Impossible Mission: PFF Picks Its Favorite “Mission: Impossible” Film
“Good morning, PFF. We have had several reports of The Syndicate inciting incidents in Prague & Virgina, Sydney, Shanghai, Moscow, Dubai & Mumbai, and London. Your mission, should you choose to accept it is to select your favorite mission from the five feature length films. If you are caught or killed the Secretary will disavow your actions. Good luck, PFF.”
Whew, and I thought this mission was going to be difficult.
“This isn’t Mission: Difficult, Mr. Hunt. This is Mission: Impossible.”
All joking aside, for the past 22 years, Tom Cruise and company have seen to stewarding the Mission: Impossible film franchise to a record $2.2 billion in worldwide box office grosses. Death defying stunts, strong characters, intelligent stories, beautiful global locations and relatable characters all make for a fun day at the movies. This weekend marks the release of the latest, “Mission: Impossible – Fallout.” Make sure to check it out.
To prepare for this newest mission, I recently sat down to binge all five “Mission” Impossible” films. There is no denying the power of the directors involved in them: the brilliance and technical storyteller that is Brian DePalma, the stylistic John Woo, the bombastic JJ Abrams, the light – hearted and deadly serious Brad Bird and finally, the witty Christopher McQuarrie. Figuring out my favorite is not an easy decision, but it certainly has been fun to revisit the series and watch Tom Cruise and company stop nefarious villains from inflicting harm on the innocent.
Without further ado . . . .
5. “Mission: Impossible 3”: I need to confess that I didn’t get into ‘Lost’. I did get in to ‘Fringe’ and I liked the direction of the series. It was with a sense of adventure that I went into this third mission. My initial reaction was not very positive. After a couple of viewings, I’ve come around, but the story reveals the twist far too early. The film’s saving grace is a really powerful and dynamic villain in Philip Seymour Hoffman, but the story lacks punch. 1.5 out of 4 stars
4. “Mission: Impossible 2”: The Hitchock hour of the series, this film is set in Australia and concerns itself with the recovery of a deadly virus. Sir Anthony Hopkins makes an uncredited cameo as the IMF handler. The theme of John Woo’s film is “Set a thief to catch a thief.” As the villain’s former lover, Thandie Newton plays Nyah Nordoff-Hall. She is a seductress and a smooth talker. Mr. Cruise free climbs in a stunning opening credits sequence. Unfortunately, the stylistic action overshadows a weak adversary in Sean Ambrose (Dougray Scott). 1.75 out of 4 stars.
3. “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation”: Christopher McQuarrie’s follow up to Brad Bird’s entry is every bit as good as “Ghost Protocol.” In fact, they are on par. Although it is this entry’s strength, the paranoia of the CIA, which plays directly in to the story line. Brad Bird took the series to new heights following the second and third entries and it is for this reason that the remaining three entries as so close together in scoring. 3.5 out of 4
2. “Mission: Impossible”: Brian De Palma’s entry started this whole series in motion. It introduced us to Ethan Hunt and was made before Bourne, so the action wasn’t a focus. The story is intelligent, the set pieces were stunning and the mystery holds itself together until nearly the beginning of the third act.
1. “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol”: If Mr. Woo’s entry was the Empire State Building, Mr. Bird’s entry reaches the height of the Burj Khalifa, which is ironic because this entry’s iconic stunt was completed on the outside of the world’s tallest building. This story introduces us to William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) and brings many of our favorite series cast members back. The film manages to convey and intelligent story and bridges the past with the future. Michael Nyqvist made for a determined villain, even if his principles were misguided. Sophie Marceau is lethally stunning. Paula Patton as IMF Agent Jane Carter plays her role to the nines.
There. “Mission, accomplished!”
“This message will self-destruct in five seconds.”