Mission Impossible Series Ranked
5. Mission Impossible 2 (2000)
All I can say is what the **** is this shit? Words cannot express how much I hate this movie. I rank it as Batman & Robin bad but not as funny. Nothing about this movie is fun. Even the big stunt of the movie is Tom Cruise rock climbing and in the context of the film it’s really pointless. John Woo managed to reach a Michael Bay level of bad. As much as I love Tom Cruise as a person and actor this movie feels like a vanity project. The film feels less like an action movie and more of Tom Cruise’s sexyist man alive image. It has all the bad cliches and tropes of an action movie. The sexy femme fatale, the damsel in distress plot, slow-mo action scenes and annoying over talkative bad guy. It has the worst villain in the series and ever since MI2 I have hated Dougray Scott and his face. Okay that’s a little rough but I’m glad he didn’t end up being Wolverine but getting back to point. All the action sequences are a bore, the characters are all boring. And as much as I love Thandie Newton, her character is a cliched hot love interest. Don’t even get me started on that stupid scene on the cliff at the end, give me a break. Mission Impossible 2 is like watching Michael Bay direct a really bad Bond film. And then they have the audacity to use a Limp Bizkit song!? Talk about insult to injury. **** this movie.
4. Mission Impossible (1996)
As a kid I really enjoyed what I saw but watching this movie recently made me go, “how the hell did this film spawn a franchise?” I’ve always hated Brian De Palma’s style. It feels so dated. One can argue that it’s an old movie but there are a lot of classics from that era that feel timeless so that isn’t an excuse but the film is so terribly directed and acted. Everyone whispers for some damn reason and all the actors seem to phone it in except Cruise. Unfortunately there are bigger issues than those. I blame the script first and foremost. The plot isn’t awful but it doesn’t make any sense either. Then you have a silly plot with Vanessa Redgrave that’s a distraction. I’m not a fan of the original television show but it had its audience and to have the hero be the villain was disrespectful to the fans of the original. There was no need for that. They could have easily made the character someone else but then we hardly get a clear motive for him. So not only have you made this guy the villain you did it for the sake of shock. Good job. As you’re watching the movie even with its flaws thinking it’ll get better, nothing feels resolved. I was hoping for a good climax but instead we get this stupid helicopter scene that even Tom Cruise disapproved of. I’ll give Mission Impossible some credit, we get an awesome mission scene where the team is getting killed and the Pentagon infiltration scene is superb. Also much respect goes to not forcing a love story people’s throats. I really liked the scene where Ethan held Claire’s hand and it meant so much more than a standard sex scene.
3. Mission Impossible 3 (2006)
Funny thing, I despised Mission Impossible 3 as a kid but I wanted to give it another shot. I don’t want to have any doubt about JJ Abrams handling the Star Wars series I loved his work with Star Trek. Surprisingly MI3 is a pretty entertaining movie and could be considered a semi reboot but it still has its flaws. Sadly the film came out at a bad time in Cruise’s life which rendered a negative reception. MI3 has some really high points and some very low points but the good overshadows the bad. I wasn’t sure why I didn’t like it as a kid but I might have a reason. The movie is written not only by JJ Abrams but Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci. If you are not familiar with those names, you’re probably familiar with their work, The Island, Transformers 1 & 2, Zorro 2, Amazing Spider-Man 2, and Cowboys & Aliens. All terrible movies. They tend to overcomplicate plots, follow a simple action formula, write awful dialogue, write poorly developed characters and have stupid pointless scenes. MI3 has all those elements but gladly JJ Abrams manages to make something out of it. I have no idea why he continues to work with those two. For JJ’s first movie this is really impressive. The action sequences are great, it’s very suspenseful and I love love the Shanghai sequence. Unfortunately the tone is inconsistent. The movie can be funny but won’t be funny again after a long period of time. It throws you off a little bit but the emotional beats are handled well. It’s one of the reasons why I enjoyed it. It’s the first time in the series where the stakes mattered and Ethan had something to fight for. I still can’t get over how unnecessarily convoluted the movie is. The villains, their plans and their motivations all feel complicated. It’s exhausting to watch and the movie tends to drag. The movie could have been half hour shorter. Luckily the great Phillip Seymour Hoffman plays the main villain and as underdeveloped he is, PSH makes this character a joy to watch. He’s evil, cold and calculating. He isn’t corny, he’s actually frightening and it’s some of PSH’s best work. And you have to realize he’s not working with much material either. A huge highlight of MI3. Also Maggie Q <3. MI3 isn’t a perfect movie, it’s heavily flawed but at the same it’s really entertaining & a great place to start if you’re interested in the series.
2. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015)
Don’t let Rogue Nation’s ranking fool you. This is a really really really good film. It ended up being my favorite movie of the summer. And in a time where blockbusters are just sadly alright, Rogue Nation is a breath of fresh air. It has the most spyish feel of the series and has some astonishing sequences. Let’s talk about the pros of the movie for a second. The action sequences are “OMG” worthy. Yeah I’m sure you already know about that crazy airplane scene and yes it’s terrific but that’s only the first 5 minutes of the movie! Wait till you see the opera & motorcycle chase. Those are some of the best scenes in the franchise. It’s also got the best plot of the series and the best villain to date. I can’t be more specific because I don’t want to ruin it for anyone but it’s the film’s strongest point and unknown Sean Harris is terrific in holding his own against Tom Cruise. There are a couple of things that held Rogue Nation from being my favorite of the series. The Mission Impossible series has always been the most lighthearted from the “Spy Trio” (007, Bourne) but the humor in this movie felt off. It’s there but it’s not laugh out loud funny like Ghost Protocol but that’s a personal preference. Some people don’t like any humor in their movies and that’s perfectly fine. The film tends to slow down at moments. Very rarely though and the story is enthralling anyway. The climax was a letdown and I understand where the filmmakers were coming from but I was hoping for something more. And no it’s not a travesty like MI 1 & 2’s climaxes. I want to say one thing, I’m tired of America turning against Tom Cruise for the 5th time. Dude’s saved the world so many times. No respect. Also why does the CIA use Dell computers? Lastly I want to talk about Rebecca Ferguson’s character. It’s become a thing where every Mission Impossible has a beautiful woman as the token MI Girl, like the Bond series but since the fourth one, we’re getting some really strong female characters and Ilsa was really cool. Overall Rogue Nation is a blast and even though it has its flaws, it still manages to be really awesome.
1. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011)
Everytime I hear someone say Ghost Protocol was a bad movie, it makes me go “whaaaat?” When I first saw Ghost Protocol I expected it to be good but I was blown away. The movie set a new level for the series. We get the best MI team (though Luthor is absent, but joins the team again in part 5) and the characters are well developed. From beginning to end the film does not slow down. Keep in mind this is a long movie but it doesn’t feel like one and it’s not terribly cliche either. The film is tense, funny and epic. I still get goosebumps watching the Burj Khalifa scene. It’s the most beautiful movie of the series and it’s just really well directed. Something bothers me is you hardly see villains having an end fight anymore, so I was shocked when there was on in this. Honestly out of all the villains in the series, he was the most unlikely one to have a fight scene (he’s a friggin professor!) but wow was that scene fun & unique. The movie isn’t perfect, the movie has a silly twist that kills the drama but leads to a very a touching moment at least. My huge problem with the movie the villain and his motivations. It was too generic. Michael Nyqvist is a good actor but his character feels like a robot. Even more robotic than the Terminator. He’s just some crazy guy with a crazy plot but that’s like one problem and not enough to damper the amount of fun I had watching Ghost Protocol. Ghost Protocol set a new precedent on how blockbusters should be and it’s a movie I recommend for everyone to watch.