Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to read through the following post. The information contained within details the running order of the big screen Mission: Impossible film series and is for your eyes only (as well as the eyes of those who come seeking this knowledge).

Do you accept the mission?

I’ll take your silence as a ‘yes’.

OK, so today I’m taking a look at the Mission: Impossible films – a collection of high-octane, big budget blockbusters. The movies are a spin-off/continuation of two Mission: Impossible TV shows, the first of which aired in 1966.

Image: ©Paramount

The original M:I series – known as Mission: Impossible – ran for seven seasons, from ’66 until ’73. It was very popular and is still remembered fondly by fans today.

The follow-up show – also titled Mission: Impossible – lasted for two seasons. This series ran between 1988 and 1990.

The basic premise of each show saw the Impossible Mission Force (IMF) tasked with overcoming a secret mission, deemed impossible to complete. Of course, the team would find a way to make the impossible possible.

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The Mission: Impossible film series

Image: ©Paramount Pictures

In 1996, the M:I brand and premise was given an overhaul to make it work for the big screen, effectively rebooting Mission: Impossible for a new generation. The character of Jim Phelps – a mainstay of both TV shows – was carried over for the films, but the focus of the movie series was to be Ethan Hunt – a new character played by Tom Cruise.

The initial entry in the film series – simply titled Mission: Impossible – introduced Hunt as part of an ensemble cast. Early into the story, the ensemble fell away, leaving Hunt as the leader of a new, unofficial IMF team.

The box office success of the first movie led to a sequel in 2000, as well as the creation of a new team (this time an official IMF team). Hunt remained the focus of the picture, and once again the film was a financial hit, paving the way for more sequels.

Image: ©Paramount Pictures

With each new entry came an almost new cast and a new team, with few characters remaining from story to story. However, as the series progressed it did retain the odd character here or there, including Ethan’s wife, Julia Meade who was introduced in Mission: Impossible III (2006), William Brandt who debuted in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011), and Ilsa Faust who arrived in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015).

To date, the two most notable recurring characters within the Mission: Impossible film series (other than Ethan Hunt) are Luther Stickell (played by Ving Rhames) and Benji Dunn (played by Simon Pegg). Stickell made his debut in Mission: Impossible, while Pegg joined from the third entry.

Outside of these characters, the movie series is perhaps best known for its palm-sweating stunts, including a rock climbing scene in Mission: Impossible 2 and an aerial battle in Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018). For Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Hunt even scaled the side of the Burj Khalifa tower – the world’s tallest building.

Right, enough with the series rundown – now onto the best order to watch the Mission: Impossible films.

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Mission: Impossible movie order

Image: ©Paramount Pictures

For those new to the Mission: Impossible film series, the viewing order is quite straight forward. The films are told in a linear format, so all of the entries follow on from each other in production order.

The order is as follows:

  • Mission: Impossible (1996)
  • Mission: Impossible II (2000)
  • Mission: Impossible III (2006)
  • Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)
  • Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)
  • Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018)

Work your way through this films in this order and you’ll witness the trials and tribulations that Ethan Hunt experiences as he accepts each seemingly impossible mission. You’ll also get to watch a series of stunts, more elaborate then the one that came before, and view some genuinely scene stealing moments, such as Henry Cavill’s ‘reloading arms’ sequence from Mission: Impossible – Fallout.

And now you know.

So, what is your favourite ‘Mission‘? Are you a fan of the original entry or do you think the sequels have tweaked and improved the formula? Whatever your thoughts, sound off in the comments section below.

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