+++ Opinion +++
Movies based on older television series are not the most reliable guarantees of success. But the “Mission: Impossible” series proved that not only can its main characters master any seemingly impossible task – the film series itself has also successfully fought against all conceivable obstacles. She has left the once insurmountable shadow of her series template, which was entitled “Cobra, take over!” in this country, far behind. After Tom Cruise’s career break in the 2000s, contrary to all expectations, she got better and more successful. And she shows her star in ever wilder, more unusual action scenes in which he performs the riskiest stunts himself.
For now, parts one, three, four, and five of the Mission: Impossible saga are still available for subscription on Amazon Prime, but if you want to take advantage of them, you’ll want to hurry up. Because this only applies up to and including August 30, 2022 – then the thriller by Brian De Palma, JJ Abrams’ agent spectacle, Brad Bird’s witty action ride and Christopher McQuarrie’s feast of stunts and thriller references will be removed from the prime flat rate.
» “Mission: Impossible” at Amazon: Part 1* / part 3* / Part 4* / part 5*
If you feel like watching the “Mission: Impossible” series again, but you don’t have enough time and/or you miss parts two and six: Alternatively, you can also go to the complete set* to grab. You can work through this entirely at your own pace.
Although the “Mission: Impossible” series has now turned away from it: up to and including part five, it operated according to the mode that each part is not only staged by a different director, but is also allowed to clearly bear his signature. Instead of a visually aesthetic and tonal formula that unites all the films, only Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, the agent milieu and Lalo Schifrin’s iconic theme song serve as the elements that connect all parts. And even Schifrin’s music written for the TV series is radically rearranged in every single Mission: Impossible film.
What follows could fill an entire season of “Alias” with its succession of chases, undercover operations and scams – but it’s condensed here into feature length. With wit and with Philip Seymour Hoffman savoring his role as a villain. Brad Bird, best known as an animation director, then took over the helm – and gave Ethan Hunt’s fight against evil a unique playfulness and lightness. The “Phantom Protocol” passage, which went down in film history, in which Hunt (and during the shoot: Cruise himself) scrambles around the Burj Khalifa, also marked the start of the “stunt arms race”: Every film in the series has great pictures and rousing action, but since part four every sequel has loomed over the question of how the predecessor can be surpassed.
And then came McQuarrie’s Rogue Nation, a film that, to be honest, I was initially jittery about, wondering if this comparatively unknown slate could fill the footsteps of its more famous predecessors. My concern was unfounded: “Rogue Nation” combines stylish Alfred Hitchcock nods, modern high-speed action and cleverly engineered insane stunts like “Cruise hangs on the outer facade of a plane taking off” with intoxicating ease. And he introduces Rebecca Ferguson to the series, who as Ilsa Faust is equal to Tom Cruise in terms of screen presence and thus refreshes the whole dynamic of the agent saga.
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