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  • Anti-Climax Boss: Unlike the other villains in the Mission: Impossible series, Solomon Lane goes down with very little effort. Ethan simply lures him into a trap and later gasses and arrests him. The Blu-Ray/digital bonus features explain that when Cruise and McQuarrie discussed having Ethan kill Solomon Lane, they realized it wouldn't fit with the rest of the movie.
  • Awesome Music:
    • The trailer rendition of Ready or Not is suitably menacing in atmosphere.
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    • The usage of "Nessum Dorma" as Ilsa's theme throughout the whole movie.
  • Complete Monster: Soloman Lane. See the main series page for details.
  • Crazy Awesome: Ethan spends a large portion of the film being utterly batshit in the name of the mission. Plane taking off with chemical weapons? He climbs onto the plane and hangs on in mid-flight until he can enter. Computer databanks protected by an enclosed water tank? He holds his breath for several minutes to break into them. Mooks getting away on motorcycles? He climbs into a car and chases them moments after near-drowning. Benji held captive by Lane unless Ethan hands over the ledger? He gloats that he memorized all the account numbers in the ledger and destroyed it, forcing Lane to keep him alive after freeing Benji.
  • Even Better Sequel: Both audiences and professional critics seem to consider this the best film of the franchise to date, topping the already-acclaimed Ghost Protocol in glowing reception.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
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    • The mention of a civilian jet going down in Indonesian territorial waters is eerily similar to Air Asia 8501, which went down in 2014.
    • The fire at the chemical facility in the Philippines is an eerie reminder of the factory fire that took place in Valenzuela in May 2015, a month before the movie debuted.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Sean Harris said that he "wasn't a big franchise actor" and asked to be killed off at the end. By the time the production was done, not only was he captured alive, but ended up returning in the sequel as Ethan's Arch-Enemy. And he survives that one too!
  • Ho Yay: Between Ethan and Benji, big time. The scene after the opera plays out like one half of a couple asking the other not to push them away, tears and all, and, at the end, Benji is the one the Big Bad kidnaps to force Ethan's hand. Benji plays out more Love Interest tropes than Ilsa. Seriously, just picture an actress playing Benji's parts rather than Simon Pegg.
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  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: The trailers end with Ethan clinging to the side of a military plane as it's taking off. And no, that's not simply really good CGI work — that's Tom Cruise clinging to the side of a real-life military plane during takeoff.note  Even more impressive? That wasn't a climactic scene, it was at the beginning of the film.
  • Idiot Plot:
    • If Atlee knows where all the money is, he could easily have taken steps to make sure Lane never gets his hands on it simply by arranging transfers to other accounts that are not on the data file or just emptying the coffers one way or another (and if he didn't, he threw that chance away by deleting the file), especially since The Syndicate had been active for years before the story began.
      • If he doesn't know where the money is, Atlee can't get into the red box to find out without the Prime Minister twigging to the existence of the secret murder club he expressly forbid Atlee from starting, so the only other thing he can do is delete the data to protect the PM from getting snatched by the Syndicate. In addition, Ilsa told him that what she had was a ledger, of all Lane's operative, terrorist and politician contacts. Atlee's not going to risk bringing that home to MI6 at all, let alone to read, because it might implicate him in the Syndicate's creation. The only real dumb thing Atlee did was to code the red box to the Prime Minister's voice, retinal scan and handprint, despite knowing that he had not approved the Syndicate's existence; one can only imagine that Atlee was dreaming of the day he could show the Prime Minister just how successful the Syndicate had become, and have the satisfaction of having changed the Prime Minister's mind.
    • If Lane is willing and able to outwit and destroy an entire covert intelligence unit, assassinate world leaders and carry out numerous terrorist attacks and high-level crimes without anyone even knowing for sure that his organization exists, he should easily be able to find alternate means of financing his scheme by fair means or foul, apart from the data file (one also questions the wisdom of giving an illegal covert operation the budget of a small country to begin with, Mr Atlee; such operations are almost never that expensive, even granting the scope of his ambition). Lane should have taken the 50 million pounds that Hunt transferred him and promptly done a Houdini; he could have invested that and used it to fund future Syndicate operations.
  • Money-Making Shot: Ethan hanging onto the plane as it takes off. The over-the-top stunt done with (mostly) practical effects was heavily featured in the advertising, and for good reason.
  • Narm: Ethan's utter confusion when Ilsa first reveals her double agent status is a bit silly, given how the concept of being undercover should be old hat to an experienced secret agent like him.
  • Strawman Has a Point: The audience is supposed to disagree with the committee chairman who shuts down IMF, calling them reckless - except this comes immediately after a field mission that clearly was reckless. Mission Control had no idea Luther was involved in the op, and no one had any idea where Ethan was, so it was poorly planned even before the hacking fails.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: As usual with Mission Impossible characters who aren't played by Tom Cruise, Jane ended up not making an appearance despite coming off from the incredibly successful Ghost Protocol. Jane, as well as Zhen from Mission: Impossible III, were slated to return for this film, but both actresses were unavailable during filming.

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