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Mission: Impossible Franchise - Ranked

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Despite a couple of solid action scenes during the second half, John Woo's attempt at a Mission: Impossible film is kinda dull. Spending far too much time on a forced romance, the first half of the film is way too slow. Things eventually starts to pick up, but while the action scenes are serviceable by themselves - things quickly starts to feel a little repetitive. The beats are never quite where they should be, and it doesn't help that the film is incredibly cheesy either. Add to that an unfitting soundtrack and a couple of lame slow-mo shots, and you've got yourself a poor film.
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If it weren't for that overly silly and slightly out-of-place action set-piece at the end, Mission: Impossible would be a masterfully told low-key suspense thriller. It's so carefully constructed and cleverly structured by Brian De Palma up until that point that it's slightly shocking to see how loud and obnoxious the climax turns out to be. Now - that's the direction the franchise decided to go, and it has turned out very well over the years. But for this film, I would have loved an ending that felt more in style with the heists that we see earlier in the film. You know, something clever instead of a helicopter in a tunnel.
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The plot of a disavowed agency trying to redeem themselves while simultaneously saving the world is nothing fresh, and Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol offers very little new when it comes to plot and structure. It can also be accused of prioritizing action and spectacle over character and emotion. Yet it does the action so wonderfully well that one can't help but to be amazed by it. Tom Cruise is one of few remaining "movie stars" and his dedication to push the limit when it comes to in-camera action stunts is something that should be celebrated. Him actually scaling Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, is just extraordinary. It's probably one of the greatest action scenes ever filmed.

Huge props should also go to director Brad Bird, who manages to keep the film consistently entertaining all the way through, even if the plot points are familiar. The film is well-paced, intense, funny and perfectly captured. With a slightly better script, it would have been a fantastic film - instead of a merely good one.
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After the disappointment that was Mission: Impossible II, director J.J. Abrams brought the franchise home to solid ground again with the third installment. Ditching a lot of the cheesy elements from MI: II, Abrams brings more of a gritty feeling to the table with added brutality and intensity. It also succeeds far more than its predecessor when it comes to the emotional core of the film. Tom Cruise, who is as brilliant as he always is, shares some great chemistry with the naturally gorgeous Michelle Monaghan. It feels a lot more natural and emotionally engaging than the forced romance of MI: II.

Other than that, there's a lot of what you would expect from a film like this present. Great action scenes, intense moments, twists and double-crossings. Philip Seymour Hoffman is wonderful as the villain, though I feel he's slightly under-utilized. Still, it's great a film.
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You might not like Tom Cruise as a person, but as a movie star, there are not many actors like him. He's an undeniable action star with plenty of charisma and likeability in his roles, and particularly in Mission: Impossible. This shows again in Rogue Nation, and when he also gets to act against someone as fierce and mysterious as Rebecca Ferguson, you're bound for a good time. Their chemistry is magnificent, and I love how they always managed to keep her intentions unclear. Making us question whether she's good or bad.

The action set pieces in Rogue Nation are amongst the most impressive in the franchise so far. The plot of the film is fine, but it works mainly as a way to connect one action beat to another. It is however done with such skill that one never feel overburdened or exhausted, instead I felt constantly thrilled and entertained, while eagerly and curiously looking forward to the next scene.
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Tom Cruise keeps on outdoing himself when it comes to his stunts. In the beginning of the film Tom Cruise leaps of a C-17 at 25000 feet, shot entirely in one-take by an aerial photographer with a massive IMAX camera. It's completely insane - and it makes for heart-pounding cinema. This is however just one of the many impressive action scenes that Mission: Impossible - Fallout has to offer. It's tense and brutal. Fun and involving.

Fallout doesn't add any fresh spin on the espionage genre and its plot is very traditional Mission: Impossible fare. Yet the action is amazing, the characters are well-established and the emotional core of the film so engaging, that it's easy to forgive the predictability of the plot. This is quite simply entertainment in its most spectacular form.

Then there's Rebecca Ferguson. I think I've gotten an illness that requires me to have as much of Rebecca Ferguson as it is humanly possible to have.
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Ranking the Mission: Impossible franchise in a worst to best to order.

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Film Franchises Ranked (9 lists)
list by Bml93
Published 4 years, 7 months ago



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