Tom Cruise will run, leap off buildings, ride his stylish motorcycle across the busy streets of Paris and then finally fly a helicopter pursuing Henry ‘Superman’ Cavill in a frenetic chase in the ravines of New Zealand (passed off as Kashmir). Yes, Mission Impossible: Fallout is (finally) upon us.
The sixth installment will see director Christopher McQuarrie return to the franchise for the first time after 2016’s Rogue Nation. While the main characters including Ethan, Luther and Benji and villain Solomon Lane (played by the fantastic Sean Harris) are returning for this epic, they will be joined by Angela Bassett and Henry Cavill.
Before you plebs watch it tomorrow, here’s a definitive ranking of all the films in the franchise:
5. Mission Impossible 2
John Woo’s introduction into the franchise right after Broken Arrow, produced the cheesiest movie minus any self-awareness. Revolving around the outbreak of a virus called Chymera, this second installment was peak vanity for Tom Cruise. Everything from the rock-climbing sequences in the start to the slow-motion fighting scenes in the end, the whole film was Tom Cruise’s stage to shine.
4. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
It was all going so well. A faceless villain blowing up the Kremlin, inciting the Russians against the Americans. And then the team’s mission in Dubai, where Hunt (Cruise) hanging out of the god-knows-which floor of the Burj Khalifa. And then as soon as the action moves to Mumbai (shot in Abu Dhabi) the sitars start to play, and Anil Kapoor does his dhina-dhin-dha routine to seduce Paula Patton. I’m still ashamed of the film’s last 20 minutes.
3. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
Right when you thought that Tom Cruise couldn’t do anything to top hanging out of the world’s tallest building, he hung out of an airplane and then held his breath under water for nearly six minutes. The film also nicely weaves in homages to the previous films from the franchise by including a bike chase and masks – a nice, filmy payoff to the fans.
2. Mission Impossible 1
The original by Brian De Palma. The intrigue, the art of hoodwinking your enemy (sometimes your most-trusted aides) and that fantastic scene inside the CIA headquarters in Langley. This one began the franchise and will always remain the stylistic reference, even as the subsequent movies become more and more brawny.
1. Mission Impossible 3
The most underrated film in the franchise, this one became the directorial launch for Hollywood’s most high-profile nerd, JJ Abrams. This one also featured the best villain of the franchise, Owen Davian, played by none other than the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. It was lean, mean and absolutely relentless in the way the film unfolded, giving us that memorable Shanghai mission. Few things beat watching Tom Cruise jumping out of a not-high-enough skyscraper, hoping his parachute opens in time. Raw exhilaration.
Mission Impossible: Fallout opens tonight in theatres and IMAX near you. Good luck trying to escape the hype!