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Thread: Mission Impossible Series

  1. #1
    Spoon! Dom D's Avatar
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    Mission Impossible Series

    Yup, I'm bored enough that I think we should discuss the Mission Impossible series.

    Odd series this. 6 films deep over 24 years and the next two in the series are locked in already for release over the next two years. It's not bad for a series based on the concept of an Impossible Missions Force, a title so embarrassing the series only ever usies it grudgingly and when it absolutely has to.

    It's had kind of a similar trajectory to the Fast And the Furious series. The first film is not badly thought of but has nothing at all to do what the series becomes. The second film in both series are bizarre offshoots that are borderline unwatchable before the series finally settles down into some sort of pattern of ever increasing absurdity. To my mind MI peaked with Fallout which is not a bad trick six films deep.

    While the early films are whatever the director wants to make them there's definitely a feel from the 4th film on that Cruise has taken control of the series and it's whatever he wants it to be. What he wants it to be a showcase for 3 or 4 spectacular action sequences per film each featuring him doing ridiculous stunts on his own with resultant Jackie Chan style bloopers. Which I'm totally behind. Some of the stunts are genuinely spectacular (running down the building in the UAE) and some are just bizarre. The Halo jump for instance makes no sense whatsoever. Cruise actually trained for it and did the stunt but obviously he couldn't jump over Paris so it had to be shot over a field and then Cruise is roto'ed out and the Paris backdrop is inserted which makes doing it for real totally superflous. The whole thing may as well be a 3d effect but the point is in the promo Cruise gets to say he did it and that's what's selling these films as much as anyhting.

    The last 3 I would say though have been genuinley decent action films. Long. Too long by half an hour each but otherwise very good. Good time fillers while you wait for a new Bond. They also managed to paper over one of the main issues with the early films. Namely that Ethan Hunt isn't a character. He's just Tom Cruise doing actiony things. It's been good work over the more recent films that they've managed to make him a fun- if Cruise aggrandising- character.
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  2. #2
    Pallid Hands Andrew Monroe's Avatar
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    The last 3 films have been terrific action films imo. Amazing stunts (including some jaw dropping motorcycle stuff) and well plotted stories. I really dig the cast as a whole too - Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner (missed him in FALLOUT) Ving Rhames and Alec Baldwin. I often think these are far more enjoyable than the recent Bond films which seem so grim and humorless. Henry Cavill was a very solid baddie in FALLOUT. That fight scene with him and Cruise and the villain in the bathroom is so well done. The films hold up really well on revisits too and they're the perfect cinematic comfort food for these scary times. I've seen the last 3 in the theater and bought the BDs, look forward to the next entry.
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    Spoon! Dom D's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Andrew Monroe;203255]That fight scene with him and Cruise and the villain in the bathroom is so well done. [QUOTE]

    Its an awesome fight. The corridor crew guys did a bit on that fight scene in their Stuntman React series. As a bonus, for you Punisher fans they also cover the gym fight in Season 2 which was the best part of the whole show.

    "Never let the fact that they are doing it wrong stop you from doing it right." Hyman Mandell.

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    Senior Member The Silly Swede's Avatar
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    The first one is pretty good, the second one is awful, but then they really pick up. Part 3 is an excellent action film, part 4 was so-so, but then parts 5 and 6 returned to top notch action. I love these as they have minimal CGI, or at least never visible CGI. And for someone like me, who grew up with real action movies, this is what gets me going.

    I feel this is the best action franchise going. Who would have ever thought that?
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    Scholar of Sleaze Paul L's Avatar
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    I really enjoyed De Palma's MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, despite my general aversion to Thomas Cruise, Esq. However, I would have loved to have seen it with the original climax - rather than then Eurotunnel climax which was, as I recall, added at a late stage. (Didn't they shoot the original scripted climax? Has that footage ever surfaced anywhere?)

    The second film was absolutely terrible and further proof, for me, that John Woo's move to America was generally a bad idea.

    I saw the third film and enjoyed it. It was a return to form.

    I haven't seen the others yet but bought a boxed set of the first five for peanuts last year. I should watch them during the lockdown. I've heard nothing but good things about them.
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  6. #6
    Scholar of Sleaze Paul L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dom D View Post
    It's had kind of a similar trajectory to the Fast And the Furious series. The first film is not badly thought of but has nothing at all to do what the series becomes. The second film in both series are bizarre offshoots that are borderline unwatchable before the series finally settles down into some sort of pattern of ever increasing absurdity. To my mind MI peaked with Fallout which is not a bad trick six films deep.
    What's interesting is that the second film in both series (F&F and M:I) are terrible but both were directed by filmmakers who, at the time at least, had pretty damned good track records (John Singleton - what happened to him? - and John Woo, respectively). It's the curse of stepping into a franchise that still has to find its feet, I guess.
    'You know, I'd almost forgotten what your eyes looked like. Still the same. Pissholes in the snow'

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    Senior Member Nabonga's Avatar
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    1 and 2 never did much for me but I enjoy the hell out of all the other films in the series. I recently rewatched part 3 because it had been ages and it's really solid. Even though they balloon in running time it never feels like it. Fallout just whips by like the wind. Fallout might be my favourite one so far. While it was fun seeing Micke Nyqvist (go sweden!) in part 4 it pales in comparison to 5 and 6. I'd say it's the best franchise going currently. Fast And The Furious has long since jumped the shark into annoying bullshit. I won't even watch part 9 (hated part 8).
    Last edited by Nabonga; 04-06-2020 at 07:51 PM.
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    Intellectual Carrot Scott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
    John Singleton - what happened to him?
    He died last year shockingly from a stroke. It was terribly sudden and very sad.

    I've only ever seen the first two MI films. I really like the first one and agree with the consensus that the second one is awful. I should check out the rest. I like that the Sweede says they are refreshingly free if cgi.
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  9. #9
    Scholar of Sleaze Paul L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott View Post
    He died last year shockingly from a stroke. It was terribly sudden and very sad.

    I've only ever seen the first two MI films. I really like the first one and agree with the consensus that the second one is awful. I should check out the rest. I like that the Sweede says they are refreshingly free if cgi.
    At the back of my mind, I must have known about Singleton's death, Scott, because thinking about it, I'm sure we talked about his career on here. Like John Dahl, etc, Singleton was one of those incredible voices of early 1990s US filmmaking who seemed to disappear into television after the Michael Bay shtick came to saturate Hollyweird in the late 1990s/early 2000s. Would have loved to see Singleton make more films like those in his early career.
    'You know, I'd almost forgotten what your eyes looked like. Still the same. Pissholes in the snow'

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    'All explaining in movies can be thrown out, I think': Elmore Leonard

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