Ranking the Mission: Impossible Villains

Every week in September gets you a new Mission: Impossible listicle. Why? Why not.

Here are the four total articles we did on Mission: Impossible:
Ranking the films overall
Ranking the villains
Ranking the Tom Cruise stunts
Ranking the recurring ensemble members

LAST: Michael Nyqvist – Kurt Hendricks

This film series has probably never invested so little time, energy, and effort into a villain than they did with poor Michael Nyqvist. He was just left out there to dangle with just nothing and came out of this otherwise great film looking weak as hell.


6. Sean Harris – Solomon Lane

This boring-ass man gets points for lasting more than one of these films and that is pretty much it! At this point in the franchise they really needed like a Javier Bardem in Skyfall type villain if they were to be reoccurring. Instead, this dour man serves mostly as an idea to keep the plot moving. He’s also a classic case of a villain in one of these movies who is largely asking the right questions about what the hell is wrong with these evil intelligence companies but they then have to make irrational on some level so that we never stop rooting for the American superhero spies.


5. Philip Seymour Hoffman – Owen Davian

Generally speaking, his work gets a lot of praise (based on what I have gleaned over the years. Others might perceive the reaction differently). I honestly cannot say why that is the case though. He mostly appears to be sleepwalking through everything, and I cannot recall ever watching him appear to be so emotionally divested from the work. The one interesting sequence for him is when Tom Cruise is wearing a PSH mask, and then PSH does an Ethan Hunt impression, physically. It’s the best five minutes of the movie.


4. Dougray Scott – The Joker

Dougray Scott missed out on Wolverine due to this movie going long in order to play The Joker in this film. It’s a totally mad performance that would feel out of place in any other film in the series except for the one directed by John Woo.


3. Jean Reno – Franz Krieger

Jean Reno is one of the most effortlessly cool people in the history of Hollywood. He just glides through this film and commands the audience’s attention the entire time. The way he is able to swing back and forth from someone worthy of suspicion to someone you might think is aight to a definitive villain was truly impressive. More Jean Reno in more things, please and thank you.


2. Henry Cavill – John Lark

Cavill seems like a really dumb guy, and he plays a character so dumb here that he has no idea how out of his element he is at times. He’s got all the talent and ability and skills in the world, but his logic and decision-making are so poor that it costs him dearly. It was just delightful in every way. He also pumps his arms before he punches.


1. Jon Voight – Jim Phelps

Clearly, Voight’s character feels like he was from a different time and place than so much of this series. I do think though that he really nails the role, and his betrayal is played so well and impacts our entire understanding of the world and shapes the characterization of Ethan Hunt for all the future films. Jon Voight, you may be crazy but you were sometimes a great actor.


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