Mission: Impossible and Fast & Furious are Basically the Same Movies Now

Mission: Impossible and Fast & Furious are Basically the Same Movies Now

5 min read

It's interesting watching the evolution of a film franchise.1

Mission: Impossible released in 1996 and was a fun if forgettable espionage thriller. For years, my enduring memory was Emilio Estevez's elevator scene. You might say it stuck with me.

The second and third films were more of the same—II had Tom Cruise's 10-years-too-late attempt at a grunge-era haircut; III had Philip Seymore Hoffman. Aside from some flashy set pieces and Hoffman, the first 3 movies are not very good. There's a reason Jason Bourne ate Ethan Hunt's lunch.

Ghost Protocol released 15 years after the first film and represented something of a soft reset. Simon Pegg joined the cast to add some much-needed levity. Otherwise, the setup remained the same—world-ending stakes, Ethan Hunt (Cruise) disavowed or on the lamb, spine-tingling stunts. Subsequent films riffed off that same beat, adding a stable of familiar faces (Pegg, Jeremy Renner, Alec Baldwin, Rebecca Ferguson) and bringing back some old ones (Ving Rhames). A team coalesced around Ethan.

While many have noted how the series gradually became glossy commercials for Tom Cruise's insanity, another ingredient was gradually stirred into the Kool-Aid. Listen to the way Ethan talks to Luther (Rhames):

Your life will always matter more to me than my own.

That certainly puts the bro in bromance. But Luther is not the only one given such consideration. Everyone on Ethan's team is under his protection. There is nothing he will not do to keep them safe. It sounds an awful lot like another alpha male tough guy who leads a team of talented individuals.

"I don't have friends, I have family." ~ Dominic Toretto

Ethan Hunt has slowly but unerringly co-opted Dom's mantra.