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Plot Details: This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

“When all men doubt you”—Kipling

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015) on IMDb

Plot Overview

“Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” opens on undercover field agent Benji (Simon Pegg) spotting (“Benji, do you copy?”) an Airbus A400M military cargo plane on the tarmac in Minsk, Belarus. Benji has desperately gone from Plan B to Plan C under pressure from his handler (“The package cannot leave with the plane”), “hacking into a Russian satellite.” As Cyrillic text scrolls by on his laptop, and the plane becomes airborne, agent Ethan Hunt's (Tom Cruise) voice calls from the plane, breaking in through Benji's ear­piece, asking him, “Can you open the door?” Benji wonders how he got in the plane, but, no, he's not in it but on it, holding on for dear life in one heluva cliff­hanger. Thunk, thunk, some­thing gives, and with their iconic music we are launched into the story. They are out to stop a pallet of VX-nerve gas missiles from being transported to Syria. The pilot and crew are a band of Chechen separatist fighters lacking the where­withal to acquire such arms, so Ethan speculates that a larger sinister organization is behind them.

In London, England, Ethan is personally confronted by Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) leader of a “shadowy organization called the Syndicate”, brushed by a turned MI6 agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) out to make her bones with the Syndicate by killing him, and prepped for torture by several Syndicate hench­men. In Washington, D.C. an over­sight committee debates if, “the Syndicate is real,” decides it isn't, and pulls the plug on the Impossible Mission Force (IMF) (“The committee has shut us down.”) Six months later evading a CIA hit squad, Ethan now disavowed by his country (“He's gone rogue”) stumbles onto a scheme by the Syndicate to assassinate the Chancellor of Austria. He attempts to thwart it, and winds up pursued by the Polizei, as well as by every­body else. Eventually, reunited with his former IMF colleagues Benji, Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames), and William Brandt (Jeremy Renner), and with an uneasy truce with Ilsa, they must prevail on the British Prime Minister (Tom Hollander) to unlock a virtual safe deposit “red box” using his pass­word from Rudyard Kipling's (1865–1936) poem “If——”

If you can keep your head when all about you
   Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

That's a big IF for our IMF man.


The crux of the plot occurs when Benji must infiltrate a secure location to filch the red box containing info substantiating the Syndicate's existence, thus exonerating Ethan. How­ever, he will be unable to defeat the last security measure, the gait analysis; that Ethan must do for him from a remote location, switching the digital profile of the one attempting access, while holding his breath for three minutes in an under­water chamber. Of course, some­thing goes wrong and Ilsa must effect an under­water rescue of Ethan (if she can.) Then because of Ilsa's multiple conflicting loyalties (“She's bad news”), they can't trust her not to take the red box to her other master(s), so Benji would be wise to make a dupe. This circular scratching of each other's backs can be represented by Paul's saying, (Eph. 5:21) “Submit­ting your­selves one to another in the fear of God,” which is actually the terminating clause of a series of conjoined state­ments about (Christian) body life, which reading out loud as they did in the old days—cf. Prayer of St. Basil, “enlighten my mind's eye and open my mouth to study Thy words”—would cause one to have to stop and catch his breath before proceeding to the next verse starting the section on family life. Today when the custom is to read silently, the New Cambridge Paragraph Bible simply breaks for a new paragraph after verse 21.

That's talking about the reliable King James Version (KJV). Enter modern Bible trans­lation. As Prof. Neil Light­foot, Ph.D. writes, “The main revisions of the illustrious King James Version are the American Standard, the Revised Standard, and the New Revised Standard Versions. Each of these trans­lations has its faults, but each also has its great advantages. Other trans­lations have made their appearance, including the well-accepted New International Version” (207). Their trend in the above mentioned section was first to break Paul's long continuous thought into separate sentences—with their own subjects & verbs—allowing for the reduced attention span of modern readers. Then the NIV takes the ending clause (Eph. 5:21) now its own sentence and makes it into a para­graph unto itself stuck between the two subjects of body life and family life so one cannot tell to which it belongs. The NRSV goes one step further and sticks Ephesians 5:21 under the succeeding subheading of Family Life producing an enjambment from the earlier section when one wants to read on.

In the KJV, a wife's obedience to her husband is enjoined by the next verse, (Eph. 5:22) “Wives, submit your­selves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” My Criswell Study Bible lists the Greek term for submit (verse 22) as “hupotassō a military term which means ‘to place under’ or ‘to subordinate’.” The modern versions give that the runaround. It starts with the general mutual submission of the earlier section, then in practice later verses will be brought to bear about a husband loving his wife. So the wife's military style submission has been supplanted by a general group cooperation, with her husband leaning over back­wards to accommodate her. That makes her submission very easy because it doesn't count for much, contrary to the parallel teaching of, (1Peter 3:1) “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;”—here conversation means manner of life—where the wife is obligated to set an example of submission to her husband especially if he isn't so much submitted to the Lord.

In practice what's likely to occur is the liberated wife will behave according to how she perceives the general body of men would like to be accom­modated, leading to animus if she considers her own husband a loser. The particulars where any given husband will have particular points he feels (allowably) strongly about will be disregarded by her in favor of group­think. This is allegorical to our “Rogue Nation” movie where Lane considers him­self not a terrorist because, “My method is far more surgical.” He finances arms to insurgent groups increasing general world tensions, and now he's running assas­sinations of targeted world leaders. The Syndicate has recruited thousands of spies from other agencies, officially missing or supposedly deceased good-guys. The wives are taking their (implied) cues from the general body of (good) men.

The problem is largely ignored, but if these modern versions blow it on the home front, how are we to trust them running the church? (1Tim. 3:5) “For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?” Having the goods, Ethan's got three options that Ilsa points out to him: He can turn it over to the CIA and let them take care of it—Right! Or he can set a trap for the Syndicate and likely be trapped him­self. Or he can run away with Ilsa and forget about it. This last is tempting as he had a wife in “Mission Impossible III.” It raises some eye­brows from the rest of his team, though, because he's got general obligations. What those "good" agents did is “tanta­mount to treason.” Even though Ethan was him­self loyal, to sweep those deeds under the rug would make him guilty of misprision of treason.

Similarly, what can I do now that I've got the goods on these modern versions? Turn it over to the elders of my church and let them worry about it? But they're like the fox guarding the hen­house, in most cases using these discredited versions them­selves. Or can I debate them verse by verse in Bible studies? But I'm already regarded as too picky, and I'm sure I'm missing stuff even then. Or I could just marry a woman who sees it the way I do and forget about the rest.

That brings up another problem, “the famous uncial the Sinaitic Manuscript … Found by Constantin Tischendorf, … being made a gift to the [Russian] Czar amidst controversy” (Lightfoot 205). Tischendorf, discovering the ms. while a guest at St. Catherine's Monastery, and having permission to borrow it, treason­ably forged the Abbot's signature on an agreement to exchange it for filthy lucre and unwanted honors. To ignore this in using the modern RSV and virtually all versions since then—perhaps excepting the NKJV—is again to commit misprision of treason. And there's how God feels about it in, (Psalm 50:16-18) “But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? Seeing thou hatest instruction, and casteth my words behind thee. When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him.”

What I do is strengthen my position along the lines of, (1John 2:27) “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” Ethan probably has his own methods. There's also what Catholic visionary Maria Valtorta records of a certain conver­sation of Jesus with Lazarus (584. The Sabbath before the Entry into Jerusalem. The Supper at Bethany.):

Lazarus: “My worry is that everything may be lost or adulterated, partly through inability, partly through ill-will. …”

Jesus: “That will not happen. When the Spirit of the Lord is settled in hearts, it will repeat My words and explain their meaning. It is the Spirit of God Who speaks through the lips of the Christ. Then … Then It will speak to the spirits directly and will recall My words. … I am not afraid, as you are, that anything of what I have given may be lost. On the contrary, I solemnly tell you that beams of light will be cast on My words and you will see their spirit. I am going away serenely because I am entrusting My doctrine to the Holy Spirit and My spirit to My Father.” (189–90)

This is a big controversy (see White and Marsh), but here I'm content to write this review on “Mission Impossible” showing how the Spirit inspired an allegory in it.

Production Values

This (2015) movie “” was written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie. It stars Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, and Jeremy Renner. Cruise the action man performs his own perilous stunts, hair-raising and acrobatic. Swedish actress Ferguson is an especially strong female character, with an athletic beauty and a sexy, enigmatic air of mystery about her. Her chemistry with Cruise veritably sizzles. I liked her as the doubled agent. Simon Pegg adds timely comic relief. Solomon (Sean Harris) with his odd face and quiet demeanor is a truly menacing villain. The supporting cast including Jeremy Renner & Alec Baldwin all get their moments in the sun. All the performances were great.

MPAA rated this “Mission Impossible” PG–13 for sequences of action and violence, and brief partial nudity. It blended practical stunt work with minimal CGI to look realistic. The complex action sequences came off with­out a hitch. Astute cinema­tog­raphy, deft editing, and a driving musical score combined to satisfy even the demanding film buff. The sound track is courtesy Joe Kraemer who outdid himself. Humor was sprinkled in as well, and the set pieces cemented its excellence.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

The story is easy to follow. The scenes are gripping. The chase sequences are tense. The special effects and stunts are well executed. It's a great, enjoyable, action spy thriller. I highly recommend it. (The DVD” is est. to be out in Nov., 2015.)

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat action-packed. Suitability for Children: Suitable for children 13+ years. Special effects: Absolutely amazing special effects. Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall product rating: Four and a half stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture is taken from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software, Print.

The Criswell Study Bible. Authorized King James Version. Nashville | Camden: Thomas Nelson Pub., 1979. Print.

Lightfoot, Neil R.. How We Got the Bible. New York: MJF Books, 2003. Print.

Valtorta, Maria. The Gospel as Revealed to Me. Vol. 5. Translated from Italian by Nicandro Picozzi, M.A., D.D.  Revised by Patrick McLaughlin, M.A. This 2nd English Edition has now replaced the First English Edition, The Poem of the Man-God. WEB.