The Aroundtable's ranking of the Mission Impossible movies - Part 1
Updated: Nov 21, 2022
The Mission: Impossible franchise has been running for 22 years and giving movie fans the most consistently entertaining action/adventure films in Hollywood history. With the recent release of the sixth installment, Fallout, The Aroundtable has chosen to accept the mission of ranking all 6 films.
6. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE II (2000)
Director: John Woo Screenplay: Robert Towne Story: Ronald D. Moore,Brannon Braga Stars: Tom Cruise, Dougray Scott, Thandie Newton
In the second installment, Secret Agent Ethan Hunt and the IMF go to Sydney in order to find and destroy a genetically modified disease called "Chimera" from a renegade IMF agent Sean Ambrose.
This film is strictly a guilty pleasure with Tom Cruise doing his absolute best in trying to take his love of Hong Kong cinema and merge it with the ridiculousness of the Fast & Furious. Not to say it’s a horrible film, it’s just a big dumb fun kind of a movie that even John Woo’s signature slo-mo, dove stamp can’t save. M:I-2 looks a little too campy.
5. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III (2006)
Director: J.J. Abrams Writers: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci Stars: Tom Cruise, Michelle Monaghan, Ving Rhames
Retired from active duty, and training recruits for the Impossible Mission Force, agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) faces the toughest foe of his career: Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman), an international arms and information broker who is just as cunning as he is ruthless. Davian emerges to threaten Hunt and all that he holds dear -- including the woman he loves.
After a six-year hiatus, Tom Cruise brought in small screen hit maker, J.J. Abrams (Felicity, Lost, Alias) to rejuvenate the franchise after the misstep of MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE II. For the most part, M:I3 is a solid entry with just enough action and thrills to reset the franchise.
Abrams wisely brought back the team aspect of IMF to the forefront. Except in all honesty, what really puts this film over the top, is that Mission: Impossible III has the best villain of the franchise, Owen Davian played by the late, great, genius: Phillip Seymour Hoffman. In fact, Hoffman steals every scene he is in.