The programme has commenced with a huge array of A listers arriving as the BAFTA’s gain in recognition so there is time for more cat up of films with Mission Impossible III viewed on TV again during the past month with Tom Cruise
Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) has retired from active field work for the Impossible Missions Force (IMF) and instead trains new recruits while settling down with his fiancée Julia Meade (Michelle Monaghan), a nurse at a local hospital who is unaware of Ethan's past. Ethan is approached by fellow IMF agent John Musgrave (Billy Crudup) about a mission for him: rescue one of Ethan's protégés, Lindsey Farris (Keri Russell), who was captured while investigating arms dealer Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Musgrave has already prepared a team for Ethan, consisting of Declan Gormley (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), Zhen Lei (Maggie Q), and his old partner Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames), in Berlin, Germany.
The team raids the warehouse where Lindsey is kept and collects two computer laptops during their escape. As they flee on a helicopter, Ethan discovers a micro-explosive implanted in Lindsey's head. Before Ethan can use a defibrillator to disable the device, it kills her. Ethan and Musgrave are reprimanded by IMF director Theodore Brassel (Laurence Fishburne). Ethan learns that Lindsey mailed him a postcard before her capture, and discovers a magnetic microdot under the stamp.
IMF technician Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) recovers enough from the damaged laptops to determine that Davian will be in Vatican City to obtain a mysterious object called the "Rabbit's Foot". Ethan plans the mission to capture Davian without seeking Brassel's or Musgrave's approval. Before leaving, he and Julia have an impromptu wedding at the hospital's chapel. The team successfully infiltrates Vatican City and captures Davian.
On the flight back to the United States, Davian threatens to kill Ethan and his loved ones. Ethan then threatens to drop Davian out of the plane (during which Davian overhears Luther calling Ethan by his first name). After landing, Ethan learns that the microdot contains a video of Lindsey warning that she believes Brassel is working with Davian. Then the convoy taking Davian across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel is suddenly attacked, and Davian escapes. Ethan worries for Julia's safety and races to the hospital, arriving to find that she already has been taken. Davian calls Ethan to give him 48 hours to recover the Rabbit's Foot for Julia's life, but then Ethan is captured by IMF for his rogue actions.
Musgrave takes part in Ethan's interrogation, but discreetly mouths instructions for Ethan to lip-read about Shanghai, China where the Rabbit's Foot is located, and provides him with the means to escape IMF. Ethan and his team raid the building where the Rabbit's Foot is secured, and inform Davian that they have the Rabbit's Foot. Ethan goes to deliver the Rabbit's Foot alone, and is forced to take a tranquilizer. While he is sedated, a micro-explosive is implanted in his head. Ethan awakens to find Davian apparently holding Julia at gunpoint (the full scene opens the movie). Despite Ethan asserting that he brought the real Rabbit's Foot, Davian apparently kills Julia and leaves.
Musgrave then arrives and explains to Ethan that the woman killed by Davian was not the real Julia, but Davian's head of security (Bahar Soomekh) in a mask — the execution carried out for failing to protect Davian in Vatican City, and the mask was used in order to force Ethan to confirm the authenticity of the Rabbit's Foot — and that the real Julia is alive. Musgrave reveals himself as the mole, having arranged for Davian to acquire the Rabbit's Foot to sell to terrorist groups, after which IMF would have reason to launch a preemptive strike. Musgrave then asks Ethan about the microdot Lindsey sent. Musgrave dials his phone for Ethan to hear Julia's voice. Ethan then bites on Musgrave's hand and knocks him unconscious, ultimately freeing himself and stealing Musgrave's phone, using it to track down the location of Musgrave's last call. Ethan finds Davian there and pushes him into the path of a truck, but not before Davian triggers the micro-explosive. Freeing Julia, he instructs her to electrocute him in order to deactivate the explosive, and then revive him. He also instructs her in using a gun for her protection. While attempting to revive Ethan, Julia shoots and kills Musgrave. Julia successfully revives Ethan, and he explains his true IMF career to her as they leave.
Brassel congratulates Ethan as he leaves for his honeymoon with Julia. Ethan is unsure if he will return to the IMF. Brassel promises that he will tell Ethan what the Rabbit's Foot is if Ethan will promise to return. Ethan smiles and walks off with Julia.