MikeyB's Movie Night: The Mission Impossible Film Series (1996-2015)

 With Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018) poised to release to theaters in a matter of hours I figured this week's post should be a look back at the five films that have come before it. The films, based on the 1966-1973 espionage TV Series of the same name and starring Tom Cruise, have in my opinion only improved with almost every installment. I have honestly enjoyed the last few entries in this series more than the last couple of Bond films. So before "Fallout" drops and I need to add another movie to this list, lets get to it and dive right in!

Director: Brian De Palma
Starring: Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Emmanuelle Beart

 Plot: After a mission in Prague that leaves almost his entire team dead, Ethan Hunt must go on the run and steal the intel that he was originally protecting, to draw the traitor out into the open.

 Opinion: Full of "De Palma's" trademark twists, turns, and style over substance film-making, this first entry into the series is nonetheless an entertaining start for Hunt's exploits. 

Director: John Woo
Starring: Tom Cruise, Thandie Newton, Dougray Scott

 Plot: Ethan Hunt is back with another mission, this time trying to stop a deadly virus from being unleashed in Australia.

 Opinion: If you thought "De Palma" enjoyed "style over substance" wait till you get a load of John Woo. This works out though because say what you will about him, but "Woo" knows how to orchestrate a breath taking action experience. Since I'm a huge fan of "Woo" and this was the first entry in the series I saw in theaters, M:I-2 has always been one of my favorites.

Director: J.J. Abrams
Starring: Tom Cruise, Michelle Monaghan, Ving Rhames

 Plot: A retired Ethan Hunt is lured back into the IMF after his protege is captured while undercover investigating an arms dealer.

 Opinion: "Abrams" makes his film directorial debut with aplomb in this entry and it just so happens this is when the series really gets cooking. The action is thrilling, "Cruise" is in top form, and Philip Seymour Hoffman's "Owen Davian" is the best villain in the series so far. Arguably one of the best espionage action films ever made.

Director: Brad Bird
Starring: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg

 Plot: After being framed for a bombing in Russia, the IMF is disbanded and Hunt and his team must work through back channels to stop the real perpetrators from starting a nuclear war.

 Opinion: Yet another directorial debut, this time of the "live action" variety, from Brad Bird who had previously made his name at Pixar with their animated films. "Bird" delivers, in my opinion, the best entry into the series. Every action set-piece is absolutely stunning, the pacing is perfectly breakneck, and "Cruise" and company have great chemistry together.

Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Starring: Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Jeremy Renner

 Plot: Hunt and his team take on the criminal organization only known as "The Syndicate", a group who's sole objective is to destroy the IMF.

 Opinion: Director Christopher McQuarrie is no stranger to action films or Cruise and because of that he falls effortlessly into his helming role for this fifth entry. "Rogue Nation" is an extremely entertaining entry into the series but it lacks some of the emotional punch from "Ghost Protocol", so it doesn't rank as highly on my own personal rankings list. The film does however feature one of my favorite set pieces in the series with it's "Opera Assassination".

 Well that wraps up my coverage of the first five films, so that just leaves me with going to see "Fallout". I plan on updating this article with my own personal rankings of the series after I see the new one, and look out for my thoughts on it during my next "Monthly Movie Roundup". As always thank you for reading and I'll see you next time.

MikeyB's Mission: Impossible Film Series Rankings