Good and Bad
There has been five Mission Impossible films released since 1996. Each film brings the same lead, but the team, director, composer and stories are all quite different. So after re-watching the series back to back (in glorious HD for the first time), I've ranked each film and I’ve stated what I think did or didn't work. Which is my favourite? Lets find out… (no peeking or the tape will self destruct in 5 sec… BOOM!)
As much as I don't like the film, the poster for the second film works great. Explosions are cool!
5. Mission: Impossible II (2000)
⚫ Some good chase sequences – The latter half has some pretty good action sequences on bikes.
⚫ Fleshed out clever villain – He has plenty of screen time and character development. The actor, Dougray Scott as Sean Ambrose does a good job of portraying this clever bad guy.
⚫ Erm… another good point? Luther does a good job in the role again – What I just said.
What's Not So Good:
⚫ Doesn't feel like other films – It doesn't feel like a Mission Impossible film, nor does it feel like the original show it's based on.
⚫ Not much happens in the first hour – While the second half of the film does take it up a notch, the first half is just setting up the characters and story.
⚫ No memorable scenes like others – While the other films have at least one great scene, the same can’t be said for MI2. Nothing really stands out, even through Tom Cruise is still great in the role.
Score - 3/10: While the action has been dialled up a notch from the original movie, it's still a long movie… and not in a good way. It's since come to light that the film was about 4 hours long in the original cut, hence the inconsistent nature of the pacing and story. Better luck next time?
4. Mission: Impossible (1996)
⚫ A big team of spies – The first “section” of the film gives a good sense of how a traditional IMF mission works
⚫ Low-key – It's more like the TV show it's based on due to the low key nature of the story.
⚫ Standout scene – You know the one. It's itch perfect I tell you...
What's Not So Good:
⚫ Complicated story – It's really hard to grasp what’s going on most of the time. Lots of side plots, people's unknown intentions and more.
⚫ Quite boring for most part – While the film has a few good moments, it's very slow in pace compared to the rest of the series.
⚫ Acting is “weak” - Now I have no quarrel with Tom Cruise, Jon Voight and Ving Rhames, but I found the rest of the cast quite weak.
Score - 4/10: It's got it's moments, but I thought the overall film was quite weak. With a simpler plot and better acting, it would have been much better.
3. Mission Impossible (4): Ghost Protocol (2011)
⚫ More likeable team - one of the things that the other films didn't get quite right is Ethan's team. They did their job, but didn't really stand out. Both Simon Pegg and Jeremy Renner are great characters.
⚫ Interesting scenes - this is how the film has uped the ante from the first two films. Lots of great scenes are here - information giving, Mr Cruise running, a different kind of infiltration, and a different type of fight scene.
⚫ That Abu Dhabi scene - this is when you know Tom Cruise isn't fooling around. This is one of the most breathtaking scenes I have ever seen – made even more impressive Tom Cruise did that for real! No CGI!
⚫ More humour – the humour and one liners were quite sparse in the films before this forth instalment. This has lots of funny moments, but doesn’t over do it, which includes a rare swear word from Tom Cruise.
What's Not So Good:
⚫ Very weak Villain - Name me the Villain now while your reading this. Exactly, I can’t either.
⚫ Some CGI is a little off – While I understand some things aren't doable in live action, it really bugs me when CGI is a little off, it really takes you out of the movie. While the majority of the CGI is fine, there are a few shots which could of done with a bit more polish.
⚫ Ethan is on the run… again – While it was the fun the first few times, the main story involving Ethan on the run is getting a little old, its happened twice already and again in the next film. Can we just have him beating bad guys?
Score - 8/10: Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol is simply an excellent film. It does very little wrong (even my points were nitpicking a little) and proved that the series is here to stay. How would the series improve upon this? Well, they somehow managed it…
If there is one thing you can count on in Mission Impossible, is Ethan Hunt running. Go Go Go!
2. Mission Impossible (5): Rogue Nation (2015)
⚫ The best team members from the previous films are back – The cast includes Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner and Ving Rames. What's not to like?
⚫ Different but great villain – Up to this point, the only memorable villain was Owen Davian in MI3. While Solomon Lane who plays Sean Harris is different, he just doesn't have the same presence as Philip Seymour Hoffman did.
⚫ Excellent action sequences – MI3 and Ghost Protocol both had good action scenes, but this film has lots of different action sequences. You have hand-to-hand combat in an unusual place. You have a different underwater sequence. There is a big car chase sequence. A bike sequence to match the one from MI2, you name it its here.
⚫ Great storyline involving main female lead – the main female lead is something they haven't done in the films before, (not to this extent) and it's great to see the writers trying to shake things up a bit.
What's Not So Good:
⚫ Feels more like a James Bond movie – This is a bit of nitpick. But if you remove the IMF references, change Ethan's name to bond, it would feel like a bond movie. That's great in one sense, but not in another.
⚫ The main stunt was a little bit of a let down – While it was very impressive to watch, it didn't last very long and the sequence isn't to do with the main plot. If they did these, then it probably would of topped the sequence in Ghost Protocol.
Rating - 9/10: It's incredible that they now have three very consistent movies back to back. Rogue Nation has a lot going for it, and it works. While I think Ethan is a better character in MI:3, and they didn’t quite top the main stunt from Ghost Protocol, this is still one of the best action movies ever made.
1. Mission: Impossible III (2006)
⚫ Terrific story, different than others – To me MI3 is very different to the rest in terms of story. It's about Ethan, not Ethan and the IMF.
⚫ Much more action packed - while I described the first two films as "slow" in places, this isn't at all. It's action packed with great scenes.
⚫ Great main heist - while the heist in the first film was ironic, this heist had a lot more moving parts. And very clever when they apprehend the "item".
⚫ Great performance by Philip Seymour Hoffman - As the main villain, he'll never beat the likes of Health Ledger as the Joker (who he reminded me of), but definitely the strongest villain of the series to date.
⚫ Score is action packed, good version of theme. - each film has had different composers, but I reckon Michael Giacchino's score is the best we have heard. Action packed, adding to what's happening on screen, with an excellent orchestral rendition of the iconic theme too.
What's Not So Good:
⚫ Sometimes a little hard to follow action - if I have one criticism of MI3, is this movie has the opposite problem of the first two films. Some of the scenes can get a little fast and sometimes a little hard to keep up with the action.
Score - 9.5/10: Action packed, with a great story and villain, score and special effects. This film has it all. We see more of how the IMF works and to top it off, Simon Pegg's character of Bengii makes his first appearance. To me, the best MI film, and one that the future films have to beat.
The Mission Impossible series has now had five entries, and each being pretty different to each. While the first two films are no match for films that came after, the third, forth and five films are among the best action films ever made. How on earth they can match or top these films in the upcoming sixth instalment is beyond me. Good luck – it's going to be Impossible!