Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation

Question: When Ilsa presents Ethan with his supposed 3 options, she says she's proof the Syndicate exists, but I'm not sure how exactly. She also says the CIA wouldn't believe them right afterwards. They all assume at this point the disc is a ledger though, so why wouldn't that definitively prove the Syndicate is real? I know of course that since it's encrypted they can't open it, but Ilsa doesn't know that! I don't see how she could come to the conclusion that the CIA won't believe them.

Question: What exactly were Atlee's intentions with Ilsa? Why did he originally send her to infiltrate the Syndicate and why did he send her back later in the movie? If all he wants to do is keep the Syndicate hidden, what does he hope to accomplish with Ilsa as his woman on the inside? Does he actually know what is on the flashdrive she brings him, or does he also think it's a ledger? It makes sense for him to want to delete it in both cases, so I'm confused trying to figure out which it is. Either way, does Atlee send her back to get killed? Hunt later says he wanted to "frame" her, but I don't understand how.

Answer: When Lane took the Syndicate rogue, Atlee no longer had any control or oversight into the group, so he sent Ilsa Faust to infiltrate them and report to him what Lane was doing. The CIA and IMF already knew about the Syndicate so it was no longer hidden, and Atlee just needed to cover up his role in its creation. As Faust was already undercover there, he could also frame her for any connection to MI6 that might be revealed, particularly if she was killed and could no longer incriminate him.

Sierra1 Premium member

Question: How does the contact lens that Lane uses on his henchman (at the opera in Vienna) and Benji work? He seems to be able to see what they see (via his phone and laptop), and in the case of Benji, use it to communicate with Ethan verbally.

Heather Benton Premium member

Chosen answer: It's a highly-miniaturized camera and transmitter. The lens cam only transmits video - the verbal communication is via an earpiece with a microphone Benji is also wearing. There is no speaker, Benji hears what Lane is saying on the earpiece and says it to Ethan.

Sierra1 Premium member

Question: Why is it not possible to breach the security at the storage facility and use the robotic arm to swap the cards? It is an option never discussed.

Answer: This plan is not discussed because they may not have had the hacking skills to take control of the robotic arm. Regardless of whether or not they did, it would not have been the best idea as they are supposed to be infiltrating the facility in complete secrecy. The plan of Ethan holding his breath underwater and manually planting the cards into the system is a lengthier plan, but is less likely to result in them being caught.

Casual Person

Answer: Because no metal was allowed in the system.

Question: Why does Benji have to enter the facility at the same time Ethan is switching the security profile? It's more dramatic that way, but couldn't Benji have waited to enter until after he knew the profiles were switched?

Answer: He most likely could have waited, but as you pointed out, it's more dramatic that way. This is a movie and the action is choreographed for maximum dramatic and visual effect, timing, tension, continuity, audience attention, and character interaction. We're not supposed to overthink it.

raywest Premium member

Question: The record shop girl gives Ethan a record. Where does it come from? The way her arm moves it's like she receives it from someone at her right.

Answer: She gets it from under the counter. It's hard to see the way the shot is framed, but you can just see her arm movements as she reaches under the counter, slides the record out, then rotates her arm (out of frame) to hand the record to Ethan.

Sierra1 Premium member

Question: How long has it been since the last movie? It is said in the fake mission briefing in the beginning that Ethan has been tracking the Syndicate for "the past year", a mission he received at the end of the last movie. Yet I've also heard that the movies are set in the years they come out (2011, 2015, etc) In either case I find it hard to believe that the IMF has not received a new secretary yet if it has been well over a year since the last one died. At the end of Ghost Protocol the IMF is already up and running again. Why haven't they appointed a new head? And who is giving orders/missions in the absence of one? Who gave Hunt the mission to investigate the Syndicate at the end of GP for example?

Answer: The M:I films seem very careful not to show any specific dates (covering up Benji's opera tickets for example). The only thing I could see in this film was the newspaper Atlee has when he meets Ilsa was an actual Evening Standard issue from 16 June 2014. Regarding the IMF Secretary, there could have been one or more appointed since Ghost Protocol, we don't know, there just isn't one at the time of the hearing. Even if there hadn't been one since the Secretary died in Moscow, IMF would have had enough of a command structure to have acting or deputy directors assigning missions.

Sierra1 Premium member

Question: How did Ethan figure out Atlee's true intentions? He only just learned his name a bit earlier and now he's impersonating him and know exactly how to play him, that he's trying to hide the Syndicate, that he created it, that the PM knows it too. How did he learn all this?

Answer: Atlee was the director general of MI6, so he would have been fairly well known, particularly within the intelligence community. Ethan only impersonated Atlee to get close to the Prime Minister and unlock the red box, and he didn't know Atlee had created the Syndicate until the PM said so. Once he found out, he just went along with it until the real Atlee showed up.

Sierra1 Premium member

Question: Did Lane intend for Ilsa to enlist Ethan's help all along? What does he want with Ethan, why does he tolerate him still being alive, why didn't he kill him in the beginning?

Answer: Lane is an expert in manipulating people, and he is using Hunt's skills to get what he wants. As he says at the end, whether Isla killed Hunt (and therefore became further embedded within The Syndicate) or let him go, sooner or later he would have got what he wanted. If Ilsa became loyal to Lane she would have worked to get the red box for Lane. If she helped Hunt, she would work with him to stop Lane getting the red box. Either way, the red box is extracted from the vault.

Question: How does MI6 put pressure on Ilsa? Why is she without citizenship and why can't she defy Atlee?

Answer: Ilsa went undercover within The Syndicate. As part of the cover, she was disavowed (effectively being branded a rogue agent and a traitor). If she attempts to leave The Syndicate she would have nowhere to go, as she would be considered a criminal. She could choose to stop, but would spend the rest of her life on the run, being in more or less the same situation as Ethan Hunt is during this film.

Revealing mistake: When Benji imagines putting on a mask of an agent he plans to impersonate, when the camera pans around to first show the mirror, the mirror Benji's hands are further up on his face than the reflection, and the mirror Benji's hands move down his face slightly before the reflection starts to move them. Also, the mole that Ethan has on his left cheek isn't reversed in the mirror image. The "mirror" was actually a hole in the wall between two identical sets (one mirrored), with Simon Pegg and a Tom Cruise double in the foreground, and the mask actor and Tom Cruise in the background "mirror" set. (00:57:20)


More mistakes in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation

Ethan Hunt: The Syndicate is real. A rogue nation, trained to do what we do.
Benji Dunn: An anti-IMF.

More quotes from Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
More trivia for Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation

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