Everyone has been “ooh-ing and “aah”-ing the new trailer for Chris McQuarrie‘s Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation (Paramount, 7.31). I’m not immune to the excitement but there’s a slight blemish on the franchise. I’m referring to the fact that right now the Tom Cruise brand is undergoing yet another denigration due to Alex Gibney‘s Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief. Relatively few have seen Gibney’s doc (it pops on HBO on 3.29) but I have, and I’m telling you once again, as I wrote in my Sundance review, that Cruise comes off as a “coddled loon” and an enabler of a decidedly venal organization.

In this light (and I really don’t see how anyone can argue that this “light” doesn’t exist) it’s hard to relax with Cruise in this M:I5 context as the brave and daring Ethan. It’s a stone fact that Cruise is a seriously tainted guy off-screen — a possibly oblivious benefactor who’s supported and promoted a gang of vicious hombres who behave like a kind of evil “syndicate” while Cruise looks the other way. Watch Gibney’s film and tell me you don’t care at all, that the disparity between Cruise’s on-screen superhero and the unsavory real-life propagandist he’s more or less become in actuality doesn’t bother you in the least.

Boilerplate: IMF agent Ethan Hunt is tracked down by The Syndicate, a highly trained organization of rogue assassins that kill on order. With the help of his colleagues, he plans to bring The Syndicate down by any means necessary.

Shot in Austria, Morocco, Monte Carlo and London. I love the slight bags under Cruise’s eyes…seriously. I’m more than somewhat intrigued by Rebecca Ferguson, the 32 year-old, free-spirited Swedish actress who plays the female lead. Simon Pegg looks a bit younger here than he does in Man Up, probably because of the horn-rimmed glasses and the fact that his hair has been given a somewhat darker shade.