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Why the nostalgia of “Mission: Impossible” works so well

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Summer movies seem to depend a lot these days on good will and fond memories of the past. Sometimes, as in the case of this weekend’s Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation it works. Sometimes, also showcased this weekend with “Vacation,” it doesn’t.

So what makes one movie succeed while the other fails when they are both using the same formulas? Here’s what worked for MI: 5:

Consistency:

All five Mission: Impossible movies have managed to put together the perfect combination of a winning storytelling formula and a cast that continues to appeal and entertain with their witty banter and chemistry. Also having a different director for each film ensures that every chapter of the story is told in a different and new way.

Timing:

There is no good formula for how much time should pass between movies. A perfect example from this summer is Mad Max: Fury Road, which came out 30 years after the last movie and did exceptionally well while other summer sequels, “Magic Mike” and “Ted,” both of which had much less time between films, underwhelmed. Either way, “Mission: Impossible” has managed to make that unknown formula work for it with the last movie coming out 4 years ago.

Star Power:

Whatever your personal feelings are about Tom Cruise, you can’t deny that people love his movies. And they love this franchise in particular. With a supporting cast of Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames, the cast has a comfortable and exciting chemistry with each other that keeps bringing viewers back.

Stunt Work and IMAX:

Also well known for doing his own stunts, the jaw-dropping scenes in "Rogue Nation," particularly those involving Tom Cruise hanging off the side of a plane as it takes off are also a major draw. Those scenes being shot in IMAX and the surcharges that come along with it also probably didn't hurt the film's overall box office this weekend.