Ranking the Mission: Impossible Movies
After being thoroughly entertained by Rogue Nation last year I recently went back and re-watched all the Mission: Impossible movies. Here's my ranking of the five films in reverse order.
5. M:I II
The second entry into the series suffers from a couple of problems. The first is that Dougray Scott is not a great villain and the second is that it is directed by Jon Woo (bear with me). The whole film has that late 90's/early 2000's action feel to it and, as with all Jon Woo films, every non-action scene is bland when compared to when he's let loose and allowed to do what he does best. The last 45 minutes of this film are fantastic. The raid on the bunker, the bike chase and the beach fight are Woo, and Cruise, at their very best. Even the fact that the motorbike has magic tyres, that change depending upon what surface they are riding on, doesn't bother me.
4. Ghost Protocol
Now I know I'm probably going to get some flak for ranking this so low but hey, it's my list! First off let me say that the good action in this movie is top notch. The prison escape is a great way to open the film and the whole sequence within the Kremlin is great fun. The building climb in Dubai is fantastic with Tom Cruise once again proving he may have a screw loose. But after that the film started to sag for me. I didn't like the sandstorm foot chase or the whole sequence at the party with the sleazy Indian guy and the climatic battle in the car park feels unsatisfactory, probably because I don't think the villain is that great. It just never really feels like there's a tangible threat. After the personal edge added to the storyline and brilliant performance of the big bad in the previous installment this all feels a bit empty.
It says a lot about the strength of this series that I love this movie yet it only ranks 3rd overall. This is definitely more of a thriller compared to the other enteries but it does contain some great action set pieces too. The mission to steal the file from Langley and the infamous scenes with Cruise being lowered in to the computer still really play.
De Palma's direction is great especially during the fatal mission where it all goes wrong for team and also in the scene in the restaurant between Hunt and Kittridge. "You've never seen me upset". Chris Taylor on the Facebook group said that that is the scene that convinced him Cruise was an action hero. It's hard to disagree.
2. M:I III
The main reason I rate this so highly is down to Philip Seymour Hoffman. He steals the movie with a fantastic performance as a villain we the audience and Tom Cruise are genuinely afraid of. Again the action is excellent and although there is nothing as spectacular as the building climb in Ghost Protocol, there are no weak sequences either. I particularly like the sequence on the True Lies/License To Kill bridge. The more personal threat to Ethan Hunt in this movie also adds a bit of extra weight to it but I'm glad that they only confine that kind of storyline to this film. As we all know, a spy can never be happily married. Just look what happened at the end of On Her Majestys Secret Service.
1. Rogue Nation
This was one of my favourite films of 2015 and even as a die hard Bond fan, blew SPECTRE out of the water. There is simply not one bad action sequence in this film. The whole set piece at the Opera is orchestrated brilliantly and feels like something out of a Hitchcock movie. The villain is great and menacing but it's Rebecca Ferguson who really shines here. Not only is she a interesting character, something that cannot be attributed to the female lead from SPECTRE, but her performances in the action sequences are great. This woman needs to be in more action movies. But ultimately it's batshit crazy Tom Cruise once again that provides two of my favourite moments. Admittedly being strapped the side of a plane is ridiculously impressive but for me that bike chase is just awesome. At 53 there are few things cooler than Tom Cruise wearing his sunglasses on a motorbike.
Agree or disagree with Grant? why not comment below with your own lists and opinions!