Updated On: November 06, 2023 by   Pansieh Gharib   Pansieh Gharib  

Mission: Impossible

Mission Impossible Franchise

Perhaps all Mission Impossible (MI) movie series fans are eagerly waiting to watch the latest release of the series, Dead Reckoning Part 1, or have already watched the movie. It would be an excellent time to revisit and recap Ethan Hunt’s missions, played by Tom Cruise, that have been going on since the 90s. Your mission, should […]



Perhaps all Mission Impossible (MI) movie series fans are eagerly waiting to watch the latest release of the series, Dead Reckoning Part 1, or have already watched the movie. It would be an excellent time to revisit and recap Ethan Hunt’s missions, played by Tom Cruise, that have been going on since the 90s.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it.

Mission: Impossible

A famous quote repeated by the IMF to their agents to assign missions. Let’s review the many tasks Hunt and his team have accepted over the years. It is intriguing how Tom Cruise made sure to perform all the dangerous scenes himself. You could feel the character accepting the mission, relive the breathtaking moments, and cry with his heartbreaks and triumphs on the screen.

Mission: Impossible

Mission: Impossible 

The movie begins with the catastrophe young Ethan Hunt faces as he loses all his team during an ongoing mission. He is an American spy working for the Impossible Mission Force (IMF). The IMF is an undercover organisation handling highly classified operations related to the United States national security.

The assignment was to retrieve a hard disk that contained classified agents’ names. It was a target that Hunt was determined to follow and achieve at all costs. Only after the catastrophic death of his team members did he discover that it was all a mole hunt, and he fell right into the trap planned by the IMF organisation. Accordingly, IMF believed that he was the mole. The rest of the movie was his attempt to clear his name and retrieve the list for safekeeping.

The character’s cunning planning and intelligence are apparent. Ethan’s tendency to take all risky measures to complete the set mission makes him hard to compete with. By the movie’s end, he manages to hunt down the actual mole, expose him to the organisation, and secure his place after being disavowed.

Possibly, the most striking scene that never leaves our memory for years is Ethan Hunt’s thrilling attempt to copy the disk in a highly sensitive room while hanging down from the ceiling. In this room, the slightest change in temperature or weight might trigger the alarm, and the whole mission would fail. His success was about to be imperilled by a drop of his sweat and a rat. Tom Cruise brilliantly played the scene. You could actually feel the tension and gasp relief with him.

Tom Cruise, a nerve-wracking scene from Mission: Impossible 1996

The movie’s release in 1996 was a huge success, ranking the third-highest movie-achieving revenues during that year. It was a profitable beginning to one of the most successful movie franchises in the world, which is still thriving to date.

The movie was co-produced by Paula Wagner and Tom Cruise. The main stars are Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Emmanuelle Béart, Henry Czerny, Ving Rhames, Kristin Scott Thomas, Vanessa Redgrave, and Jean Reno.

Mission: Impossible II

In 2000, Paramount Production brought a sequel to Mission to the theatre screens. The movie begins with Ethan on vacation, hiking in a dangerous mountain. The funny part is that it is a realistic portrayal of Tom Cruise’s life. During several interviews, the actor announced that he enjoys training and practising different skills that would help him entertain the audience by mastering dangerous and thrilling skills.

His vacation is interrupted by a new task for the IMF. He is to find a skilled burglar, Nyah Nordoff-Hall, and recruit her to help him on the mission. After falling in love with her, he discovers that the task requires her to seduce her ex-boyfriend, a rogue agent. The mission is to destroy a deadly virus and steal the cure from Sean Ambrose before he succeeds in spreading a pandemic.

This part of the movie gathers renowned stars, featuring Anthony Hopkins in a cameo as the IMF leader, accompanied by Doguary Scott as Sean Ambrose and Thandiwe Newton as Nyah Nordoff-Hall, and many others.

Mission: Impossible II Trailer

Mission: Impossible III

This part of the series comes six years later. We meet Ethan after he retired from fieldwork with IMF. He is happily engaged to the love of his life, Julia. But someone with a career like his cannot be left peacefully to have a normal life. Their happy relationship is interrupted by an IMF call asking Ethan for a rescue mission for one of their agents.

During these events, Ethan ties the knot with Julia. The storyline unfolds until Julia is kidnapped, and Ethan rushes to rescue her. The couple are successfully united, and Ethan explains the type of his work to her. They proceed to enjoy their honeymoon.

This reveal of Ethan’s personal life and the love he can give is an add-on to the character. It fits into his decisions in the parts of the series coming afterwards. Would he live happily ever after?

A breathtaking scene is performed by Tom Cruise trying to save his wife.

Several excellent stars join Tom Cruise in this part of the movie series. We meet Ving Rhames as Luther, Philip Seymour Hoffman as Davian, Michelle Monaghan as Julia, Maggie Q as Zhen, Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Declan, Simon Pegg as Benji, and others. The talented J. J. Abraham directs the movie. The film revenued 398.5 million dollars versus an almost 180 million dollars budget.

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

Once again, in 2011, the IMF team was back on the screen. Benji is cleared for field work and is joined on a mission to extract Ethan from prison. This time, Ethan and his team are asked to save the world by securing nuclear weapon launch codes. In the process, the Kremlin explodes. Accordingly, the Ghost Protocol is activated, and the whole IMF is disavowed.

The IMF now consists of only four members: Ethan, Benji, Brandit and Jane. They are determined to retrieve the launch codes and prevent the intended catastrophe. To succeed, they intercepted a meeting in Dubai by faking two meetings to get the codes.

The story unfolds, and the mission is concluded with success. The team manages to save the day by the end of the film. Then, a confrontation happens between Ethan and Brandit, where he apologises for being unable to protect his late wife. At this point in the movie, we know that Julia is alive. Ethan has faked her death to allow her to live her normal life safely—a decision befitting Ethan’s character that is built throughout the previous movie series.

Making of Burj Khalifa Scene, Tom Cruise

Ghost Protocol is the fourth project in Mission’s franchise and a turning point. In this film, Tom Cruise performs one of the most dangerous movie stunt scenes he ever did at this point on Burj Khalifa in Dubai. It is a scene that became the talk of the hour, even among other famous stars. Matt Damon, in one of the interviews, narrates,

“So I had dinner with Tom Cruise, years ago after he did that thing out of the building, …he said I was dreaming of this shot for 15 years of this sequence and finally I had a chance to do it… So I go to a safety guy… the safety guy says, you can’t do that, that’s too dangerous. So I get another safety guy.”

Matt Damon, Conan on TBS

Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation

The fifth Mission product, and the 1st to be directed by Christopher McQuarrie, was released in 2015. As usual, the audience is entertained by a thrilling new storyline and amazing stunts Cruise performs. In this part of the series, Cruise is joined by Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust, an undercover MI6 agent and Ethan’s female match, and Sean Harris as Solomon Lane, the leader of the Syndicate; in addition to Cruise’s old team members, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, and Ving Rhames.

The Syndicate is an undercover rogue organisation that consists of ex-agents from different international organisations who are presumed dead. It has a destructive agenda. Ethan is determined to find its members under impossible conditions. He is disavowed, and his team members are interrogated weekly so the CIA can discover his whereabouts.

Ethan Hunt catching a plane scene on Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation opening scene

Again, Cruise performs different dangerous stunts. He has taken a level further in his career of action movies. In Rogue Nation, there are plane hijacking, motorcycle races and free diving scenes. All are extremely dangerous and creatively shot.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout

In the previous part of Mission, Solomon Lane was successfully captured. Fallout begins with Ethan losing the plutonium cores for nuclear weapons. The choice was either to retrieve the cores and accomplish his mission or to save Luther, his friend. And Ethan chose Luther.

As a result, Ethan went out of his way to bring back the cores. Unwillingly joined by CIA agent August Walker, played by Henry Cavill, they intercept John Lark, who is believed to be the buyer of the cores. Ethan was forced to assume his identity to find the broker and accomplish his mission. The dilemma facing Ethan this time is that he must help break Solomon Lane free to validate his position as John Lark.

Solomon Lane manages to escape with the help of August Walker, who turns out to be a mole. Ethan and his team chase down Lane and successfully prevent the catastrophic bombing Lane planned on unleashing.

Fallout stars interview and Tom Cruise’s reflections on live stunts he performs himself

This time, Tom Cruise rises with the level of dangerous stunts. He is so dedicated that he broke his ankle on the scene and continued the shooting for the sake of the storyline. In the same movie, he shoots the famous dangerous helicopter scene himself.

Mission Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1

We meet Hunt and his team in a new storyline. The story gets more interesting with flashbacks from Hunt’s life before the IMF. As usual, Hunt goes out of his way, risking his life to save many others, including his team. They leave the audience at the movie’s end, anticipating the next film, where Hunt carries the burden of saving the world from a catastrophic future.

Adding to the thrilling storyline, Tom Cruise brings to the screen the most dangerous stunts he has ever performed during his career and in the history of cinemas. He is determined to “entertain the audience”, as he says in various interviews, and he is willing to “risk his life” to achieve his goal.

The making of the most dangerous stunt in the history of cinema

This year, the Mission Impossible team are joined by many new talented and renowned stars like Hayley Atwell, Esai Morales, Pom Klementieff, and Henry Czerny. It is the third Mission movie to be directed by Christopher McQuarrie.

Due to the fierce competition this year in movie theatres, mainly because of the Barbenheimer movies’ release, Mission Impossible achieved less than expected at the Box Office. However, the positive reception of the film from the audience and critics alike made it a huge success.

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 2

If you have seen Dead Reckoning Part 1, you must be restless to see the rest of the story. The Mission Impossible team has promised to bring an incredible new version and breathtaking stunts to the screen. We cannot wait to find out how Ethan will save the world and relieve this weight put on his shoulders.

Three decades of Mission: Impossible does not make it a boring movie series. As mentioned, the Mission Impossible team brings a new story to the screen each time. It is not only about the IMF missions saving the world, but also bits and pieces of Ethan Hunt’s personal life are brought to the screen. Adding to the astonishing new stunts in each sequel, Mission Impossible always entertains the audience.

When I make a movie, everything that I have learnt, all the decades of filmmaking I put into the next movie.

Tom Cruise

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