Mission: Impossible has been one of the leading spy film franchises over the last two decades or so. With six films under its banner, the series has already grossed over $3.5 billion in worldwide box-office revenues.
Tom Cruise's explosive performance as Ethan Hunt has played a huge role in the Mission: Impossible films being so successful. Over the years, Hunt has had to keep up with the demanding nature of his job and head into multiple deadly situations and missions.
However, some of these situations have been more precarious than the rest.
With so many nigh impossible missions, the films have sufficiently justified the series title. In this article, we list out some of our top picks for Ethan Hunt's deadliest missions, which seemed practically impossible to complete.
Disclaimer: This list is subjective and contains spoilers for the films mentioned.
5 times Ethan Hunt took on the most challenging and risky endeavors in the Mission: Impossible films
1) Kidnapping Owen Davian from a party
The Mission: Impossible franchise has been popular for introducing some of the most insane spy technology we have seen in films. Ultra-realistic face masks, voice-changing chips, and automated reels are just the tip of the iceberg of technological marvels that aid Ethan in his ridiculously hard missions. But even then, his own capability is what makes his missions a success.
In Mission: Impossible III, a retired Ethan is forced to return to the field when one of his protégés is captured while looking into Owen Davian, an arms dealer. He takes it upon himself to capture Davian from a social gathering in Vatican City. However, abdicating someone as heavily guarded as him, is much harder than it sounds.
Ethan dons Davian's face mask and intercepts him in the washroom. However, when his security enters the room, Ethan activates the stolen voice just in time to fool them. Overall, this was one of the most thrilling missions in the Mission: Impossible series towards the beginning.
2) Stealing the NOC list from CIA headquarters
It is undeniable that Mission: Impossible films have become more and more insane over the years, with over-the-top missions and impossible obstacles. But the fact of the matter is that the first film set such a high bar that its successors had no other choice but to follow the trend.
In Mission: Impossible, the IMF is being targeted through a NOC list being kept by the CIA. After multiple twists and turns, Ethan is tasked with retrieving the real NOC list from the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. However, infiltrating the saferoom is nigh impossible.
The room is safeguarded against the most minute sound, pressure, and temperature changes, with a laser-guarded vent, an iris scanner, and a voice-activated password. Bypassing such state-of-the-art security measures definitely ranks among Ethan's hardest missions.
3) Preventing Chimera from spreading
Mission: Impossible 2 upped the ante from Mission: Impossible and introduced the Chimera virus. A bio-genetics scientist is forced to develop a biological weapon by Biocyte Pharmaceuticals. But the cure for the virus is stolen by Sean Ambrose, a rogue IMF agent. Ethan is then tasked by the IMF with recovering Chimera and its cure, Bellerophon.
The most important factor to consider in this mission was that Ethan was going against a similarly capable IMF agent who previously used to act as his proxy. Another thing to keep in mind was the stakes in the mission. A single wrong step could have led to a pandemic.
Although other films have had much harder mission sequences, Mission: Impossible 2 has a special place because of the biohazardous Chimera.
4) Intercepting the flight shipment
As if Tom Cruise performing his own stunts was not enough, Cruise decides to outdo himself by going for even more dangerous stunts. Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation came out in 2015 and quickly became famous for one of its most outrageous stunts.
The film starts with the IMF trying to prevent a Syndicate shipment of VX nerve gas from flying off in a plane. This shipment could very well destroy a major city if it did fall into the wrong hands, which made this mission all the more important. When Benji is unable to remotely cripple the plane, Ethan jumps into action and jumps onto the plane to finish the job.
Considering that the plane is already in motion and also carries Ethan into the air as he is latched on to it outside, makes it much harder than any other simple task. Hence, a mission where you're hanging from a flying plane ranks quite high on the list of missions Hunt has gone on.
5) Intercepting the nuclear launch codes deal in the Burj Khalifa
Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol has been one of Ethan's hardest missions till date. When Russian nuclear launch codes get stolen, Ethan and his team are tasked with retrieving them. For this mission, the team goes to Dubai to interfere a deal involving the launch codes.
This was no doubt one of Ethan's deadliest missions till date. Not only did he have to climb the world's tallest building, but the whole team also had to sync their timing with the two parties and make sure that the whole transaction went smoothly without tipping off the other parties.
While Ethan's capabilities are beyond question, multiple things were beyond their control and could have gone wrong, making the mission a bust. Understandably, this ranks highest among Ethan's most difficult missions.
These were our top picks of Ethan Hunt's hardest missions till date. However, the IMF agent has participated in numerous more challenging missions which seemed close to impossible at times.
If you are a spy film enthusiast as well and think that our list did not include a worthy mission, do drop a comment down below and let us know which mission seems the hardest to you and why.