Its something that seems to slip my mind until the next comes out and was really cemented with Ghost Protocol, but I really think this is one of my all time favorite film franchises. Minus one entry, every film here is terrific high end entertainment. Why it slips my mind is that we've only had 5 films in 19 years from it and its never been rebooted. Plus, each film is so different from one another that its almost like its not a series. I was a bit of a fan of the reruns, but wouldn't go as far to call myself a "hardcore" Mission: Impossible TV fan.
One that was weird for a film series I'm a big fan of, the rankings for this was one of the easiest tasks I've done. My picks came right to me and are pretty much definite. This franchise is full of stunts, suspense, Tom Cruise and tons of fun. Here is my ranking of the series, from end of fuse all the way to the stick of dynamite.
5. Mission: Impossible II
I'm pretty sure this is just about everyone's least favorite entry in the series (save for Scott Mendelson). While its not a good film per se, I think it still manages to entertain and feature some really fun over the top John Woo action. You also get to see a Tom Cruise that's really at the peak of an ego.
4. Mission: Impossible III
I really do like this film a lot, just not as much as the rest. But from here on, know that I'm a big fan of each entry. This film is basically a long Alias episode, but it still works and there are still some fun action bits and some even more solid character depth on display. It features what I still think is the series' best villain in Phillip Seymour Hoffman.
3. Mission: Impossible
It really is saying something when a film this good can be topped and topped twice at that. The DePalma film still holds up very well for me, if not even better than upon release. I love this cast and I love the DePalma-Hitchcock adventure stuff going on in this one. Its a film that proved big action blockbusters could also carry some intelligence as well.
2. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
Yep, this great action classic has been topped. I love the spectacle of this movie and all the set pieces on display. Each one very memorable. This is possibly my favorite Ethan Hunt performance out of Tom Cruise as well, as he just dominates this film. While having a weak villain, the film still manages to carry some menace and plenty of suspense leading into a very awesome suspenseful climax. And, as I mention, damn was this cool to see in IMAX!
1. Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
We have a Naptown Nerd first! This is the first time the most recent film in a franchise has taken top billing in the ranking battle. But how could Rogue Nation not? Its got the action set pieces, maybe not in the spectacle of Ghost Protocol, but they're fine enough as there is an elegance to what McQuarrie brings. Its almost as if he's mixing some of the spectacular of Ghost Protocol, channeling DePalma and bringing his own sensibilities to the table. This film is great in so many areas and achieving topping a film in the series I didn't think would ever get topped. Rogue Nation is a great spy/suspense/action thriller that also has brains. It's what defines this series. Go freaking see it (again), already!
Thanks to those of you who have returned to the Naptown Nerd after patiently waiting for another retrospective. Stay tuned for next time with my Hotel Transylvania retrospective!
Okay, so I'm not doing a Hotel Transylvania retrospective...but fall is approaching...