"Dead Reckoning Part 1": Ranking of "Mission Impossible" Movies

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While you prepare yourself for the premiere of "Dead Reckoning Part 1", we bring you this ranking of the "Mission Impossible" movies.

Still from the movie 'Mission Impossible: Deadly Judgment Part 1'

Photo: Paramount Pictures

LatinAmerican Post | Juan Andrés Rodríguez

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Leer en español: El ranking de “Misión imposible" antes del estreno de "Sentencia Mortal Parte 1”: ¿cuál es mejor?

After five years, Ethan Hunt and the IMF (Impossible Mission Force) return to the big screen with what promises to be their most difficult mission: an adventure that once again seeks to achieve the impossible with complex and creative action sequences that put at risk Tom Cruise's life in the name of entertainment. To be ready, we present you with a ranking of the "Mission Impossible" movies.

Tom Cruise suspended from a cable inches above the ground; Tom Cruise climbing a canyon in the Colorado desert; Tom Cruise rappelling down the Burj Khalifa; Tom Cruise hanging off the side of a plane in the air; or Tom Cruise in a free fall jump. With this list of feats, Cruise has established himself as the greatest living movie star and “Mission: Impossible” as a franchise that raises the bar for action movies with each installment.

The history of the IMF dates back to 1966 in the format of a successful series that took advantage of the political context of the Cold War and the Iron Curtain to capture audiences. Since then, the fantasy of espionage has been elaborated with self-destructive messages, secret identities, “impenetrable” security systems and cutting-edge technology, all based on a mission to save humanity from a global catastrophe.

27 years ago, the saga made its leap to the big screen with the introduction of Ethan Hunt, the iconic character of Tom Cruise. Regardless of the changes in direction, cast and style, Hunt and Lalo Schifrin's subject matter are the two constants that immediately identify an MI film. However, this is about to change, since ""Dead Reckoning" has been presented as Hunt's farewell. While this remains to be confirmed, the fact that Cruise drove a motorcycle off a cliff is a sign that the limit of what is achievable for any human being, especially a 60-year-old man, is being reached. For this reason, we present our ranking of the adventures of Hunt and his team.

All the “Mission Impossible” movies are available on Star+.

6. "Mission Impossible 2" (2000) (Dir. John Woo)

Involving John Woo, master and pioneer of Kung-Fu cinema, was a complete change from the first film. It was a bet by Cruise as a producer to bring the style of martial arts and Hong Kong cinema to Hollywood. Although the film is not short of titillating moments, with only the opening being free climbing in the desert, the form did not mesh with the conventions and narratives of the spy thriller. Adding to this is the lack of chemistry between Cruise and Thandiwe Newton, with her character being reduced to a damsel in distress. The result is a movie that even sequels prefer to ignore.

5. "Mission Impossible 3" (2006) (Dir. JJ Abrams)

From a very experienced director to one in his debut. After multiple delays in the production, which at one point was helmed by David Fincher, the opportunity was given to JJ Abrams, who until then had dedicated himself to television with great success as the creator of "Lost" and "Alias". Abrams' style is more "dirty", we mean by this the shaken camera and desaturated scenes that give little visibility. This, however, is offset by the introduction of elements that invigorate the franchise, such as Ethan's private life with his partner Julia (Michelle Monaghan) and new members of the team like Benji (Simon Pegg). Plus, Philip Seymour Hoffman's terrifying performance makes Owen Davian one of the most memorable and terrifying villains Ethan has ever faced.

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4. "Mission Impossible" (1996) (Dir. Brian De Palma)

One merit of the original film is that its premise is very bold in its way of continuing the work of the series while adapting it to a new dynamic and protagonists. Although the special effects are a little wobbly (and Cruise would surely have opted to shoot the third act on a moving bullet train if the possibility existed), De Palma's style is a perfect mix between paranoia thriller and espionage elegance, resulting in a modern classic that captures the essence of the nineties.

3. "Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation" (2015) (Dir. Christopher McQuarrie)

With "Rogue Nation", Christopher McQuarrie became the head behind the scenes and together with Cruise they have formed one of the most successful duos in Hollywood in the last decade. Among the great successes of this installment is the inclusion of Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust, an MI6 agent as lethal and skilled as Ethan, and the establishment of The Syndicate as an organization that not only challenges the IMF from its destructive capacity, but also moral principles about his undercover work.

2. "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol" (2011) (Dir. Brad Bird)

The Burj Khalifa scene is vying for the title of MI greatest moment and gives Ghost Protocol a lot of points, but the reason it ranks second is that this was the turning point for the series with the arrival of Christopher McQuarrie. Cruise has been emphatic in crediting McQuarrie for rewriting the script and steering it toward a narrative that acknowledges Hunt's past and relationships as the emotional key. Brad Bird gives a cleaner style that allows for the intricacy of Hunt's antics and that shaped the identity of the series going forward.

1. "Mission Impossible: Fallout" (2018) (Dir. Christopher McQuarrie)

In the first 35 minutes of "Fallout", there are the sequences of the reading of the manifesto, the free fall jump over Paris and the fight in the bathroom. These moments add to a narrative that deepens the continuity of the story and characters, cementing Ilsa Faust as the perfect counterpart to Ethan and Solomon Lane as the franchise's key villain, with honorable mention of Henry Cavill as August Walker. If there is high anticipation for "Dead Reckoning" it is because its predecessor has set a very high bar and has already established itself as one of the best action movies in history.