Jul 23, 2018


Over the nearly twelve years I've been writing this blog, I've written a lot about Mission: Impossible. It's one of the key spy brands, whether we're discussing the blockbuster Tom Cruise movies which have grossed nearly $2.8 billion collectively at the worldwide box office since 1996, Bruce Geller's original, innovative, and ahead of its time 1966-73 TV series, which established so many now familiar tropes of the spy genre, or Lalo Schifrin's indelible theme, a tune that connotes action and excitement and high-stakes espionage as readily as "The James Bond Theme."

CBS/Paramount released the first season DVD set just a few months after I began this blog, and I reviewed it in December 2006 here. Although I'd caught a few syndicated episodes randomly, the DVD sets afforded me my first opportunity to dive into the original series at any length. (My original introduction to the franchise had actually come from the 1988-90 revival series.) Over the next five years, those season sets formed a sort of backbone for this blog. As I noted in the conclusion to my review of the seventh and final season, "In many ways, this whole blog has been about my growth as a Mission: Impossible fan... Discovering new favorite spy series—and sharing those discoveries—is one of the main reasons I started this blog to begin with. And after watching all seven seasons, I can say categorically that Mission: Impossible is one of my favorites—probably my second favorite Sixties spy series after The Avengers." My reviews of each season became longer and longer, more profusely illustrated, and more and more in depth. They've proven to be among the most popular posts I've done. And yet, somehow, I've never gotten around to reviewing the Mission: Impossible movies. Sure, I've written about them a lot... covered their casting and production as news items, and included some of them on various best of the year and best of the decade lists. But I've never done in-depth reviews to compliment my reviews of the TV seasons. With Mission: Impossible - Fallout, the sixth movie in the big-screen incarnation of the franchise, due out this Thursday, what better time to finally rectify that oversight?

It's kind of amazing that Tom Cruise has been playing Ethan Hunt now for 22 years—far longer than any one actor continuously wore the mantle of 007, and longer even (by a year) than the cumulative period between Sean Connery's first and last (non-consecutive) appearances as James Bond. That's quite an accomplishment. And a reason why these films deserve further exploration on this blog!

It's also been a very long time since I've done a theme week, so "Mission: Impossible Week" is pretty exciting! Watch for my review of Brian De Palma's 1996 inaugural Mission later today, and others throughout the week, mixed in with other little Mission-related postings. And then see Mission: Impossible - Fallout in theaters this weekend! And while you're waiting (no doubt with bated breath!) for that first film review, why not whet your palettes by checking out or revisiting my reviews of the various TV seasons?

Read my review of Brian De Palma's Mission: Impossible (1996) here.
Read my review of John Woo's M:I-2 (2000) here.

Read my review of Mission: Impossible: The Seventh TV Season here.
Read my review of Mission: Impossible: The Sixth TV Season here.
Read my review of Mission: Impossible: The Fifth TV Season here.
Read my review of Mission: Impossible: The Fourth TV Season here.
Read my review of Mission: Impossible: The Third TV Season here.
Read my review of Mission: Impossible: The Second TV Season here.
Read my review of Mission: Impossible: The First TV Season here.

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