Writers’ independent selection of the best scenes from each film in the series
Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One” has been released in theaters and has been well received by fans for its action and content as always, with many saying they cannot wait for the sequel. For those who cannot wait for the release of PART TWO scheduled for 2012, I recommend a look back at the previous films in the series.
The writer, who loves the “Mission: Impossible” series, looks back at the six films from the first “Mission: Impossible” to “Mission: Impossible Fallout”. Here are some of the best scenes from each film, chosen at the writer’s discretion.
Please note that there are spoilers from the past films. Please be warned.
The first film, “Mission: Impossible” (’96) / A deadly helicopter-and-train action film with Jean Reno!
The first film is probably best remembered for the iconic Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) hanging in midair scene. However, there are many other highlights in the first film besides this scene. One of my favorites is the climactic action between Krieger (Jean Reno) and Phelps (Jon Voight) versus Ethan on a high-speed train.
Krieger comes to retrieve Phelps, who is on the roof of the train, by helicopter, but Ethan attaches the wire hook of the helicopter to the train, and the helicopter goes into the tunnel with the train. Ethan jumps to the helicopter and gives it a gum-like explosive that explodes when red and blue are attached to it, “Red light! Green light! and detonates it on the helicopter’s window. The blast blasts Krieger and Phelps out of the helicopter, and they jump onto the train and survive. The high-speed train and helicopter are combined to create a sense of speed and thrill in this famous scene.
Jean Reno’s devilish look and the sense of being a jerk were also impressive in this film. With appearances of characters related to the later films in the series and a few self-parodies here and there, this is a good film that should be seen at least once.
The second film, “M:I 2” (’00) / Action and visual beauty with John Woo’s verses and pigeons shining through
The baton has passed from Brian De Palma, who directed the previous film, to John Woo, who is known for films such as “Red Cliff” and “A Song for Men. The film is full of John Woo’s signature motorcycle and double-gun action, but the most impressive scene in the film is the collaboration between Ethan and the white dove, a character that is also synonymous with John Woo.
The scene is just before the climax, when Ethan is infiltrating the enemy hideout. After the door to the room where the enemy is hiding is blown open with explosives, a white dove enters, flapping its wings, and Ethan slowly appears from behind it. I saw the film in a movie theater when it was released, and I still remember the sound of the pigeon flying from the screen to the left side of the theater was very effective and quite cool, more than 20 years later.
This is the only John Woo film in the series. I would like to see John Woo direct this series again, but since Christopher McCulley is still directing “Dead Reckoning Part Two,” I wonder if it would be possible to make a spin-off or something.
The third film, “M:I 3” (’06) / Self electrocution (tentative) & resuscitation from cardiopulmonary arrest!
The antagonist Davian, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, leaves a strong impression in this film. This is also the first film in which Benji (Simon Pegg), who along with Luther (Ving Rhames) has become Ethan’s indispensable sidekick in the series, makes his first appearance.
The film features various famous scenes, such as the system that copies the voice of the person he is disguising himself as by having him read certain sentences, Hoffman’s eerie presence, and the voice navigation by Benji that has become a familiar part of the series, but my favorite scene is “before a small bomb implanted in his head explodes, he electrocutes himself, shorting out the bomb’s circuits and causing it to explode. He is revived by cardiac massage and artificial respiration before the small bomb implanted in his head explodes. What an idea, Ethan! This scene was only possible because Ethan’s wife, Julia, a doctor, happened to be nearby.
The scene where Ethan is prepared to be electrocuted (tentatively) with a bare electric wire, Julia boldly energizes him, and Julia defeats the enemy and revives Ethan with heart massage is a series of tense scenes, and the sense that we are being shown something extraordinary is incredible. One of my favorite scenes in the series.
The fourth film, “Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol” (’11), is full of gadgets and great scenes! Some call it the best in the series.
This film was also talked about for being set in the Burj Khalifa, a skyscraper in Dubai. The prison break scene at the beginning of the film, the infiltration of the Russian Kremlin, the car chase and car attack in a sandstorm with zero visibility, relying only on GPS signals, and the final scream of “Mission Complete! Many fans consider this film to be the best in the series.
There are also plenty of spy gadgets, such as the screen used in the Kremlin infiltration that shows the background, and the device that distracts the enemy by generating a sound of water leaking behind them. A famous scene that combines such interesting gadgets with the scenery of Dubai is the scene where they “climb up the Burj Khalifa with a glove that sticks to the wall.
The glove sticks to the wall when you press it against the wall, and slowly moves it away from the bottom of your hand (the bottom part of the palm). Although it is unclear how the glove sticks and detaches from the wall, it is a useful gadget for spies who do a lot of undercover work. The gadget is used to climb a skyscraper and infiltrate a server room from the outside, and the thrill of the moment when the glove on his right hand malfunctions and he is in a pinch is undeniably thrilling.
In recent years, gadgets like this have appeared less frequently in the series, so we hope that many of them will appear in the final work.
The fifth film, “Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation” (’15) / The oxygen level is perfect with the “Oxygen Meter”!
This is the first film in which Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), who is also related to the latest film, appears. In addition to the exploits of Ilsa and the dark activities of the boss of the enemy organization, Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), this film has brilliant action scenes, including a backstage fight to the death at an opera house and a motorcycle and car chase scene, but the highlight is the scene where they infiltrate an underground facility at a Moroccan power plant.
Ethan plans to infiltrate the underwater facility where top-secret data is stored. However, Ethan is unable to use oxygen cylinders there because they would be detected by metal detectors. Ethan decides to use only the oxygen he has taken into his body instead of an oxygen cylinder. His companion was a “suit with an oxygen meter” (named by the author) that shows the amount of oxygen remaining in his body and how long it will last.
With the glowing “OXYGEN” on the left arm, the meter, and a clock, not only Ethan but also the audience could see at a glance how much more oxygen he had left to breathe. Ethan struggles to retrieve the data, and the OXYGEN gradually decreases…. The scene is so tense that even those of us who are watching it feel like we are suffocating.
The sixth film, “Mission: Impossible Fallout” (’18) / The wall of the hospital room is smashed! No way, it’s a surprise!
Directed by Christopher McQuarrie, who wrote the screenplay for the suspense classic “The Usual Suspects. The film is a compilation of the past films in the series, and is packed with action scenes, including an appearance by Julia, the ex-wife who successfully revived Ethan after his cardiopulmonary arrest in “~3”.
The plutonium that Ethan and his team have been chasing has fallen into enemy hands, and a nuclear bomb is about to be used. Ethan and his team want to obtain the launch codes for the nuclear bomb at any cost, so they go to the hospital where a scientist who is a member of the organization plotting a nuclear explosion and who knows the launch codes is hospitalized. The scientist has been unconscious for two weeks after a car accident. He wakes up when Ethan and the others come to the hospital room, but it is already too late as the TV in the room is broadcasting the news that a nuclear bomb has been used…. The scientist who saw the news gives them the code on the condition that they read out the statement of the crime on the news.
The scientist assumes that even if Ethan and the others now know the launch code, there is nothing they can do now that a nuclear bomb has been used. However! The moment the code is confirmed to be real, the four walls of the hospital room collapse to reveal a large warehouse-like area.
The hospital room and the news were fakes prepared by Ethan and his team, and the fact that he had been unconscious for two weeks was a lie. The accident had occurred only a few hours before when Benji had rear-ended the scientist’s car! This is a scene that shows the full power of the IMF (Mission Impossible Force, the organization to which Ethan and his team belong) in preparing a fake hospital room, a fake nurse, a fake news program and its footage in order to get the patients to talk.
In the last scene of the film, Ethan says “it’s business as usual,” which may be a reference to “The Usual Suspects,” for which McCulley wrote the screenplay. I wonder if it’s a reference to “Eugenic Suspects,” which was written by McCurry?
Extra: 6th film “Mission: Impossible Fallout” (’18) / Benji awakens! A big gold star for the customary mask disguise!
However, the charm of this series is that there are many scenes in which characters other than Ethan, such as Luther, Benji, the assassin played by Léa Seydoux, and other antagonists, play active roles. I would like to introduce one of my favorite scenes in which Benji, one of my favorite characters, plays an active role that I really wanted to include.
It is the scene where it is revealed that Walker (Henry Cavill), who was accompanying Ethan and his friends, was in communication with the captured Solomon Lane. Benji dons a disguise mask familiar from the series and pretends to be Lane. Walker, unaware of this, blurts out a blabbermouth, prompting the escape, an important scene that moves the story along significantly.
Benji, who was working in the office when he first appeared in the series, requested to be transferred to the field and eventually became an active member of Ethan’s team. Fans of the series who have been following his development must have seen this as a joyous scene in which he scored a major victory over his adversary. (I am equally fond of the scene in “Ghost Protocol” where he tells the Kremlin guards, “You’re going to regret this, Igorov.)
There are many other great scenes and gadgets that I would like to introduce, and I had a hard time deciding which ones to introduce, but for this article, I focused on the important scenes of the film. We hope to have another opportunity to introduce “interesting and useful spy gadgets,” “famous scenes of the antagonists,” and other fascinating contents of the “Mission: Impossible” series.
Text by： Diceke Takahashi
Writer and editor. Loves "Mission: Impossible.
Illustrations： Ryuko Rangi