Mission: Impossible is back today, with the fifth instalment in 19 years. Years, just short of 20 years since Brian De Palma’s reboot/sequel or soft reboot of the original hit 1960’s TV series blasted its way into theatres in the summer of 1996. It held its own against Independence Day (1996) and has become the rescue vehicle for Tom Cruise’s fluctuating career over the past two decades.
John Woo’s Mission: Impossible II (2000) arrived at a time when Cruise needed a blockbuster after several less ego driven roles, even though Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia (1999) saw him receive an Oscar nod, M:I III (2006) (J.J. Abrams) resuscitated him after the whole couch jumping incident and Brad Bird’s Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011) followed a slow spell. Tom Cruise’s ego can’t allow that. But the beauty of this franchise is that it is genuinely good. Cruise as producer has controlled this franchise from day one and has hired different directors with varied styles to make their own films, as long as Cruise’s Ethan Hunt is basically a superhero, let alone a super-spy.
The quality has varied but the standards have been high throughout and even though M:I II was the weakest of the bunch, it is still a superior action movie.
So, following on from the final line in Ghost Protocol, “The Syndicate is real…”