With Mission: Impossible — Fallout arriving in theaters today, I decided this week to rewatch all of the M:I movies to prepare myself for what looks to be the best in the series.
I figured it would be a fun experiment to rank them while I was at it.
5) Mission: Impossible III
The third movie in the series starts strongly, with a menacing Owen Davian (played perfectly by Philip Seymour Hoffman) threatening hero Ethan Hunt with a life or death situation. It's all downhill from there. Director J.J. Abrams and co-editors Mary Jo Markey and Maryann Brandon combine for some disorienting, epileptic action photography, and a talented supporting cast is wasted in meager roles. A few amusing heist scenes and an energetic turn by star Tom Cruise aren't enough to buoy what is ultimately a pedestrian, surprisingly bland popcorn movie.
4) Mission: Impossible
There's a great movie buried somewhere in the premiere Mission: Impossible entry. Part House of Games, part License to Kill, Mission: Impossible never quite finds its thematic or emotional footing, despite some truly extraordinary set pieces, including a CIA infiltration that ranks among cinema's best.
3) Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol
Brad Bird's take on the spy series is a consistently competent action flick, with warm characters and a few stand-out stunt sequences, including a thrilling final-act chase in a elevated parking garage. Yet the movie refuses to stop and develop its thinly-sketched characters or develop a theme, choosing instead to leap from one action set-piece to the next.
2) Mission: Impossible II
Often considered the black sheep of the franchise, John Woo's vision of Mission: Impossible is actually one of the best, thanks to two things: Woo's action photography — say what you will about his self-indulgent camera flourishes and fetish for doves — the man can stage and film an action scene like no other; and something that is missing from almost every M:I movie, good character writing. At long last viewers get a sense of who Ethan Hunt is, and that characterization is drawn into stark contrast with his opponent Sean Ambrose, a dark mirror version of our hero. A dynamic score by Hans Zimmer doesn't hurt, either.
1) Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation
It took five movies, but director Christopher McQuarrie (The Way of the Gun, Jack Reacher), finally found the formula for success. Yes, Rogue Nation includes all the fixtures typical of the series — a globe-trotting storyline, a mysterious MacGuffin, plenty of "impossible" heists and stunts — but adds to it a brilliant co-star in Rebecca Ferguson (in many ways, this is her movie); supporting characters with agency; a hero who is vulnerable and flawed; and smaller-scale, personal stakes beyond all that end-of-the-world stuff.
That's my list! Thanks for reading. Please sound off with your favorites!Last edited by Veknoid_Outcast - on 27 July 2018