Tom Cruise is famous for doing death-defying stunts on his own, as we saw from his vertigo-inducing 'off the cliff' scene in "M:I7".
In 1996, Tom Cruise had a breakout year with two impactful films: “Jerry Maguire” and “Mission: Impossible.” While “Jerry Maguire” earned him an Oscar nomination, “Mission: Impossible” marked a turning point in Cruise’s career as he embraced the role of Ethan Hunt, establishing himself as an action star. Fast forward thirty years, and the “Mission: Impossible” franchise continues to captivate audiences with its high-stakes action and Cruise’s death-defying stunts. But before we delve into the rankings, let’s celebrate the thrilling journey these movies have taken us on.
6. Mission Impossible 2:
At number six, we have “Mission: Impossible 2” from 2000. Directed by action specialist John Woo, the film showcased his trademark slow-motion shots, flying kicks, and gun fu. However, despite its impressive action sequences, “Mission: Impossible 2” failed to capture the essence of the franchise. The spinning slow-mo kicks felt out of place, and the plot, focused on stopping a manmade virus, ventured into absurd territory. While it’s acknowledged, this film stands as the weakest entry in the franchise.
5. Mission Impossible III:
Next is “Mission: Impossible III” from 2006, known for Philip Seymour Hoffman’s memorable portrayal of Owen Davian, a ruthless arms dealer. Hoffman’s performance, from his menacing presence to the sadistic countdown, left a lasting impact. However, the film focused heavily on Ethan’s personal life, diverting attention from the action. While it had its moments, subsequent films in the franchise achieved a better balance between plot and action. Notably, “Mission: Impossible III” marked J.J. Abrams’ directorial debut in the series before his later work in the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy.
4. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
At number four is “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” from 2011. Directed by Brad Bird, known for animated hits like “The Incredibles,” it injected fresh energy into the franchise. Ethan and his team clear their names while preventing another attack after being falsely accused of a bombing. The standout moment was the breathtaking Burj Khalifa sequence, showcasing Cruise’s dedication to practical effects. “Ghost Protocol” introduced the development of Hunt’s team, particularly the role played by Benji (Simon Pegg). Christopher McQuarrie, the future director, contributed to an uncredited rewrite.
3. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation:
In third place is “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” from 2015. Directed by Christopher McQuarrie, it struck a perfect balance between intrigue and thrills. Ethan goes rogue to dismantle the Syndicate, led by Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), a former MI6 agent. The standout was the introduction of Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), a disavowed MI6 agent working for the Syndicate. Despite her allegiance, Ilsa becomes an invaluable ally with magnetic chemistry alongside Ethan. She stands as the franchise’s best female character, capable of holding her own in combat.
2. Mission: Impossible
Securing second position is the original “Mission: Impossible” from 1996. It transformed the franchise into an action powerhouse and propelled Cruise to superstardom. Directed by Brian De Palma, the film introduced Ethan Hunt as an IMF agent framed for murder. The decision to eliminate Ethan’s team early on set the stage for future installments with unexpected twists. De Palma’s suspenseful direction, highlighted by the iconic Langley invasion scene, made it a standout entry. “Mission: Impossible” remains one of the franchise’s best, thanks to Cruise’s performance and De Palma’s stylish direction.
1. Mission: Impossible – Fallout
“Mission: Impossible – Fallout” from 2018 takes the crown as the best entry in the series. It combines the best elements from previous films while raising the stakes to new heights. Ethan and his team must stop the terrorist organization Apostles from using stolen plutonium to unleash nuclear devastation. The film features jaw-dropping action sequences like the halo jump, bathroom fight, and helicopter chase, making it one of the greatest action films of the 21st century. Henry Cavill delivers a standout performance as the formidable villain, and the camaraderie between the team is at its strongest. “Fallout” represents the peak of the “Mission: Impossible” franchise.
The “Mission: Impossible” franchise has captivated audiences for over three decades, evolving from its origins as a TV series to a blockbuster film series. Each entry has brought its own unique flavor, with the series hitting its apex in the thrilling and high-octane movies. So, if you’re up for some edge-of-your-seat action and heart-stopping stunts, be sure to embark on the mission of watching these incredible films.