane, who almost certainly will order her to kill Ethan, and obey that order to the fullest.
    • When Brandt and Luther are in Morocco chasing Hunt and Benji, Luther tells Brandt, "I said I'd locate them, you've gotta find them." Brandt is understandably confused.
  • The Dragon: Janik "The Bone Doctor" Vinter, who is the most prominent of Lane's henchmen and apparently takes joy in torture.
  • Dwindling Party: The IMF is shut down by the Senate early in the movie, leaving Ethan as the only agent in the field continuing the hunt for The Syndicate. Reversed over the course of the film as Ethan slowly recruits former allies and even persuades CIA Director Hunley to his cause.
  • Engineered Public Confession: When it seems like Brandt has betrayed Ethan's team to the CIA, in reality he's working with him to clear his name and proceed with their objective by luring Atlee, the person behind the creation of The Syndicate, into a meeting with the British Prime Minister and CIA Director Hunley, then uses the truth serum on him and forces him to confess his crimes.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: In this movie's case, it's a motorcycle that bursts into flames upon crashing against the railing.
  • Evil Brit: Solomon Lane and Atlee. The former was a British agent tasked with running The Syndicate before going rogue. The latter conceived it as an attempt to guarantee British interests, and isn't afraid to dispose of agents or do things even the CIA disapproves of.
  • Evil Counterpart: The Syndicate is a criminal version of the heroic IMF: a group of agents at the pinnacle of their game but only serving their own ends, not those of a nation. The reason for this is that the Syndicate is a pet project of the British government that was never supposed to get off the groundnote  but the one charged with creating it went forward anyway and then lost control of the group.
  • Evil Wears Black:
    • Solomon Lane spends much of the movie in black, as does The Bone Doctor. While more of an Anti-Villain, Ilsa also sports black several times in the movie. In fact, pretty much his entire organisation seems to have a black dress code.
    • The motorcycle chase in Morocco sees The Syndicate mooks wear all-black suits with black helmet visors. The Wild Card Ilsa also wears an all-black suit but with a white logo on the back and a clear-visor helmet, reflecting her still-conflicting loyalties, while the heroic Ethan ditches the black suit and helmet altogether.
  • Exact Time to Failure: To facilitate a mission that involves diving into a water cooled server in Morocco, Hunt wears a gadget on his arm showing exactly how much oxygen he has left in his blood. One that somehow has no metal in it, as that's the reason he's down there without air tanks in the first place.
  • Exact Words:
    • Ilsa uses this to justify why she let Hunt escape the first time (Lane wanted him alive and the Bone Doctor would likely have killed him).
    • "This time I won't be in a glass box."
  • Face Palm: In the opening sequence, Benji gets into a verbal argument with Luther, who insists that he wants to help the team while he's all the way in Malaysia. Brandt, who is listening to their bickering, face-palms in response.
  • Facial Dialogue: Used extensively.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Played for laughs. A CIA employee dropping off Benji's mail somehow fails to notice him playing Halo 5: Guardians on three very large monitors despite walking up right behind him. It doesn't inspire much confidence in the intelligence community.
  • Famed In-Story: Ethan's exploits over the decades have made him a Living Legend in the intelligence community, to the point that low-level agents will break cover to Squee about it.
  • Fanservice:
    • Ilsa during her time in the Vienna Opera in a yellow dress which leaves very little to the imagination.
    • Ilsa walking out of the pool in only her (very) little black bikini. A little bit justified because she was in the pool practicing holding her breath underwater, and even her sexy walk as she gets out is justified as more than mere fanservice, she's deliberately trying to make Ethan and Benji think with something other than their brains.
    • Has a Toplessness from the Back scene as she changes to a new outfit in Morocco with a glance of a Sideboob.
    • We also get shirtless Ethan — again — plus Benji and Ethan dressed up nicely for the opera.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Solomon Lane will speak like he has known you his entire life as he is planning on killing thousands.
  • Final Battle: Ethan and Ilsa fighting their way through Syndicate members to get back to the IMF safe house. Ilsa engages in a Knife Fight with Janik while Ethan lures Lane out in the open.
  • Foil: The Syndicate to IMF down to being founded by the government. More specifically, Ilsa to Ethan, with one critical difference; she's got less friends.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Similar to the one in the previous movie, Lane is visible in a Vinyl Offer listening booth when the shop clerk tells Ethan that they're closing, evidently preparing the beginning of his operation.
  • Gambit Pileup: Hooo, boy. Where to begin? Let's just say that almost everyone in this film is being played by someone else one way or another. It's a never-ending Xanatos Speed Chess game from start to finish between Hunley's CIA, Ethan's IMF, Lane's The Syndicate, Atlee and Ilsa's MI6.
  • Gambit Roulette: Solomon Lane captured Ethan Hunt and handed him over to Ilsa Faust knowing full well that she was likely The Mole sent by MI6 to bring him down. He anticipated that she would help Hunt escape and would be forced to do anything he told her to try and win her "trust" back, and he needed this because only Ethan Hunt was able to get the data file he needed. He further knew that neither Faust nor Hunt would go after the data file unless they thought it was information that could bring the Syndicate down, meaning they were doing his dirty work all along. Unfortunately, both Atlee and Hunt play a mean game of this themselves.
  • Giant Mook: Ethan goes in to tackle the assassin at the opera, who turns out to be a giant of a man.
  • Gilligan Cut:
    Hunley: Set your watch, Brandt. Ethan Hunt is living his last day as a free man.
    Title card: Six Months Later
  • Gone Horribly Right:
    • Lane deliberately antagonized Hunt because he knew he could use Hunt's desire for revenge to manipulate him into retrieving the information Lane was after. Problem is, that requires Hunt to be Out-Gambitted, and that's a tall order.
    • The Syndicate, in addition to being a mirror-image of the IMF, was created as a completely unaccountable and secretive network by MI6. Even after going rogue and without the funds to sustain the organization for decades to come, it more than meets Atlee's expectations.
  • Go Through Me: In the final fight, Lane orders Ilsa dead and Ethan brought in alive. Ethan takes advantage of this to use himself as a Human Shield while he and Ilsa fire back.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The last we see of the assassin that Ethan Hunt fights at the opera is him falling from the catwalk towards some spiky bits of the stage dressing.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Chief Atlee of the MI6, who created the Syndicate against the British Prime Minister's wishes and is now trying to cover up his role in its creation after Lane went rogue and took control of the Syndicate to perform terrorist attacks.
  • Guns Do Not Work That Way: When bullets hit something they cannot penetrate, such as bullet-resistant glass, they still have to bounce somewhere or drop on the ground, right? Apparently they just disappear in the climax, as Lane is trapped in the glass box.
  • Hand Sliding Down the Glass: Ethan is trapped in a small room and forced to watch Lane execute an innocent shop girl. Lane then fills the small room where Ethan is trapped with gas, and Ethan drags his hand down the glass as he succumbs.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Ilsa Faust switches sides without warning occasionally throughout the movie in order to keep Lane's trust, and she will do anything she can to maintain her cover, even if it means betraying Ethan's team.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Director Hunley goes from being an antagonist to ally when the existence of The Syndicate is confirmed.
  • Hollywood Hacking: Averted most of the time. The characters are constantly having problems hacking complex systems. Ilsa only manages to hack the water gates for a short time before the engineers discover this and locks down the system, preventing her from hacking further. Even a master hacker like Luther cannot hack the Red Box info ledger that could only be open by the British Prime Minister himself. Luther also played this straight when he looks for Ilsa's location through the CIA's surveillance, something Brandt thought is a difficult job to pull off. He even lampshades this trope:
    Luther: [regarding hacking into the CIA surveillance system] For mere mortals, no. But for me, I could've done this at home.
  • Hope Spot: Ethan saves the Austrian chancellor with a non-fatal gunshot wound just for the latter's car to get blown up on the drive to the hospital.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: Lane abducts Benji and puts him with a time bomb strapped to him at a public place, leaving Ethan and the rest of the team time until midnight to hand him the unlocked disk.
  • Human Shield: At the climax of the film, knowing that Lane needs him alive Ethan makes himself the shield between Lane's men and Ilsa, shielding her while she stands behind him picking them off until they get the room to make a break for it.
  • Imagine Spot: We see just how "well" a penetration of the secure computer facility would go if the gait detector is not hacked.
  • I Meant to Do That: Played for Laughs at the end of the movie. Hunley has to pass off his attempt to close down the IMF as part of an elaborate Gambit Roulette to bring down the Syndicate, when in reality for most of the film he didn't believe The Syndicate even existed.
  • Informed Ability: The Syndicate is supposed to be made of former special agents from various countries. In the movie, however, only a handful can give Ethan and co. 'some' sort of trouble, and the rest drop like flies.
  • Inspector Javert: Hunley is this toward Ethan Hunt, whom he believes to be a rogue agent (which is technically correct) chasing a phantom (which is not correct). He ends his pursuit after learning the truth about the Syndicate.
  • Instrument of Murder: One of the assassins at the opera brings a rifle disguised as a bass flute. Ethan uses it to shoot the chancellor in the shoulder so the other snipers can't hit him.
  • Ironic Echo: "I can neither confirm nor deny any details about any operation without the permission of the Secretary."
  • It's Personal:
    • Deliberately invoked by Lane, who knows that killing the rookie female agent in front of Hunt will make it personal, allowing Lane to manipulate him into doing what he wants as long as it gives him even the slightest chance to take Lane down. Remember that in Mission: Impossible III, Ethan saw both his protege and a woman disguised as his "wife" killed in front of him.
    • Ethan Hunt being forced to witness the young lady IMF agent's murder by Solomon Lane makes his mission to stop The Syndicate personal enough, but it wasn't until Benji is kidnapped that he pulls out all stops and do everything to bring Lane down, up to and including using the truth serum on the British Prime Minister and the head of MI6, potentially risking a war between the United States and United Kingdom.
  • I Am the Noun: Ethan says this to Lane after having destroyed the data before the final battle:
    Lane: Where is the disc?
    Ethan: You're looking at it. I am the disc.
  • I Want Them Alive!: Lane to Hunt at the end, after Hunt turns himself into a Living MacGuffin. Also in reverse, given how they capture him, the first time the Big Bad has been captured instead of killed in this franchise.
  • I Was Never Here: When Ethan calls in and Brandt tells him the IMF can't offer him any support because it's been disbanded and all field agents are being recalled for questioning, Ethan tells him, "We didn't have this conversation. I disappeared in London. You don't know where I am."
  • Internal Deconstruction: This film has characters start openly questioning whether it's a good thing to have a shadowy intelligence agency operate with no domestic oversight or respect for international law, leaving political scandals in their wake and succeeding often by sheer luck. This theme gets carried over into the sequel. While in the reality of the series, Ethan and his team really are the only people who can save the world, it's clear that the filmmakers wanted to at least acknowledge the franchise's potentially troubling political messages.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: When explaining why he wants to shut down the IMF, Director Hunley brings up the massive amounts of collateral damage that their missions cause and the insanely risky gambles Hunt takes to pull off his missions. His mention that their victories seem more like luck than anything else rings close to the truth — consider the fourth film, where Hunt and his team did provide the villain valid launch codes as Hunley points out, the nuke was only disarmed after its control console falling down several stories just happened to fail to break it enough to render it inoperable as the villain intended, and Ethan happened to survive the same fall without sustaining any injury that prevented him from canceling the detonation (say a broken back?) — all of this within seconds of the detonation itself.
  • Just in Time: The bomb strapped to Benji is deactivated less than a fifth of a second before exploding.
  • Kansas City Shuffle: Coupled with Batman Gambit. Hunt utilizes his own reputation to convince Hunley that the best course of action to keep the Prime Minister safe is to keep him in that room, because if they go out there, they believe Hunt is prepared for whichever decision they make. Turns out, he was prepared for the decision to stay put, too.
  • Karmic Death: Lane gets a nonlethal version when he's captured by trapping him in a glass box then pumping it full of the same gas that was used to incapacitate Ethan at the start of the movie to give him a taste of his own medicine.
  • Kick the Dog: Lane is introduced executing the cute Shop Girl in cold blood while Ethan is forced to watch, establishing him as the evil villain.
  • Knife Fight: There's one between Ilsa and the Bone Doctor at the end of the movie.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: In the beginning, Lane executes an IMF agent in front of Ethan's eyes while Ethan passes out from gas. Later, Ethan traps Lane in a bulletproof cell and knocks him out with gas.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler:The entire ending of Ghost Protocol is discussed during the Senate's hearing with Hunley and Brandt at the beginning of the movie, while clips of said ending are replayed on a nearby TV.
  • Latex Perfection:
    • Discussed, but ultimately not used during the computer file heist because while they can get past the facial recognition, fingerprint and retina scanners, the security system includes computer mapping body language to the individual. This is to Benji's disappointment — he so wanted to wear the mask.
    • Used successfully to obtain the PM's biometric and voice data, taking down Atlee in the process.
  • Leg Focus: The camera loves to focus on Ilsa's magnificent legs. Ilsa's shoes are specifically focused on in two separate scenes — the torture scene near the beginning of the film, in which she removes them and Ethan compliments them, and the chase scene atop the Vienna opera house when she asks him to remove them for her. There seems to be no in-story reason for it, aside from this trope.
  • Literal Metaphor: Ethan promises that he will put Lane in a box, as if to imply that Lane will be either in a cell or a coffin when Ethan is finished. In fact, he actually means that he (and his team) will personally trap Lane inside of a box, into which knockout gas is pumped to subdue him for his arrest, just as Hunt had been captured at the start of the film.
  • Living MacGuffin: In the final act of the film, Benji gets kidnapped by The Syndicate, and Lane demands Ethan to hand over the ledger containing financial data that could provide The Syndicate with unlimited funding in exchange for Benji's life. Ethan instead memorizes the data and then destroys it, providing one of the accounts to Lane as proof. Ethan then makes his own offer: release Benji or he'll kill himself, thus destroying the data. Ethan lampshades how improbable it is that he could accurately memorize such a massive amount of information, but knows Lane can't take the risk that Ethan is bluffing.
  • A MacGuffin Full of Money: The ledger that holds 2.4 billion pounds sterling worth of funding for The Syndicate is this for Lane, as it will provide him with the money he needs to keep the Syndicate running for decades. As a neat twist, it turns out that the ledger is digitized and sealed in a liquid-cooled server. At the climax of the movie, Hunt reveals that he's destroyed the only remaining copy of the ledger, and claims that he has memorized all the data, turning him into a Living MacGuffin Full of Money.
  • Meaningful Background Event: When Ethan is having a conversation with a female IMF agent in London music record shop, Solomon Lane can be seen sitting inside a booth in one scene, waiting for his chance to strike.
  • Meaningful Name: Ilsa Faust, who's made a Deal with the Devil.
  • Memetic Badass: In-Universe, Ethan Hunt has been elevated to this. A low-ranking handler in London recognizes him on sight and tells him that she has trouble believing all the stories about him could be true; Hunley thinks that his previous missions relied on dumb luck as much as skill because he has trouble believing anyone could be that good; Benji volunteers him for an insane underwater stunt that very nearly kills him because he honestly believes Ethan is just that badass that it would be no problem for him, and it gets to the point that the villain actually constructed his entire Evil Plan on the premise that only Ethan Hunt has the skills to steal the information he needs (whilst simultaneously knowing that just forcing him to do it probably would not work). It's Played for Laughs that Hunt himself is sort of uneasy with all this attention and expectation.
    Alan Hunley: Hunt is uniquely trained and highly motivated — a specialist without equal — immune to any countermeasures. There is no secret he cannot extract, no security he cannot breach, no person he cannot become. He has most likely anticipated this very conversation and is waiting to strike in whatever direction we move. Sir, Hunt is the living manifestation of destiny — and he has made you his mission. note 
  • Ms. Fanservice: Ilsa, but never to Distracted by the Sexy levels.
  • "Mission: Impossible" Cable Drop: Surprisingly averted in this film. The closest it has is when Ethan and Ilsa use a rope to drop from the roof of the opera house in Vienna, and the almost broken pipe that Ethan used to tie the rope promptly falls down afterwards.
  • The Mole: Ilsa Faust was sent to infiltrate The Syndicate by MI6.
  • Moody Trailer Cover Song: The trailer is set to a darker variant of The Fugees song "Ready or Not".
  • Mouth of Sauron: In the climax, Benji is turned into this for Lane against his will, relaying messages and orders from Lane to Ethan.
  • Musical Nod: This film uses brief snippets of music from the original TV show as cues for when the IMF are working.
  • Musical Trigger: Ilsa tries to use one during the assassination attempt against the Austrian chancellor.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Receiving the mission briefing via record is something that was last seen in the pilot of the original show. The sign/countersign exchange is even a more elaborate version of the one from that episode.
    • "The Syndicate" was the name of a generic organized crime network that the IMF went up against regularly in the original series, starting halfway through the first season and increasing in importance until they became the go-to villain of virtually every episode of the last two seasons.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Janik "The Bone Doctor" Vinter.
  • Nebulous Evil Organization: The Syndicate, a secret evil spy organization that seems to have its hands in assassinations and other criminal enterprises all over the globe.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: An interesting (and probably unintentional) variation. One of the teasers lauded this film as the most critically acclaimed movie of the summer, with 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. However, if Rotten Tomatoes is to be used as the basis for comparison, Rogue Nation is beaten by Inside Out (which scored 98%) and Mad Max: Fury Road (which scored 97%).
  • N.G.O. Superpower: The Syndicate, a multi-national criminal organization that's so powerful it's described as a "Rogue Nation." Subverted, however, in that its actual capabilities are shown to still be limited. In fact, Lane's main goal is to secure the resources necessary for The Syndicate to fund its operations for decades to come, thus becoming this. And if the gambit regarding transferring the funds fail, they will be unleashing a "terrorist superpower."
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: Despite the hints, there is no romance between Ethan and Ilsa, although they do get to share a single goodbye hug at the end.
  • No MacGuffin, No Winner: Invoked by Ethan when he memorizes the disk. Unless Lane agrees to his demands, he'll kill himself (via Ilsa) just to spite Lane, so Lane has to come out of hiding if he wants the data.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Downplayed. Solomon Lane is the only villain in the series that doesn't engage in hand-to-hand combat with Ethan. Nonetheless, he usually makes an effort to be on-site whenever an Evil Plan is being carried out, even if his minions are doing the actual work, just to make sure everything goes according to plan. He is also a decent shot and sometimes carries out murders on his own. In the finale, he chases Ethan down Terminator-style, only to find he was lured into a trap and is captured.
  • The Not-Love Interest: Ilsa Faust fulfills all of the criteria for a sexy, mysterious spy who the hero falls for, except for that last bit. On her part, she gives Ethan a heck of a lot of glowing, tender looks, tells him they can run away together, and gives him a very close hug at the end.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Lane views his actions as bringing about change to the world rather than maintaining the system, though he seems to use this as an excuse to disavow his own responsibility and justify killing innocents.
  • Obstacle Exposition: The briefing for the Morocco mission.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Director Hunley, the head of the CIA, who is looking to shut the IMF down while they're trying to stop the Syndicate. Though he's eventually revealed to be a Reasonable Authority Figure once he learns of the truth.
  • Oddly Small Organization: The Syndicate is revealed to be such, seemingly only having a few dozen operatives at most despite the trailers and most of the movie presenting it as a major global organization. The likely reason is that the group is still operating in its fledgling state and they can't recruit talent and implement operations to the degree they want to without a major capital infusion, which is Solomon Lane's Evil Plan. They're very good but also relatively small, able to have a presence in the underworld but not anywhere near their potential.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Ethan has a couple of moments of this during his fight at the opera house, first when he sees how much larger his opponent is, and again when that opponent No Sells one of his attacks.
    • Ethan affixes a rope to a flagpole at the top of a building to effect his and Ilsa's escape — only to have it groan and shift as soon as any force is applied to it. They don't have much choice though. It anchors their descent... and collapses a few seconds after they stroll away.
    • At one point Ethan is dispatching mooks with a pistol which runs out of ammo, and he gives it an "Oh crap" look.
  • The Oner: Played with during the Morocco mission. Ethan trying to swap the chips is done as three separate single shots. They're not particularly long compared to some examples (the longest one is just over a minute), but they take place in an enclosed space underwater with Ethan very visibly lacking any breathing apparatus. Interestingly, it was done in a single shot during filming and wound up being cut apart during editing.
  • Organization with Unlimited Funding: The fact that The Syndicate appears to be one of this is a plot point. All of Lane's actions in the movie are aimed at securing billions in untraceable accounts to secure The Syndicate's status as one of these for decades to come.
  • This Page Will Self-Destruct: Standard procedure for Mission: Impossible. However, it turns out to be a trap set up by The Syndicate to snag Ethan, and the "smoke" the message spews is actually sleeping gas that knocks him out.
  • Percussive Maintenance: At the opera, Benji thumps the server with his fist every time his computer goes on the fritz. Unfortunately for Ethan, this also messes with the position of the stage lighting, which throws off his attempts to take down the sniper up there.
  • Playing Games at Work: Benji is briefly seen playing Halo 5: Guardians at the CIA and flipping screens when anybody important comes where they could see.
  • Plausible Deniability: A series staple. After confirming Atlee originated the plan for The Syndicate via the Prime Minister, holding both him and Hunley hostage while they get the PM's biometric credentials, and eventually capturing Atlee himself, Ethan and Brandt tell Hunley that HE was the one who protected the PM after Atlee shot him with a sedative (as Ethan was disguised as Atlee, the PM is just disoriented enough to remember that part). Hunley later told a special committee that shutting down the IMF was a gambit because they were worried The Syndicate had infiltrated them, and needed Ethan's role as a disavowed agent to be absolute in order to root out The Syndicate and eventually restore the IMF.
  • Privacy by Distraction: How Hunt gets to the Prime Minister and exposes Atlee. He has Brant pretend to betray the team by telling Hunley they're after the British Prime Minister; Hunley thus walks Brant and Hunt disguised as "Atlee" right into a room with the PM. As a bonus, mentioning the Syndicate to the PM reveals Atlee's role in its creation.
  • Police Are Useless: The only remaining American intelligence agency, the CIA, doesn't even know the Syndicate exists. MI6 knows it exists — because it's their fault.
    Director Hunley: How come the CIA has never discovered any intel regarding this "Syndicate"?
    Brandt: Do you want the polite answer? Or the truth?
  • Product Placement:
    • The military cargo plane in the prologue, rather than having any sort of national markings, has "Airbus A400M" prominently painted on its side.
    • Benji is seen playing Halo 5: Guardians on an Xbox One, with the box being shown on screen to make clear which game is being played. (And since the film came out 3 months before the game's launch, either Ethan is a pirate or MI6 agents get beta access anytime they like.)
    • Characters use products from Nokia, Dell, and Microsoft, and it's quite obvious that all the devices are running Windows 10.
    • Both heroes and villains drive BMWs. Especially noticeable in the Morocco chase sequence where Ethan and an army of mooks scream down a highway on BMW motorcycles. Characters are also seen using BMW's notoriously finicky iDrive system.
    • During the infiltration sequence as Benji begins his entry into the building he looks down at his watch to synchronize his timetable with Ethan's and the Tissot branding on his watch is put center stage.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: "The Marriage of Figaro" by Mozart plays as Benji is playing Halo 5: Guardians.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • Carter from Ghost Protocol isn't even mentioned in passing.
    • Ethan's wife, Julia, makes no appearance in the film after a brief cameo from the previous movie, and Luther takes Jane's place on the team, leaving Ilsa serving as the sole female protagonist of this movie.
  • Rapid-Fire "No!": Ilsa when the water valves of the torus reopen out of her control while Ethan is still in the torus and starts lacking oxygen.
  • Realpolitik: This is what Atlee uses to justify his actions including the creation of The Syndicate, arguing that countries have no friends, just common interests. CIA Director Hunley clearly didn't get the memo upon finding out, considering it incredible that America's British allies would do something like this...and unfortunately for Atlee, they didn't, since the British Prime Minister never approved it, meaning Atlee is out of a job for trying to cover it up.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The British Prime Minister who flat out refused to approve the creation of the Syndicate, and is rather upset to find out Atlee went through with it anyway.
  • Renegade Splinter Faction: It's revealed that The Syndicate was originally established by MI6, but was never given the British Prime Minister's approval.
  • Rewatch Bonus: The meeting with the Prime Minister becomes a lot more interesting when you realize "Atlee" is Ethan in disguise, and Ethan and Brandt are frantically improvising.
  • Running Gag: Brandt's refusal to confirm or deny the details of any IMF operations. During both the IMF's dissolution and reinstatement hearings.
  • Sadistic Choice:
    • Ilsa is stuck walking a tight rope between helping Ethan and obeying Lane's orders, unable to go back to MI6 because her boss has dubbed her a rogue agent to maintain her cover. Either she obeys and commits terrorist acts, or she doesn't and either Lane kills her or she has no safe haven.
    • Lane's final gambit. Benji is kidnapped and turned into a giant claymore mine sat in the middle of a crowded cafe. If Ethan doesn't give up the disk, Benji explodes and takes a lot of innocent people with him. If he does, Ilsa then has to kill Benji and Ethan or Lane will set off the bomb and kill all of them. Ethan beats this by memorizing the disk so Lane cannot kill him without losing the data, and Ethan orders Ilsa to kill him if Lane's goons try to grab him without letting Benji go.
  • Scaramanga Special: Three are used by the Syndicate assassins at the Vienna opera. Ilsa uses one disguised as a false banister hidden beforehand, while the two backups (disguised as a security guard and a member of the orchestra) use guns disguised as a pair of billy clubs and an alto flute, respectfully.
  • Secret Test of Character: All of Lane's actions are essentially this, giving him the information he needs to plot his Batman Gambits.
  • Sequel Hook: Lane is arrested at the end, not killed, thus paving the way for his return in future sequels.
  • Shirtless Scene: Hunt loses his shirt when taken hostage by Syndicate members.
  • Shout-Out: Multiple instances, to previous films in the series as well as to others.
    • Ethan is inexplicably wearing a suit in the Airbus sequence, confirmed by Word of God to have been a nod to North By Northwest and Cary Grant.
    • Blink and you'll miss it, but the mission briefing briefly displays a number of locations of Ethan's previous missions, such as China, Germany and Spain. It also displays some images of Tom Cruise from previous movies in the series.
    • The key to Ethan's cuffs when the Syndicate kidnap him is on a rabbit's foot keychain.
    • The call that Ethan makes to Brandt is very nearly identical to the call that Hunt makes at the beginning of Mission: Impossible; the difference is that now we get to see the other side of that call, whereas in M:I we only got to see Hunt's side.
    • The opera sequence is similar to The Man Who Knew Too Much. The assassin, Ilsa, tries to use a Musical Trigger as a cue for her shot, and Ethan and Benji frantically try to stop it. The target, the Austrian chancellor, survives the attempt with a flesh wound, but sadly, he still gets killed by a car bomb while being evacuated.
    • When Benji and Ethan arrive at Ilsa's compound in Casablanca, Ilsa's first words to them are "And what brings you gentlemen to Casablanca?" This appears to be an in-universe shoutout to Casablanca, where Ingrid Bergman's character says something very similar. It is also very much not a coincidence that Rebecca Ferguson, who has a noticeable resemblance to Ingrid Bergman, is playing a character named Ilsa — just like Bergman's character in the same film.
    • Benji's jacket bomb stops at 00:00:19. The M:I film series is 19 years old as of 2015. (M:I came out in 1996.)
    • Like Skyfall, this movie's subplot includes a bureaucrat who questions the necessity of the team, and in the end becomes its leader.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Jane is absent without explanation from this movie, leaving Ilsa as the only female protagonist.
  • Spanner in the Works: If not for Atlee erasing the contents of the disk when Ilsa tried to deliver it, Lane likely would have won.
  • Soft Glass: Hunt crashes through so many windows in this movie, but the only thing that really fazes him is temporarily drowning.
  • Standard Snippet:
  • The Stoic: Solomon Lane spends almost all of his screen-time speaking in the same monotone voice and showing virtually no emotion whatsoever. Until the climax of the movie, that is.
  • Stop, or I Shoot Myself!: After pulling his Living MacGuffin gambit, Ethan has Ilsa hold a gun to his head so Lane won't just have his mooks grab Ethan then and there.
  • Strapped to a Bomb: Lane straps Benji to a bomb to keep both Ilsa and Hunt in line for the final part of his plan.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • After their shenanigans in the previous films (namely the whole "clipping a building in San Francisco with an ICBM as it crashed into the bay" thing), the IMF is still being investigated, and it is shut down.
    • Ethan runs down a narrow hallway while bad guys try to shoot him, kicking up a bunch of dramatic debris but not stopping him. Then we find he did, in fact, get wounded, though he survives.
    • Benji keeps passing the lie detector tests Hunley frequently gives him to check his loyalties. However, those tests are at best unreliable, and Hunley presumably knows a well-trained person can fool them. Like Benji.
    • During the mission in Morocco, Ilsa hacks the water gates control and reboots it in order to grant Ethan access. The engineers managing the system quickly notice the problem and reverse the whole process before locking it down, preventing Ilsa from hacking it further. As a result of that, Ethan runs out of air before he can get out. If not for Ilsa diving in to save him, Ethan would've died down there for sure.
    • During the Morocco motorcycle chase, a Syndicate mook pulls out a gun, turns to aim at Ethan, and smashes headlong into a car he didn't see coming.
  • The Syndicate: Literally with the Syndicate, a criminal version of America's world-spanning super spy group, the IMF. Defied in that it isn't technically a criminal version, but just a super-covert British version — and it doesn't quite exist yet, as their goal during the movie is to procure the funds to become fully active.
    Prime Minister: It was the hypothetical brainchild of Chief Atlee. Recruit former agents from other nations, supply them with a new identity, and use them to surgically remove our enemies, both at home and abroad. Its operating budget was to be hidden off-shore in a virtual red box which I alone would control. It would have made me judge, jury, and executioner, with zero accountability.
  • Take a Third Option:
    • What does Hunt do when faced with two snipers about to kill the Chancellor and only one bullet? He shoots the Chancellor in the shoulder, which causes him to fall to the ground and makes both snipers miss.
    • Discussed in-universe by Ilsa Faust, after she and Ethan meets and she gives him three choices on how to proceed from the situation he's in right now. First is by turning her and the MacGuffin in to the CIA and hoping that it would be enough to prove the existence of The Syndicate (which is highly unlikely). Second is leaving her to her fate and attempting to take down Lane on his own (also highly unlikely). The third choice? Screw everything and run away together with her, since both of them have outlived their usefulness to their own governments who don't care whether they live or die, and that even if they succeed in pulling everything off, there will always be people like Lane to create further menace and people like them to try and stop it, so nothing really changes. Subverted in a sense in that all of this is a distraction for Ethan while The Syndicate kidnaps Benji. Then double subverted because meeting with Ilsa gives Ethan enough clues to put two and two together and correctly concluded that Ilsa's boss Atlee, the head of MI6, has ties with The Syndicate, presenting him with the very third option he's looking for.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • Director Hunley says to Brandt, "Ethan Hunt is living his last day as a free man." Cut to six months later, Ethan is still at large, and is hiding out in Paris.
    • "Nothing is going to happen to me," says the prime minister of Austria, right before the vehicle is in blows up.
    • Holding your breath for three minutes? "Not impossible," says Benji. Thanks to complications, it is, though Ilsa saves Hunt from drowning.
  • Time-Passage Beard: After Ethan goes on the run, the story skips forward six months, and Ethan has grown an untidy beard.
  • Title Drop:
    • Ethan drops the subtitle of the movie while describing the Syndicate.
      Ethan: The Syndicate is real. A rogue nation, trained to do what we do.
    • IMF also continues to stand for "Impossible Mission Force".
  • Too Clever by Half: Solomon Lane manipulated Ethan from minute one to accomplish Lane's goals for him, but ultimately fails to anticipate that Ethan could turn the tables with the slightest bit of leverage, which Lane's plan gives him as its final stroke.
  • Trailers Always Lie:
    • The "OTHER DOOR!" pre-title gag isn't yelled by Ethan, but by Brandt and Luther after Benji faffs around trying to find the door controls. He also opens the cargo door first which — although annoying — was necessary for Ethan to steal the warheads in the first place.
    • The scene where Benji is found, unmasked, and abducted is actually from an Imagine Spot where the team is visualizing a way the mission will fail if they don't take the proper precautions.
  • Tranquil Fury:
    • Lane at the end, when he is trapped in a bulletproof cell and gassed and all he could do is shoot the glass in anger before passing out.
    • The British Prime Minister, having had enough of Atlee's efforts to cover his own ass regarding the Syndicate, in a tone of calm anger tells Atlee to "save it for the public enquiry".
  • True Companions: Following the opera sequence, Ethan tries to make Benji leave, but Benji refuses to abandon him, vowing to help him no matter what. Later, when getting called by Brandt to find Ethan, Luther makes it explicit that his loyalties lie with Ethan himself, not IMF. And even Brandt turns out to be this as well. Similar to the previous film, Brandt is against Ethan's increasingly risky plans. He even decides to call the CIA after seeing that Ethan is taking things too far, all done out of concern for his friend. And even then, it is revealed that he is with Ethan all along in his plan to clear his name so he can be free to continue his mission, also done out of concern for their mutual friend Benji, who got kidnapped by The Syndicate.
  • Trust Password: Ethan goes through a rather elaborate sign/countersign exchange with the agent on station to receive his recorded briefing.
  • Twitchy Eye: Lane gains this facial tick during the climax.
  • Undying Loyalty: Between Hunt and his team, but particularly Benji.
  • Unflinching Walk: Subverted as Ilsa and Ethan attempt to walk away after a bit of improvised Fast-Roping, but freeze when the flagpole they descended from immediately crashes behind them.
  • Unfolding Plan Montage: Subverted. Ethan, Benji, and Ilsa talk about how to break into the Secure Computer Facility. Benji suggests face-masks (showing how the steps might play out), but Ilsa tears that down by pointing out the extra levels of encryption. Cue Montage!Benji getting shot by the security system and de-masked.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Palpable between Ethan and Ilsa from, quite literally, the very first words they speak to each other, though nothing beyond some serious Ship Tease happens in this movie.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Lane suffers it hard when Ethan traps him in a bulletproof cell and Benji starts gassing him with Lane shooting desperately and frantically before passing out.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Atlee is revealed to be this, conceiving The Syndicate as a way of securing British interests even if it means going against the wishes of his own countrymen, including the Prime Minister.
  • Wham Line:
    • Within the first few minutes of the movie, during Ethan's briefing in the record shop:
      Recorded Voice: Good evening, Mr. Hunt. The weapons you recovered in Belarus were confirmed to be VX nerve gas, capable of devastating a major city. The bodies of the air crew were found less than 24 hours after they landed in Damascus. They were identified as low level Chechen separatist, with neither the access nor the ability to acquire the weapons they were transporting. This would support your suspicion that a shadow organization is committed to inciting revolution by enabling acts of terror in nations friendly to Western interests. IMF suspects this to be the same shadow organization you have been tracking for the last year also known as the Syndicate. IMF would be right. Normally, you and your team would be tasked with infiltrating and disrupting this terrorist network, but we have taken steps to ensure that this will not happen. Because we are the Syndicate, Mr. Hunt, and now we know who you are. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to face your fate. Pursue us, you'll be caught. Resist us, you'll be killed. And your precious Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions. Good luck, Mr. Hunt. This message will self-destruct in 5 seconds.
    • The PM also drops one in London:
      Prime Minister: He couldn't possibly be talking about that Syndicate, could he, Atlee? Because you assured me that, that Syndicate was merely an exercise.
  • What Did You Expect When You Named It ____?: We eventually learn that the Syndicate was created by the British government. The Prime Minister tried to veto the project when he noticed it was named the Syndicate.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Weaponized by Ilsa during the motorcycle chase scene. She knows Ethan wouldn't want to hurt her, even if she's working against him. So when she goes around a tight curve, she quickly gets off her bike and stands in the middle of the road. Ethan, coming around the same curve, has only a split-second to avoid hitting her. He veers off and wipes out, destroying his bike and allowing her to get back on her bike and drive off.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Ethan pretends to be injured in order to lure Lane into a trap in the climax. Lane can't just kill Ethan because the latter possesses information he needs, making this easier to pull off.

Ready or not, here I come...


Video Example(s):


MI Rogue Nation [Ethan's Sniper Dilemma]

Scene from the 2015 film, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. The IMF find out about a plot to kill the Austrian Chancellor by the Syndicate and goes in covertly to stop the asssination. He manages to stop one of the snipers looking to kill him but two more likewise line up their shots. With only one bullet to use in the dispatched assassin's makeshift sniper rifle and no way to stop the two at the same time, Ethan opts for another choice.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / TakeAThirdOption

Media sources: